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16 Offbeat Holidays to Celebrate in January

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If you're feeling sad that the holidays are over, fear not: the first month of the year is chock-full of very fun, very specific, and sometimes very weird holidays to help you ease your way into 2017. Just because the most festive season is over, doesn't mean there isn't still a ton to celebrate.

1. JANUARY 2: HAPPY MEW YEAR FOR CATS DAY

This punny day is basically just another occasion to honor our feline friends. What more do we need to say?

2. JANUARY 4: DIMPLED CHAD DAY

A dimpled chad is when someone attempts to punch a hole in a sheet of paper, but the cutout remains attached and leaves just a dent. So ... the opposite of what's happening in the photo above. You might remember the term from the 2000 U.S. presidential election.

3. JANUARY 9: NATIONAL CLEAN-OFF-YOUR-DESK DAY

It's a new year! Time to get organized, and this desk-piration is here to get you motivated.

4. JANUARY 9: NATIONAL THANK GOD IT’S MONDAY! DAY

Apparently there are people who like Mondays? This offbeat holiday is all about the possibility that comes with a fresh start, which we guess we can get behind.

5. JANUARY 10: POETRY AT WORK DAY

Don't panic: this is not about your coworker doing an open mic in the conference room. Instead, it's about encouraging you to see the poetry in your everyday tasks, and putting those fuzzy feelings into verse.

6. JANUARY 11: LEARN YOUR NAME IN MORSE CODE DAY

My name is -.-. .- .. - .-.. .. -. ... -.-. .... -. . .. -.. . .-. ! (For the lazy among us, the internet has Morse code translators.)

7. JANUARY 12: NATIONAL HOT TEA DAY

Chances are, it's cold out there. Warm up with a piping hot cup o' tea.

8. JANUARY 13: BLAME SOMEONE ELSE DAY

If you've got any mistakes you want to unload, today's the day.

9. JANUARY 16: NATIONAL NOTHING DAY

See that blank calendar? That's what this "un-event" is all about.

10. JANUARY 17: JUDGMENT DAY

Be advised, this comes just a few days after Blame Someone Else Day.

11. JANUARY 17: KID INVENTORS’ DAY

Encourage a kid to make something on this day.

12. JANUARY 23: NATIONAL PIE DAY

We could write a 10,000 word ode to pie, but we'll just eat a lot instead.

13. JANUARY 25: A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN DAY

There's no better occasion than the anniversary of author Virginia Woolf's birthday to find a room for you and only you.

14. JANUARY 28: LOCAL QUILT SHOP DAY

Take your crafty resolutions to a local quilt shop, where there are actual human beings to help you with your sewing screw-ups and quilting conundrums.

15. JANUARY 29: CURMUDGEONS DAY

Not even the festivities-averse can escape their own dedicated holiday.

16. JANUARY 30: INANE ANSWERING MESSAGE DAY

It's 2017 and you might not even listen to answering messages much anymore, so take this day to give thanks for that.

Holidays found in Chase's Calendar of Events 2017. All photos courtesy of iStock.

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10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
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iStock

Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

1. PANGANGALULUWA // THE PHILIPPINES

Rice cakes wrapped in leaves.
Suman

The earliest form of trick-or-treating on Halloween can be traced back to Europe in the Middle Ages. Kids would don costumes and go door-to-door offering prayers for dead relatives in exchange for snacks called "soul cakes." When the cake was eaten, tradition held that a soul was ferried from purgatory into heaven. Souling has disappeared from Ireland and the UK, but a version of it lives on halfway across the world in the Philippines. During All Saints Day on November 1, Filipino children taking part in Pangangaluluwa will visit local houses and sing hymns for alms. The songs often relate to souls in purgatory, and carolers will play the part of the souls by asking for prayers. Kids are sometimes given rice cakes called suman, a callback to the soul cakes from centuries past.

2. PÃO-POR-DEUS // PORTUGAL

Raw dough.
iStock

Instead of trick-or-treating, kids in Portugal go door-to-door saying pão-por-deus ("bread for god") in exchange for goodies on All Saints Day. Some homeowners give out money or candy, while others offer actual baked goods.

3. HALLOWEEN APPLES // WESTERN CANADA

Kids trick-or-treating.
iStock

If they're not calling out "trick-or-treat" on their neighbors’ doorsteps on Halloween night, you may hear children in western Canada saying "Halloween apples!" The phrase is left over from a time when apples were a common Halloween treat and giving out loose items on the holiday wasn't considered taboo.

4. ST. MARTIN'S DAY // THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch wait several days after Halloween to do their own take on trick-or-treating. On the night of November 11, St. Martin's Day, children in the Netherlands take to the streets with their homemade lanterns in hand. These lanterns were traditionally carved from beets or turnips, but today they’re most commonly made from paper. And the kids who partake don’t get away with shouting a few words at each home they visit—they’re expected to sing songs to receive their sugary rewards.

5. A PENNY FOR THE GUY // THE UK

Guy Fawkes Night celebration.

Peter Trimming, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Guy Fawkes Night is seen by some as the English Protestants’ answer to the Catholic holidays associated with Halloween, so it makes sense that it has its own spin on trick-or-treating. November 5 marks the day of Guy Fawkes’s failed assassination attempt on King James as part of the Gunpowder Plot. To celebrate the occasion, children will tour the neighborhood asking for "a penny for the guy." Sometimes they’ll carry pictures of the would-be-assassin which are burned in the bonfires lit later at night.

6. TRICKS FOR TREATS // ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Kids knocking on a door in costume.
iStock

If kids in the St. Louis area hope to go home with a full bag of candy on Halloween, they must be willing to tickle some funny bones. Saying "tricks-for-treats" followed by a joke replaces the classic trick-or-treat mantra in this Midwestern city. There’s no criteria for the quality or the subject of the joke, but spooky material (What’s a skeleton’s favorite instrument? The trombone!) earns brownie points.

7. ME DA PARA MI CALAVERITA // MEXICO

Sugar skulls with decoration.
iStock

While Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is completely separate from Halloween, the two holidays share a few things in common. Mexicans celebrate the day by dressing up, eating sweet treats, and in some parts of the country, going house-to-house. Children knocking on doors will say "me da para mi calaverita" or "give me money for my little skull," a reference to the decorated sugar skulls sold in markets at this time of year.

8. HALLOWEEN! // QUEBEC, CANADA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
iStock

Trick-or-treaters like to keep things simple in the Canadian province of Quebec. In place of the alliterative exclamation, they shout “Halloween!” at each home they visit. Adults local to the area might remember saying "la charité s’il-vous-plaît "(French for “charity, please”) when going door-to-door on Halloween, but this saying has largely fallen out of fashion.

9. SWEET OR SOUR // GERMANY

Little girl trick-or-treating.
iStock

Halloween is only just beginning to gain popularity in Germany. Where it is celebrated, the holiday looks a lot like it does in America, but Germans have managed to inject some local character into their version of trick-or-treat. In exchange for candy, kids sometimes sing out "süß oder saures"—or "sweet and sour" in English.

10. TRIQUI, TRIQUI HALLOWEEN // COLOMBIA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
Rubí Flórez, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Kids in Colombia anticipate dressing up and prowling the streets on Halloween just as much as kids do in the States. There are a few significant variations on the annual tradition: Instead of visiting private residencies, they're more likely to ask for candy from store owners and the security guards of apartment buildings. And instead of saying trick-or-treat, they recite this Spanish rhyme:

Triqui triqui Halloween
Quiero dulces para mí
Si no hay dulces para mí
Se le crece la naríz

In short, it means that if the grownups don't give the kids the candy they're asking for, their noses will grow. Tricky, tricky indeed

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10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
Original image
iStock

Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

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