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15 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in March

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If you're into cute animals, delicious food, beloved figures, or legendary betrayal (yeah), March is the month for you. Here are 15 offbeat holidays that celebrate a wide variety of quirky passions. 

1. MARCH 1: NATIONAL PIG DAY

Have you ever seen a more lovable oinker? We highly doubt it. 

2. MARCH 5: NATIONAL POUTINE DAY

Today, embrace this concoction—consisting of fries, cheese curds, and gravy—from our Canadian neighbors with open arms and open mouths.

3. MARCH 8: NATIONAL PROOFREADING DAY

Time to admit it: the red pen is your friend.

4. MARCH 13: NATIONAL OPEN AN UMBRELLA INDOORS DAY

This day is for facing down that age-old superstition. Open an umbrella indoors and shield yourself from the bad luck that may or may not follow. 

5. MARCH 15: BRUTUS DAY

Beware the Ides of March—and all the plotters and betrayers who might lead you to someday ask, "Et tu?"

6. MARCH 15: TRUE CONFESSIONS DAY

Speaking of shadowy plots and shocking revelations: March 15 is also a day to confess all your deepest, darkest secrets. Good luck!

7. MARCH 16: CURLEW DAY

Curlews are long-billed birds that live in the central and western parts of North America, and if you didn't know that, it's probably good that these feathered friends have their own special day. 

8. MARCH 16: LIPS APPRECIATION DAY

Pucker up and give your pout some well-deserved love and attention.

9. MARCH 18: PLAY-THE-RECORDER DAY

Limber up those fingers and celebrate this ubiquitous childhood instrument with a rousing rendition of "Hot Cross Buns." 

10. MARCH 20: WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR DAY

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Everyone's favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers, was born on March 20, 1928 and this holiday now serves as an occasion to remember the beloved TV star, and honor him by being kind, generous, and, well, downright neighborly.

11. MARCH 22: NATIONAL GOOF-OFF DAY

Relax, take a break, play hooky—or just goof off in your own quiet way at your desk. 

12. MARCH 23: NATIONAL TAMALE DAY

March 23 happens to be a Thursday, so we think this month would be a good one to institute Tamale Thursdays as a companion to Taco Tuesdays. 

13. MARCH 25: PECAN DAY

Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes that nut is a pecan

14. MARCH 25: TOLKIEN READING DAY

This annual holiday was started by The Tolkien Society back in 2003, and gives you a great excuse to start reading the entire The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings saga again, or for the very first time. 

15. MARCH 30: GRASS IS ALWAYS BROWNER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE DAY

Keep your eyes on your own lawn. You'll probably be happier that way. 

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

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Animals
Watch a Panda Caretaker Cuddle With Baby Pandas While Dressed Up Like a Panda
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Some people wear suits to work—but at one Chinese nature reserve, a handful of lucky employees get to wear panda suits.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the People's Daily released a video in July of animal caretakers cuddling with baby pandas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. The keepers dress in fuzzy black-and-white costumes—a sartorial choice that's equal parts adorable and imperative to the pandas' future success in the wild.

Researchers raise the pandas in captivity with the goal of eventually releasing them into their natural habitat. But according to The Atlantic, human attachment can hamper the pandas' survival chances, plus it can be stressful for the bears to interact with people. To keep the animals calm while acclimating them to forest life, the caretakers disguise their humanness with costumes, and even mask their smell by smearing the suits with panda urine and feces. Meanwhile, other keepers sometimes conceal themselves by dressing up as trees.

Below, you can watch the camouflaged panda caretakers as they cuddle baby pandas:

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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travel
UK Pair Will Visit All 2563 Rail Stations in Britain This Summer
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A train-loving UK couple is on a mission this summer to visit as many of Great Britain’s railway stations as possible. Since May, Geoff Marshall and Vicki Pipe have been working to hit up all 2563 stations, shooting video and posting updates to social media along the way.

Both Marshall and Pipe are serious train buffs. Marshall, a video producer, previously created videos about each of the London Underground lines for Londonist, and Pipe works at the London Transport Museum (she’s taking a sabbatical for the trip).

All the Stations isn’t a race, so they’ll keep at it until they’ve covered the entire island, though their goal is to finish the journey in three months. They are documenting their travels as a way to explore the state of Britain’s rail infrastructure and visit little-known places along the routes. Their goals include posting four videos of four different days of travel per week, live streaming between video posts, and making a feature documentary about the project at the end of the summer.

The project was partially funded on Kickstarter, where they raised more than $50,600 in early 2017 for their trip—which helped pay for the more than $13,000 in train tickets.

The pair has set out parameters for what exactly counts as a stop. They have to arrive or leave on a scheduled train passing through each stop, but they don't have to get off at every one. They’re not counting abandoned stations, nor do subways or heritage railways count, and they are sticking to mainland Britain rather than venturing to Northern Ireland.

They’ve been averaging about 30 stations per day. As of July 26, they have made it to 2089 stations, putting them more than 80 percent of the way there. They’ve only got 474 left to go on the way to Thurso, the northernmost town on the British mainland, which they plan to hit in August.

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