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12 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in November

As we ramp up to the most holiday-filled time of year, let's take a moment to appreciate some lesser known celebrations.

1. NOVEMBER 3: SANDWICH DAY

Just look at it: How can you not honor this thing of beauty? John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, was also born around this day (on November 13) in 1718, so feel free to celebrate and eat mightily throughout the month.

2. NOVEMBER 6: SAXOPHONE DAY

Only an epic sax solo could properly honor this jazzy instrument. (Adolphe Sax was also born on this day in 1814.)

3. NOVEMBER 6: ZERO-TASKING DAY

It's time to fall back! We get an extra hour on this day because of Daylight Saving Time, so use it wisely. (Read: do nothing.)

4. NOVEMBER 15: GEORGE SPELVIN DAY

George and Georgina/Georgette Spelvin aren't the people in the photo above, because they're not real people at all. Those names are traditional pseudonyms used in theater when an actor doesn't want to be identified, is playing multiple roles, or wants to go uncredited for other reasons.

5. NOVEMBER 17: HOMEMADE BREAD DAY

It's the best thing since sliced ... wait a minute.

6. NOVEMBER 17: NATIONAL UNFRIEND DAY

Get your clicker finger ready and say "sayonara" to old friends, non-friends, and people you literally don't remember in your social media circle.

7. NOVEMBER 19: ALASCATTALO DAY

The photo above is of a majestic Alaskan grizzly bear, not an alascattalo. We can't show you an alascattalo, because like George Spelvin, they also don't exist! The moose-walrus hybrid is a purely mythical beast, and serves as a sort of unofficial mascot for the U.S.'s most northern state.

8. NOVEMBER 19: INTERNATIONAL GAMES DAY

The name doesn't give it away, but this holiday is actually about getting out to your local library to engage in some wholesome game and puzzle time. A rare opportunity to cut loose—library style.

9. NOVEMBER 25: NATIONAL FLOSSING DAY

You might have heard about that recent investigation that found that there's not much proof that flossing does anything for you, but you can go ahead and ignore that on this holiday. If nothing else, make sure you at least get some mental floss.

10. NOVEMBER 28: CIDER MONDAY

Cider Monday is the antidote to Cyber Monday: a day that encourages you to go out to local businesses, do a little shopping, and enjoy a free cup of seasonally appropriate cider.

11. NOVEMBER 30: COMPUTER SECURITY DAY

OK so this isn't exactly a fun holiday, but in the thick of holiday shopping season, it's probably as good a time as any to keep those passwords in order.

12. NOVEMBER 30: STAY HOME BECAUSE YOU’RE WELL DAY

You're probably going out a lot from now until 2017. A staycation is definitely in order.

Holidays found in Chase's Calendar of Events 2016. All photos courtesy of iStock unless otherwise noted.

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music
Everything You Need to Know About Record Store Day
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The unlikely resurgence of vinyl as an alternative to digital music formats is made up of more than just a small subculture of purists. Today, more than 1400 independent record stores deal in both vintage and current releases. Those store owners and community supporters created Record Store Day in 2007 as a way of celebrating the grassroots movement that’s allowed a once-dying medium to thrive.

To commemorate this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21, a number of stores (a searchable list can be found here) will be offering promotional items, live music, signings, and more. While events vary widely by store, a number of artists will be issuing exclusive LPs that will be distributed around the country.

For Grateful Dead fans, a live recording of a February 27, 1969 show at Fillmore West in San Francisco will be released and limited to 6700 copies; Arcade Fire’s 2003 EP album will see a vinyl release for the first time, limited to 3000 copies; "Roxanne," the Police single celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will see a 7-inch single release with the original jacket art.

The day also promises to be a big one for David Bowie fans. A special white vinyl version of 1977’s Bowie Now will be on shelves, along with Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), a previously-unreleased, three-record set. Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, and dozens of other artists will also be contributing releases.

No store is likely to carry everything you might want, so before making the stop, it might be best to call ahead and then plan on getting there early. If you’re one of the unlucky vinyl supporters without a brick and mortar store nearby, you can check out Discogs.com, which will be selling the special releases online.

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Big Questions
What Is the Meaning Behind "420"?
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Whether or not you’re a marijuana enthusiast, you’re probably aware that today is an unofficial holiday for those who are. April 20—4/20—is a day when pot smokers around the world come together to, well, smoke pot. Others use the day to push for legalization, holding marches and rallies.

But why the code 420? There are a lot of theories as to why that particular number was chosen, but most of them are wrong. You may have heard that 420 is police code for possession, or maybe it’s the penal code for marijuana use. Both are false. There is a California Senate Bill 420 that refers to the use of medical marijuana, but the bill was named for the code, not the other way around.

As far as anyone can tell, the phrase started with a bunch of high school students. Back in 1971, a group of kids at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, got in the habit of meeting at 4:20 to smoke after school. When they’d see each other in the hallways during the day, their shorthand was “420 Louis,” meaning, “Let’s meet at the Louis Pasteur statue at 4:20 to smoke.”

Somehow, the phrase caught on—and when the Grateful Dead eventually picked it up, "420" spread through the greater community like wildfire. What began as a silly code passed between classes is now a worldwide event for smokers and legalization activists everywhere—not a bad accomplishment for a bunch of high school stoners.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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