45 Offbeat Holidays to Celebrate in April

iStock.com/jhayes44
iStock.com/jhayes44

Spring is in the air—and with these offbeat holidays, there's more than just the weather to celebrate. (Even if you don’t like pranks or chocolate Bunnies.)

  1. April 2: National Ferret Day

    We'll definitely be celebrating these furry little guys.

  1. April 2: National Love Your Produce Manager Day

    Let’s give it up for all produce men and women everywhere.

  1. April 2: International Children's Book Day

    Celebrated since 1967, this holiday takes place on Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. 

  1. April 3: Tweed Day

    Summer is coming, so dust off your favorite tweed clothing item and get in one last wear before it's crop top and linen season.

  1. April 4: National Tell-A-Lie Day

    Honesty is generally the best policy, according to one of our founding fathers. But today, you have carte blanche to fib your heart out.

  1. April 5: National Deep Dish Pizza Day

    Deep fish pizza with candles in it
    iStock.com/liveslow

    A day to appreciate sky-high pies, or argue over the best pizza in all the land.

  1. April 5: Read a Road Map Day

    There was a time not so long ago when we had to consult large, folded pieces of paper to figure out directions from point A to point B. Thanks to GPS and Google Maps, this is now practically a holiday of antiquity. But you can’t use a Sharpie to draw a route on your smartphone, so score one for the road map.

  1. April 6: Tartan Day

    Show off your Scottish heritage, and grab your kilt while you're at it.

  1. April 6: International Pillow Fight Day

    Have a pillow fight

  1. April 6: Sorry Charlie Day

    This holiday was inspired by Charlie the Tuna—the cartoon mascot for StarKist and the subject of an advertising campaign that ran until the 1980s. In the spots, Charlie purports to have good taste, and wants to be recruited by the company, but is perpetually rejected via a sign on a fish hook that reads, "Sorry, Charlie." (As the narrator explains, they're interested in tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste.) The ads spawned a national catchphrase, and this holiday seeks to recognize all those who have lived through rejection and still retain their spunk.

  1. April 7: International Beaver Day

    Ferrets aren't the only small mammals we love here at Mental Floss: International Beaver Day will warrant its own party, too.

  1. April 7: National Beer Day

    A group of friends celebrating with beer
    iStock.com/skynesher

    On March 22, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing the sale of beer (as long as it was 3.2 percent alcohol by weight or less) after many years of Prohibition. The thirsty public had to wait two long weeks before they could legally imbibe again, and on April 7, the law finally went into effect. Beer drinkers around the country rejoiced, and celebrated with a nice cold one, presumably.

  1. April 7: International Snailpapers Day

    You might not know the term snailpapers, but it refers to newspapers (the name works both for the rolled-up shape and the relatively slow news delivery in the internet age)—and this offbeat commemoration is a good excuse to grab a piece of print.

  1. April 9: National Library Workers Day

    A day to honor the hardworking shushers and Dewey Decimal devotees who help us all on our reading journeys.

  1. April 10: National Siblings Day

    Celebrate the brothers and sisters who drive you mad and keep you sane—often all at the same time.

  1. April 11: Barbershop Quartet Day

    Consider a musical ode to these fearsome foursomes on their special day of the year.

  1. April 11: International “Louie Louie” Day

    "Louie Louie" is, by some accounts, the most recorded rock song in history. (The most famous version was recorded by The Kingsmen in 1963.) This year, celebrate this offbeat holiday by finally figuring out the lyrics.

  1. April 12: National Licorice Day

    A pile of black and red licorice
    iStock.com/icelandr

    This offbeat holiday—designed to celebrate black licorice specifically—will surely be a contentious commemoration. For those of you who cringed, please enjoy your Twizzlers.

  1. April 12: Drop Everything and Read Day

    Also known as D.E.A.R. Day, this holiday encourages you to abandon all prior commitments for the comfort of a good book. It also coincides with the birthday of children’s book author Beverly Cleary, who is a spokesperson for the event. Though marketed toward children, the celebration is open to everyone. 

  1. April 12: Walk On Your Wild Side Day

    Whatever “wild” means to you, today's the day to do it.

  1. April 13: National Scrabble Day

    Created by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938, Scrabble did not become a national phenomenon until the 1950s. It has since inspired less mobility-impaired games like Bananagrams and Words With Friends. But to honor the holiday, use a classic board and show off your robust vocabulary.

  1. April 14: National Reach as High as You Can Day

    National Reach as High as You Can Day is really about grounding yourself in reality. Don’t reach for the stars if you can’t actually touch them—know your limitations. Set attainable goals, and take pleasure in being just good enough.

  1. April 15: National That Sucks Day

    It's Tax Day and the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, so yeah, kind of sucky.

  2. April 16: National Stress Awareness Day

    Stressed out young woman pulling her hair out in front of a yellow background
    iStock.com/SIphotography

    Founded on the very cute notion that you are not aware of your stress.

  3. April 17: National Haiku Poetry Day

    Celebrate with your
    Own haiku that is likely
    Much better than mine.

  1. April 18: National High Five Day

    Make 'em count today, and don't forget to keep an eye on the elbow.

  1. April 18: Amateur Radio Day

    Observed every April 18, this holiday is for radio amateurs and pioneers worldwide. It also celebrates the anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union, which was formed in Paris in 1925.

  1. April 19: National Hanging Out Day

    Sadly, this is not a day to kick back and relax with some friends. Rather, it's a holiday encouraging people to hang out their laundry—and cut down on energy consumption by doing so.

  1. April 20: Lima Bean Respect Day

    Much like Rodney Dangerfield, the lima bean doesn’t get any respect. Well not today! Did you know lima beans are an excellent source of fiber? They also help balance your blood sugar and lower cholesterol. So give this bean a break and try extolling its more admirable qualities for the day.

  1. April 21: National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day

    A pair of bulldogs pose for a portrait
    iStock.com/Luka Lajst

    If you didn't already know this, you can see yourself out.

  1. April 22: National Jelly Bean Day

    When you grab a handful to celebrate this year, just make sure you don't get "BeanBoozled."

  1. April 22: Dyngus Day

    According to Buffalo’s official holiday website, “Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of Lent and the joy of Easter.” Some celebratory activities include men chasing around women to drench them with water, and hitting them with pussy willow branches. So basically, Dyngus Day is spring break.

  1. April 23: Talk Like Shakespeare Day

    We have of late, but wherefore we know not, lost all our mirth. What a perfect day to get it back! In honor of the Bard’s birthday, drop some thous and thees, master iambic pentameter, and cast people away by exclaiming “get thee to a nunnery!” Talk Like Shakespeare Day is the one time of year you can express yourself in rhyming couplets; wethinks thou oughtest useth the opportunity.

  1. April 23: World Book Night

    On Shakespeare's birthday passionate volunteers hand out books in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Germany.

  1. April 23: National English Muffin Day

    It may not be as flashy as a bagel, as versatile as sliced bread, or as controversial as a sliced bagel, but the English muffin deserves some serious accolades—as do its many nooks and crannies.

  2. April 25: World Penguin Day

    Antarctica gentoo penguins fighting
    iStock.com/Grafissimo

    Seriously, all the animal holidays are fine with us.

  3. April 25: International DNA Day

    Unlike many holidays in the Offbeat Family, DNA Day has formal U.S. Congressional recognition. On this day in 1953, scientists first published papers in Nature on the structural makeup of DNA [PDF]. In 2003, the Human Genome Project was declared to be nearly complete; the National Human Genome Research Institute has since developed activities and celebrations to honor the holiday.

  1. April 26: Hug An Australian Day

    It does not say they have to be human. Also: Learn some Australian slang while you’re at it.

  1. April 26: National Pretzel Day

    The beer is optional.

  1. April 26: National Hairball Awareness Day

    Don't become a statistic.

  1. April 27: National Go Birding Day

    Build bird feeders, bring your binoculars for a walk in the woods, or, if you live in the city, take a little extra time to notice all the pigeons.

  1. April 27: Morse Code Day

    Wartime Morse Code Communications
    iStock.com/cjp

    Break out your best dots and dashes, it’s the birthday of Samuel Morse—co-inventor of the eponymous Morse Code. These days any Joe Schmoe can try his hand at transmitting lights, clicks, and tones to send a secret message. But this system of communication used to be a highly specialized field that required a license and a proclivity for spying on communists.

  1. April 27: World Tai Chi And Qigong Day

    A day to calm your mind and discover that the seniors in your local park are in far better shape than you.

  1. April 30: National Honesty Day

    Remember when you celebrated National Tell-A-Lie Day a few weeks ago? Today, do the opposite.

  1. April 30: International Jazz Day

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is responsible for this holiday. Schools, communities, and even government organizations around the world will host programs to highlight the diplomatic role of jazz in bringing people together.

8 Ways Science Can Boost Your Halloween Fun

iStock
iStock

Halloween is all about embracing the supernatural, but science shouldn't entirely fall by the wayside during the spookiest of holidays. Here are a few ways it can actually improve your holiday, from making trick-or-treating easier to fooling your brain into thinking you're eating tasty treats even though you're nibbling on candy cast-offs.

1. Slow the decomposition of your Halloween jack-o'-lantern.

A Halloween display of five jack-o-lanterns
iStock

You don't have to be an expert gardener to keep your jack-o'-lantern looking fresh all Halloween season long. While scouting out pumpkins, pick hard, unblemished ones and steer clear of those with watery dark spots. These splotches indicate frost damage.

Hold off on carving until right before Halloween so your gourds won't rot—but if you can't resist, try squirting their exteriors with lemon juice after you're done slicing and dicing. The acid inhibits pumpkin enzymes, which react with oxygen and cause browning. A light misting of bleach solution will help keep fungus at bay. Some apply vegetable oil or Vaseline to prevent shriveling and drying. We experimented with various techniques in this video.

For extra TLC, you might even want to bring your jack-o'-lanterns in at night if temperatures dip; if you live in a hot and humid area, extend its life by placing it in the fridge overnight. Try using glow sticks or LED lights instead of flesh-singeing candles.

2. Use apps to plan a treat-or-treating route.

Three children in Halloween costumes trick-or-treating
iStock

Thanks to technology, trick-or-treaters (and their hungry adult companions) can now scout out which neighbors are doling out the best candy and which are sticking with Tootsie Rolls, apples, and toothbrushes. Simply download the app for Nextdoor, the neighborhood-based social network, to check out an interactive "treat map" that lets users tag whether their home is handing out treats, and what that treat is.

Since safety is far more important than sugar, guardians should also consider adding a tracking app to their arsenal come Halloween, especially if their kid's venturing out alone. The Find My Family, Friends, Phone app gives the real-time locations of trick-or-treaters, provides alerts for when they turn home, and also comes with a "panic" button that provides emergency contact details when pressed.

3. Optimize your candy's flavor (even if it's SweeTarts).

Hard candies and gummies strewn across a table
iStock

Not crazy about this year's Halloween loot? Fool yourself into thinking those black licorice pieces and peanut chews taste better than they actually do by eating them after you scarf down the chocolate and Sour Patch Kids. According to a 2012 study published in Psychological Science, being aware that these items of candy are your very last candies actually tricks the brain into appreciating them more (and thus thinking they're tastier than they really are).

Meanwhile, a 2013 study from the same journal found that creating a candy-eating ritual enhances flavor and overall satisfaction. Nibble the ridged edges off a Reese's peanut butter cup before tackling the creamy center, sort the M&Ms by color, and take your time unwrapping a chocolate bar.

4. Create a DIY fog machine with carbon.

Dry ice in a glass bowl
iStock

Save money at Party City by creating your own fog machine at home. When dropped in water, dry ice—or frozen carbon dioxide—creates a gas that's a combination of carbon dioxide and water vapor, but looks like the fog you'd see rolling through a haunted graveyard [PDF].

5. Eat sort-of-heart-healthy Halloween candy.

A stack of dark chocolate chunks on a dark stone background
iStock

Halloween candy isn't always bad for you. While shopping for this year's trick-or-treat bounty, steer clear of sugary confections and milk chocolate mini-bars. Opt for dark chocolate treats instead. Research suggests that our gut microbes ferment the antioxidants and fiber in cocoa, creating heart-healthy anti-inflammatory compounds. Plus, dark chocolate or cocoa also appears to help lower blood pressure for people with hypertension, decrease bad cholesterol, and stave off cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among other benefits.

6. Analyze data on Halloween candy trends and give the people what they want.

Lollipops
5second/iStock via Getty Images

Thanks to data science, you can make sure you're giving out the best treats on the block. Bulk candy retailer CandyStore.com combed through 10 years of data (2007 to 2016, with a particular focus on the months leading up to Halloween) to gauge America's top-selling sweets. They created an interactive map to display their results, which includes the top three most popular Halloween handouts in each state and Washington, D.C. Be prepared for plenty of stoop-side visitors and adorable photo ops.

7. Bake better Halloween treats with chemistry.

Frosted Halloween cookies shaped like ghosts and pumpkins
iStock

Cooking is essentially chemistry—and depending on your technique, you can whip up chewy, fluffy, or decadent Halloween treats according to taste.

Folding chunks of chilled butter into your dough will give you thick, cake-like cookies, as will swapping baking soda for baking powder. When butter melts, its water converts into gas, which leaves lots of tiny holes. If the butter flecks in question are colder and larger, they'll leave bigger air pockets. As for the baking powder, it produces carbon dioxide gas both when it's mixed into the dough and when it's heated. For an extra boost in texture, you can also try adding more flour.

Prefer chewier cookies? Start out with melted butter in the dough, and stick with plain old baking soda.

And for extra-fragrant and flavorful baked goods, opt to use dark sugars—like molasses, honey, and brown sugar—because they're filled with glucose and fructose instead of plain old sucrose. As cookies bake, they undergo two processes: caramelization, in which the sugar crystals liquefy into a brown soup; and the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between the dough's proteins and amino acids (flour, egg, etc.) and the reducing sugars that causes tasty browning.

8. Take deep breaths to stay calm in haunted houses.

A brown-haired woman in a red polka dot blouse standing with a frightened expression next to a spider web.
iStock

Halloween can be tough for people with anxiety or low thresholds for fear. While visiting a haunted house or watching a scary movie, remember to take deep breaths, which fends off the body's flight-or-fight response, and reframe your anxiety in your mind as "excitement." It's also a good idea to schedule spine-chilling activities after an activity that triggers feel-good endorphins—say, after a walk to check out your neighbors' awesome Halloween displays.

8 Adorable Products You Can Buy for International Sloth Day

Good Luck Socks/Intelex via Amazon
Good Luck Socks/Intelex via Amazon

It’s that time of the year again, folks—the time when we all collectively lose our chill over a slow-moving, two- or three-toed mammal with an adorable squeak and poop that defies physics. That’s right: International Sloth Day is coming on October 20. Here’s a list of must-have coloring books, onesies, and Christmas sweaters that you can pick up to showcase your love of one of the internet's favorite animals.

1. Cuddly Microwaveable Sloth; $23

Microwavable sloth for International Sloth Day.
Intelex/Amazon

Warm your heart and your body with a plush sloth that doubles as a soothing heating pad. The toy is filled with millet grains and dried French lavender, a combination intended to help you get to sleep easier.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hanging Ceramic Sloth Planter; $19

FattyBee Ceramic Sloth Planter.
FattyBee/Amazon

This flower planter pulls double duty, communicating both your love of sloths and your appreciation for plants. And it makes a tasteful piece of hanging home decor, too.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Sloth Coloring Book; $7

Sloth Coloring Book on Amazon.
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform/Amazon

Sloths themselves are already works of art, but you’d be forgiven for wanting a few more sloth-related crafts in your life. Now you can make your own masterpiece with this detailed coloring book. All you'll need are some colored pencils and you'll be ready to go.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Farting Sloth Coloring Book; $7

Sloth Farts Coloring Book on Amazon.
M & L Coloring Books/Amazon

But maybe traditional coloring books aren’t your thing. You’re in luck: Amazon sells a coloring book for the crowd that both loves sloths and laughs a little too much at farts.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Sloth Socks; $14

Sloth Socks on Amazon.
Good Luck Socks/Amazon

These socks are ideal for people who might not want to wear their love of sloths out in the open but are very comfortable showing it off on their ankles.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Sloth Onesie; $60

Tipsy Elves Sloth Onesie on Amazon.
Tipsy Elves/Amazon

No list of sloth-related products would be complete without a cozy onesie, and this one from Tipsy Elves is perfect for either pajamas or a last-minute Halloween costume. This onesie even comes with zippered pockets and cuddly sloth claws!

Buy it: Amazon

7. Sloth-Themed Ugly Christmas Sweater; $45


Tipsy Elves/Amazon

Why not celebrate the upcoming holiday season with this sloth-themed ugly Christmas sweater? You’re sure to be the hit of any holiday pub crawl or office Christmas party.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Sloth Mug; $13


Mika Mugs/Amazon

Really, what says it better than this mug? You just really freaking love sloths, and there’s nothing wrong with that, so be sure to declare your feelings along with your morning cup of coffee.

Buy it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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