30 Offbeat Holidays to Celebrate in June

iStock/CasarsaGuru
iStock/CasarsaGuru

The official start of summer is upon us! Let's celebrate all month long with some unconventional holidays.

1. June 1: Heimlich Maneuver Day

Named after the doctor who invented it, the Heimlich maneuver has seriously curbed the hazards of choking since its introduction in the 1970s.

2. June 1: Say Something Nice Day

Seems simple enough.

3. June 2: National Rocky Road Day

Rocky road ice cream in a waffle bowl
iStock/MSPhotographic

While this iconic ice cream flavor is generally associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure, its inception was the result of some pretty dire times. Recognizing the “rocky road” ahead for Americans after the Stock Market Crash of 1929, ice cream purveyor William Dreyer dreamed up this recipe as a temporary salve to the economic ills in the United States. Though some naysayers contest whether the credit for this cream-marshmallow-almond-chocolate chip recipe belongs 100 percent to Dreyer, few people will contest that Rocky Road ice cream is 100 percent delicious.

4. June 3: National Doughnut Day

No matter how you spell it (we're a doughnut family), today's the official day to celebrate this hole-iest of confections. This holiday, celebrated annually on the first Friday in June, was founded in 1938 to honor the role the sweet treat played in World War I. Members of the Salvation Army, who became known as "Doughnut Dollies," distributed donuts to soldiers to supplement their rations. Years later, during the Great Depression, the Salvation Army created the holiday to remember these earlier services and encourage fundraising by giving symbolic paper "donuts" out in exchange for donations. But these days people celebrate with the real thing.

5. June 3: National Leave the Office Early Day

You don’t have to tell us twice.

6. June 3: Chimborazo Day

An image of Ecuador's Mount Chimborazo
iStock/reisegraf

Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is the highest mountain on Earth (yep, higher than Mount Everest). Even though it's technically shorter with an elevation of 20,564 feet versus Everest's 29,029 feet, Chimborazo's location gives it a boost: the equatorial bulge means that its peak is farther away from the planet's center than anywhere else.

7. June 3: National Repeat Day

June 3: National Repeat Day.

8. June 4: Hug Your Cat Day

As if you needed an excuse!

9. June 5: Global Running Day

Whether you passionately love it or passionately hate it, few people feel neutral on the subject of running. In light of the positive passions, runners around the world take to the streets on the first Wednesday of every June to express their love of optional physical duress.

10. June 6: National Yo-Yo Day

A blue yo-yo against a red and black background
iStock/RapidEye

Donald F. Duncan had more to celebrate about his life than an amazing name; he helped popularize the yo-yo. Though technically invented by a man named Pedro Flores in the late 1920’s, the yo-yo didn’t hit the mainstream until the entrepreneurial Duncan purchased Flores’s Yo-Yo Toy Company, mass-produced this circular piece of plastic and string, and introduced it to the world. June 6th is believed to be Duncan’s birthday.

11. June 8: World Oceans Day

In 2008, the United Nations officially designated June 8 as a day to honor the part of the planet covered in water. Which is to say, most of it. Even before that it was celebrated by the Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network. These days, it's a growing global event with a focus on education and preservation.

12. June 8: Name Your Poison Day

Although this holiday is widely open to interpretation, we recommend no one take it literally. Instead, muster up the courage to boldly acknowledge the one vice in your life that you simply cannot resist no matter how terrible it may be for you. Unless said “poison” happens to be arsenic.

13. June 10: National Ballpoint Pen Day

Put away your quills, fountains, and felts, for today we honor the gravity-dependent ink dispenser we know as the ballpoint pen. It may not have the panache of a gel writing utensil, or the precision of a roller ball. But when it comes to getting ink onto paper and the bottoms of shirt pockets, ballpoints certainly get the job done.

14. June 12: National Jerky Day

A bowl of beef jerky
iStock/alisafarov

No explanation required: chew and be merry.

15. June 14: World Blood Donor Day

A holiday created to bring awareness to the immense amount of good you can do just by donating blood—find a drive near you today!

16. June 15: World Juggling Day

If you're coordinated and like party tricks but felt left out of National Yo-Yo Day, this offbeat holiday is for you—no clown costume required. It’s celebrated by juggling clubs around the world (presumably by juggling things).

17. June 16: Bloomsday

Each year, on the anniversary of the day that James Joyce's Ulysses takes place, fans of the author celebrate his life and work in cities around the world as part of a holiday named for the protagonist: Leopold Bloom.

18. June 17: National Eat Your Vegetables Day

You had better be prepared to finish those Brussels sprouts today if you know what’s good for you! Like Brussels sprouts, for example. They’re a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.

19. June 18: International Sushi Day

A plate of fresh sushi
iStock/muratkoc

Any food worth its salt, or umami, has its own holiday. But if you're looking for an excuse to eat sushi, June 18th seems as good a day as any other.

20. June 18: International Picnic Day

Since it falls during the workweek this year, International Picnic Day may also have to stand for International Personal Day. But a basketful of goodies, domestic or international, and a nice patch of grass will definitely be worth calling in with a mysterious “summer cold.”

21. June 19: World Sauntering Day

A man named W.T. "Bill" Rabe, a publicist allegedly rampant self-promoter, is said to have conceived this holiday in the 1970s on Mackinac Island, Michigan. According to Merriam-Webster, to saunter one must merely “walk about in an idle or leisurely manner.” So for all of you who balked at a running holiday, thank Rabe for providing a much more casual holiday for getting around.

22. June 21: Go Skateboarding Day

Founded by the International Association of Skateboard Companies (IASC) in 2003, this holiday coincides with the summer solstice.

23. June 21: Take Your Dog To Work Day

A Weimaraner at the office
iStock/Image Source Ltd

Created in 1999 by Pet Sitters International, this is a day intended to encourage people to adopt pets from animal shelters—presumably by making all your dog-less coworkers incredibly jealous.

24. June 22: National Onion Rings Day

National Onion Rings Day: for those of you who like your holidays deep-fried.

25. June 23: Let It Go Day

Technically not related to Disney's Frozen (but thematically relevant), this is a day for letting go of baggage and hang-ups, and it's a good opportunity to get that song stuck in your head for the next six months.

26. June 24: International Fairy Day

A relatively young holiday for a relatively old mythical creature, International Fairy Day was created by artist Jessica Galbreth for “believers, collectors, and the young at heart to celebrate all that is Fae and reconnect with their imagination and child-like wonder.”

27. June 26: Log Cabin Day

A log cabin in the woods
iStock/coryz

This holiday is all about reconnecting to a simpler, more quiet time. In lieu of a log cabin, maybe sit under a tree or don't check Twitter for five minutes?

28. June 27: National Handshake Day

Celebrate by reading up on the proper handshake etiquette from around the world.

29. June 28: National Eat At A Food Truck Day

The annual celebration gives you an excuse to support local businesses by chowing down on a gourmet donut or "mustache pretzel."

30. June 28: Insurance Awareness Day

Do you have insurance? If you answered that question, you just observed this holiday.

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

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