Calendar

Jul
14
Sat
Pandemonium Day
Jul 14 all-day

July 14 is Pandemonium Day, an annual celebration of chaos and disorder. Pandemonium Day is a reminder of the chaos and uncertainty that marks most of our lives.

Pandemonium-Day-Church Young mother overwhelmed by her kids. ©iStockphoto.com/Yobro10

Young mother overwhelmed by her kids.

The unofficial holiday encourages people to take a different look at upheavals and changes in their lives. It also inspires celebrators to find ways to take a pause from the daily grunt and find ways to bring order and equilibrium in their lives.

From Paradise Lost

The word pandemonium meaning a place of confusion or turmoil, comes from English poet John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost. First published in 1667, the epic was a collection of 10 books. In the poem, Pandæmonium or Pandemonium is the capital of Hell. Pandemonium comes from the Greek word, pan, meaning all and daimonion meaning inferior gods.

How to Celebrate?

  • Acknowledge that chaos is part of your life. The first step for sanity to return is to accept that pandemonium will always be part of your life.
  • Take measures to reduce the chaos and the stress that comes with it. Make a chore chart and stick to it, but don’t feel guilty if you are unable to accomplish a few chores once in a while.
  • Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. If the chaos feels overwhelming, ask for help from your family and friends.

Did You Know…

…that Milton wrote another epic poem called Paradise Regained as a sequel to Paradise Lost? Paradise Regained was published in 1671.

Jul
15
Sun
Gummi Worm Day
Jul 15 all-day

Held annually on July 15, Gummi Worm Day celebrates and honors these chewy and yummy creepy crawly sweet treats.

Gummi-Worm-Day-Church Colourful gummi jelly worm candies. ©bigstockphoto.com/bernashafo

Colourful gummi jelly worm candies.

Remember gummi worms? Yes, those delicious sour and sweet candies of your childhood that resembled worms? Remember how you ate them by the fistful just to gross out other adults? Well, now you can do that again once a year on Gummi Worm Day.

German Origins

Gummi worms are gelatin-based candies that look like colorful worms. They were first created and marketed by German candy company, Trolli, and are just one of the many gummi candies available in the market.

The first gummi (or gummy) candies were created in 1922 by another German candy company called Haribo. These were in the shape of bears and are now popularly known around the world as gummi bears.

How to Celebrate?

  • Treat yourself with a big bag of gummi worm candies.
  • Bring gummi worms to works and share them with your co-workers.
  • Learn how to make them at home from scratch.

Did You Know…

…that the word gummi comes from the German word, Gummi, meaning rubber?

Jul
18
Wed
Caviar Day
Jul 18 all-day

On July 18, take out your best vodka and pair it with some top-of-the-shelf caviar because it is Caviar Day. The unofficial holiday of unknown origins encourages people to try out the delicacy while promoting environmentally friendly and humane fishing practices.

Caviar-Day-Church Jar of black caviar and spoon with black caviar on dark background. ©bigstockphoto.com/Yastremska

Jar of black caviar and spoon with black caviar on dark background.

Considered to be a delicacy in many parts of the world, caviar is salt cured roe or fish eggs, usually from sturgeon. Traditionally, the term caviar was used to refer to roe from sturgeons from the Caspian Sea, though in recent years the roe of other fish found elsewhere are also commonly called caviar.

From Pig Feed to Luxury Food

Derived from the Persian word khaya meaning egg, caviar did not gain its status as a food for the rich and famous until the 1800s. Before that, even though sturgeon was a commonly eaten fish, its roe was considered worthless and routinely used as pig and animal feed. By the end of the 18th century however, caviar had found its way onto the dinner tables of royals around the world and had become a coveted food item. Today, caviar is considered to be a luxury food.

How to Celebrate?

  • If you have never tried caviar before, today is the day to take the plunge and try it. What is the worst that can happen? You may not like it, but at least you will know what it tastes like.
  • If you like caviar, why not have a caviar tasting party for your friends?

Did You Know…

…that the rarest and the most expensive caviar comes from the beluga sturgeon found in the Caspian Sea?

Jul
19
Thu
Stick Out Your Tongue Day
Jul 19 all-day

July 19 is Stick Out Your Tongue Day.

stick-out-your-tongue-day-church Sticking out one's tongue at someone else can mean different things in different cultures. ©bigstockphoto.com/Creatista

Sticking out one’s tongue at someone else can mean different things in different cultures.

It is unclear whether the anonymous inventor of this made-up holiday intended it to be a day for people to stick out their tongues at everyone they come across or for them to visit their doctors to get a general check-up.

It is also possible that the creator of this unofficial holiday created it to encourage people to defy odds and attempt things that they find difficult to do.

Many cultures consider sticking out the tongue at someone as a childish, rude and insulting gesture. In these cultures, when children stick out their tongue at adults, it is seen as an act of disobedience. In Tibet, however, sticking out one’s tongue is considered to be a polite form of greeting.

Perfectly Fine at the Doctor’s Office

There is one place where sticking out one’s tongue is not only considered ok, but can be sometimes essential – in a doctor’s office. The tongue, which is a muscle that helps humans in eating food and speaking, is also one of the many organs in the human body that doctors check to detect signs of illness.

Today, sticking out one’s tongue over the Internet or through text (or SMS) is done through emoticons, and seen as a way to express a point that should not be taken very seriously. The emoticon is written by typing a colon, followed by a dash and a capital (:-P).

How to Celebrate?

  • Stick out your tongue at people. Just let them know why you are doing it, lest they think of you as a terribly rude person.
  • If there are things that are bothering you, take this day to stick your tongue out at them.
  • If you are overdue for a general check-up, perhaps today is the day to visit the doctor and get a clean bill of health.
Jul
20
Fri
Space Exploration Day
Jul 20 all-day

On July 20, look up at the sky and think back on all the advances humankind has made in exploring and understanding space because it is Space Exploration Day.

Space-Exploration-Day-Church Space shuttle launch from Kennedy Space Center. ©bigstockphoto.com/kjwarden

Space shuttle launch from Kennedy Space Center.

The annual holiday commemorates the anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Americans astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on the surface of the Moon.

In 1984, the day was proclaimed a holiday by United States President Ronald Reagan. The proclamation also designated June 16-24 U.S. Space Observation in honor of the 9 days that Apollo 11 was in space. The fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program, Apollo 11 was launched from Florida on June 16. It returned to Earth with the 3 astronauts – Armstrong, Aldrin and Michael Collins on June 24.

Moon Day

The holiday, which is also sometimes called Moon Day, encourages people to learn more about space exploration. It attempts to inspire young adults to consider space sciences and space exploration as careers.

How to Celebrate?

  • Visit your local space and science museums and spend the day there learning about Space and our astronomical neighbors.
  • Join an astronomy club and participate in their Space Exploration Day activities.
  • If you have young children in your life, get them interested in Space and related fields by reading them books about Space and space technology.

Did You Know…

…that 12 people, including Armstrong and Aldrin, have walked on the surface of the Moon?

Jul
23
Mon
Vanilla Ice Cream Day
Jul 23 all-day

July 23 is Vanilla Ice Cream Day. Celebrate this unofficial holiday of unknown origins by eating as much vanilla ice cream as you want without any guilt.

Vanilla-Ice-Cream-Day-Church Vanilla ice cream is the most popular flavor of ice cream around the world ©bigstockphoto.com/Sparkia

Vanilla ice cream is the most popular flavor of ice cream around the world

Made by freezing a custard of cream or milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla beans or flavoring, vanilla ice cream is the most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States and Canada according to some surveys.

Recognizable Flavor

Vanilla is a flavoring that comes from the pods of the fruit of the vanilla orchid. A native plant of Mexico, vanilla was unknown to the the world outside Central America until the late 1600s. Today, it is one of the world’s most recognized flavors. The expression, plain vanilla, is used to refer to something that is commonplace and does not have any special or distinguishing characteristics.

Vanilla Ice Cream Day is also sometimes known as National Vanilla Ice Cream Day in the US.

How to Celebrate?

  • Do we need to say anything else other than it’s Vanilla Ice Cream Day! Eat as much ice cream as you can possibly eat.
  • Having pancakes of breakfast? Add a dollop of vanilla ice cream with it. Brownies for dinner? Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Smoothies for an after work out snack? Add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. Well, you get our point.

Did You Know…

…that vanilla is thought to be the world’s second most expensive spice? The most expensive spice in the world is saffron.

Jul
24
Tue
Cousins Day
Jul 24 all-day

Cousins are fun to be with – they are almost like your siblings but you don’t have to share all your prized possessions with them all the time. Celebrate them on Cousins Day, an annual celebration of the special bond you share with your cousins.

Celebrated every year on July 24, the unofficial holiday is also sometimes known as National Cousins Day.

cousins-day-church Give your cousins a big hug to celebrate Cousins Day. ©bigstockphoto.com/SerrNovik

Give your cousins a big hug to celebrate Cousins Day.

Shared Ancestors

In general, cousins are relatives with whom we share an ancestor, though in many cultures the term is commonly used to refer to the children of our aunts and uncles. In genealogy, which is the study of families and their history, a relationship between cousins – two people who have a common ancestor – is named after which generation they belong to.

The Many Different Types of Cousins

When cousins are from the same generation, they are known as first, second or third cousins. For example, first cousins are children of siblings – your uncle and aunt’s children will be your first cousins. The children of first cousins are second cousins, and the children of second cousins are third cousins.

On the other hand, when two people are not from the same generation, their relationship is described by adding the word removed. First cousin once removed, for example, is used to describe the relationship between a person and the children of his or her first cousin – your first cousin’s child will be your first cousin once removed. First cousin once removed can also be used to refer to a parent’s first cousin.

Confused? One easy way to remember is that once removed means that there is a separation of one generation between the two relatives. Twice removed means there are two generations between them. The same logic applies to other degrees of cousinhood.

How to Celebrate?

  • Send a note or message to your cousins wishing them a happy Cousins Day. Tell them that you love them and you care about them.
  • If you live close to your cousins, why not get together with them and their families and do something fun?
  • If your cousins live far away, you could video chat with them or talk to them over the phone.

Did You Know…

…that a genogram is a type of a family tree that includes medical, hereditary, and psychological information about the members of the family?

Jul
26
Thu
Uncle and Aunt Day
Jul 26 all-day

Honour all the awesome uncles and aunts in your life on Uncle and Aunt Day. The unofficial holiday is celebrated every year on July 26.

Uncle-Aunt-Day-Church This holiday is a good opportunity to tell your uncles and aunts how much you love them. ©iStockphoto.com/kevinruss

This holiday is a good opportunity to tell your uncles and aunts how much you love them.

Uncles and aunts are fun to spend time. They are just like parents except without the rules and regulations. They buy you gifts that your parents won’t, dote on you, take you to fun vacations and are a huge part of your support system. So, celebrate your uncles and aunts on Uncle and Aunt Day.

In many western cultures, the term uncle and aunt is reserved for close family members, related by marriage or through genetics. This is in contrast to several other cultures, especially in Africa, Asia and Middle East, where anyone who is from the generation of one’s parent is referred to as an uncle or aunt.

How to Celebrate?

  • Call your uncles and aunts or visit them to wish them a happy day.
  • Make them a nice meal or take them out to thank them for all the fun things you have done with them and learned from them.

Did You Know…

…that “say uncle” is a phrase popularly used in the United States and Canada and is usually used to concede defeat in a game or match?

Jul
27
Fri
Take your Pants for a Walk Day
Jul 27 all-day

July 27 is Take Your Pants For A Walk Day. Because the purpose or the origins of the day are unknown, we can only surmise that the unofficial holiday encourages people (in pants) to go out for a walk and enjoy the many benefits that walking provides.

take-your-pants-for-a-walk-day-church Go for a walk with your pants on. ©iStockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

Go for a walk with your pants on.

Studies have shown that walking at a medium to fast pace regularly can have tremendous mental and physical health benefits. Walking not only helps burn calories, but can also boost a person’s mood and can help treat depression. It also reduces the risk of a variety of health problems including obesity, diabetes and heart diseases.

How to Celebrate?

  • Get up early in the morning, wear your pants and go for a walk!
  • Walking with weights is known to increase the effectiveness of the exercise. SO why not fill a bag with all your pants and literally take them for a walk?

Did You Know…

… that the oldest historical records of pants dates back to 10th BCE China?

Aug
2
Thu
Ice Cream Sandwich Day
Aug 2 all-day

What is better than a scoop of ice cream on a hot (or cold or rainy or snowy) day? A scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two layers of cookies or cake. In other words, an ice cream sandwich!

ice-cream-sandwich-day-church Make your own ice cream sandwich today. ©bigstockphoto.com/ALein

Make your own ice cream sandwich today.

Celebrated every year on August 2, the unofficial holiday is also known as National Ice Cream Sandwich Day in the US.

Many countries around the world have their own version of the ice cream sandwich. In Iran for example, rose or pistachio flavored ice cream is sandwiched between two thin wafers, while in Vietnam, street vendors sell ice cream stuffed between two layers of bread.

How to Celebrate?

  • Visit your local ice cream shop and treat yourself to an ice cream sandwich.
  • Make your own ice cream sandwiches and share with your family and friends. All you need is some wafers, cookies or biscuits and some ice cream.
  • Experiment with different kinds of ice cream flavors and outside layers of the sandwich. What about making a chipwich, for example? It is an ice cream sandwich made of ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies.

Did You Know…

…that according to the International Dairy Food Association, chocolate mint ice cream is the second most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States, after vanilla?

Aug
5
Sun
Work Like a Dog Day
Aug 5 all-day

August 5 is Work Like a Dog Day, a day to work hard and to award people who work day and night and are very productive.

work-like-a-dog-day-church Work hard like a dog - or not at all - today. ©bigstockphoto.com/Javier Brosch

Work hard like a dog – or not at all – today.

The unofficial holiday celebrates the English language phrase, working like a dog, meaning to work very hard. It is believed that the idiom comes from the hard work that working dogs – herd dogs, hunting dogs, rescue and service dogs – put in during the day.

How to Celebrate?

  • Work hard. Put in extra hours at work, and who knows, you may be able to get in your boss’s good books.
  • Do you know someone who is a workaholic? Spend the day honoring the hard work they do and celebrate their contribution to the workplace and society by doing something nice for them.
  • Or, since most pet dogs don’t work much and prefer spending time lazing around, you could be a contrarian and celebrate Work Like a Dog Day by not doing any work at all!

Did You Know…

…that there are dogs that can’t bark? Basenji is a type of hunting dog native of central Africa that doesn’t bark but makes yodel like sounds.

Aug
7
Tue
British Columbia Day
Aug 7 all-day

The first Monday of August is known as British Columbia Day, BC Day or B.C. Day, in the province of British Columbia. It is a statutory holiday and gives Canadians in the province the chance to celebrate their achievements or relax with friends and family members.

British-Columbia-Day Church The Steller's Jay is the provincial bird of British Columbia. ©iStockphoto.com/BirdImages

The Steller’s Jay is the provincial bird of British Columbia.

What Do People Do?

In British Columbia many people use the long weekend to make short trips out of town and into one of the areas of beautiful scenery in this province. Some go camping, while others walk, hike or plan canoe trips. As the first Monday in August falls in the middle of the summer season, many people incorporate BC Day into their summer vacation or a plan it as part of a longer trip. In urban areas, particularly in Vancouver, various celebrations are organized. These include firework displays, parades and cultural festivals. Events are held to mark the achievements of people from Canada’s west coast in the areas of sport, technology, cuisine and Canadian-Japanese culture.

Public Life

BC Day is a statutory holiday in British Columbia and many people have a day off work. Post offices and many businesses and organizations, such as libraries, are closed. A few stores may be open depending on the local custom. Public transport services may be reduced or may not run at all. Schools are closed as the first Monday in August falls in the middle of the summer holiday period.

Background

Indigenous peoples have inhabited British Columbia, as described in their oral traditions. There are claims by the English to have explored the region in the 16th century, but it was the Majorcan-born Spanish navigator Juan José Pérez Hernández who did the first documented travel 1774. In 1778 English explorer James Cook reached Nootka Sound and set foot on British Columbian soil. There were several gold finds in British Columbia in the 1850s. The British colonial office responded to this situation by establishing British Columbia’s mainland as a crown colony in 1858, naming it the Colony of British Columbia. In 1871 British Columbia became the sixth province of the Dominion of Canada.

The British Columbia Day Act was first introduced to the Legislative Assembly in 1974. The aim of the Bill was to create a statutory holiday on the first Monday in August to recognize the pioneers in the province and the act gained royal assent in 1996.

Symbols

There are a number of symbols of British Columbia. These include the Steller’s Jay (a bird), the Pacific Dogwood (a flower), jade (a mineral), the Western Red Cedar (a tree) and the provincial tartan, which contains colors to represent many aspects of the province. Two important symbols of British Columbia are the flag and the coat of arms. The top part of the flag consists of a union flag with a crown in the center. These represent the colonial links with the country and monarch of the United Kingdom. The lower part of the flag consists of a setting sun on a background of blue and white waves. These represent the geographical location of the province on the west coast of Canada between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. These elements also appear in the coat of arms.

Aug
13
Mon
Left-Handers Day
Aug 13 all-day

August 13 is Left-Handers Day. Created in 1992 by the Left-Handers Club as a way to celebrate left-handers, the unofficial holiday aims to ‘raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages left-handers face’.

Left-Handers-Day-Church Celebrate the lefties in your life on Left-Handers Day. ©iStockphoto.com/reanas

Celebrate the lefties in your life on Left-Handers Day.

The day also encourages businesses and governments to be more left-handed friendly and adapt every-day objects for left-handed people.

10% are Left-Handed

Left-handed people use their left hands to carry out tasks that require the use of hands. About 10% of the world’s population is left-handed. Despite this, most equipment and day-to-day articles are designed and manufactured for the use of right-handed people – those who use their right hands to perform tasks.

The purpose of Left-Handers Day is to make the majority right-handers aware of the frustrations that left-handed people face while using devices designed for right-handed people. The day also encourages designers to think about the convenience of those whose left hand is their dominant hand.

Left-Handers Day is also sometimes known as International Left-Handers Day.

How to Celebrate?

  • Many organizations and public places in cities around the world create “lefty zones”, where every day objects are adapted for use by left-handed people. If you are a “lefty”, go celebrate your awesomeness at one such zone.
  • Take your right-handed friends with you to show them how difficult it can be to use objects not made for them.

Did You Know…

…that people who are ambidextrous can easily perfrom tasks and use devices with both their hands? Ambidexterity is rare and only occurs in about 1% of the population.

Aug
15
Wed
Relaxation Day
Aug 15 all-day

On August 15, take a day off from your daily routine, put your feet up and relax because it is Relaxation Day.

Relaxation-Day-Church Three children relaxing on the grass. ©iStockphoto.com/yaruta

Three children relaxing on the grass.

The origins of this holiday are unknown, though it is thought that the holiday began as National Slacker in Britain.

In the hustle bustle of their daily lives, most people often forget to slow down and take some time for themselves. This can create stress and other stress-related health issues like high blood pressure and heart problems.

Take a Deep Breath

Relaxation Day is a reminder that sometimes it is okay to take a deep breath, slow down and take it easy – not only does relaxation make you feel better about yourself, it can have long term health benefits!

So on this day, do things that help you relax and de-stress. Kick back and enjoy a cold beverage in your backyard, read a book while curled up with a hot cup of tea, sleep the whole day long, or take a warm bath and spend the day in your pajamas watching TV.

How to Celebrate?

  • Relax! Do whatever that you feel relaxes you, even if it is for a short while.
  • Use this day to do a digital detox. Unplug the computer, put away the phone and stay away from all social media. With no work emails to fret over and social dramas to be bothered with, you will feel the stress melt away.
  • Go to the spa for a day of pampering and some “me” time.
  • Take a leisurely walk in the park. Stop and smell the roses, walk barefoot on the grass, have a small picnic by yourself or read a book while people watching.
  • Learn a new skill like knitting or playing golf.

Did You Know…

…that in physics and chemistry, relaxation is a concept that refers to the movement of a system or a process from a state of disorder or disruption to equilibrium?

Aug
16
Thu
Tell a Joke Day
Aug 16 all-day

On August 16, make everyone around you giggle, guffaw, chortle, cackle or in other words, laugh, by telling them a joke because it is Tell A Joke Day.

tell-a-joke-day-fun-church Laughter is the best medicine on Tell a Joke Day. ©iStockphoto.com/Zhenikeyev

Laughter is the best medicine on Tell a Joke Day.

While the origins of this hilarious day are unknown, we can all safely assume that the creator of this unofficial holiday was aiming to make the world a happier place by encouraging people to tell and listen to jokes.

Different Jokes

A joke can be of different types. They can be verbal like in the case of a one-liner, a whole story or in the form a question and answer, where the answer provides the humor. Jokes can also be physical such as in the case of a prank or a practical joke, where the act rather than the words provide the humor. Either way, the main purpose of a joke is to entertain by providing humor, even though jokes can sometimes be used to make serious commentary like in the case of satire.

Jokes have been an integral part of human history and many a great minds have spent time and energy in trying to understand what makes jokes funny.

The day is known in the US as National Tell A Joke Day, and not to be confused with International Joke Day on July, 1.

How to Celebrate?

  • Every time you meet someone on this day, tell them a joke. Just make sure the jokes are appropriate to the setting.
  • Pick up a joke book and spend your lunch hour reading it.
  • Watch your favorite comedians do their thing either on TV or on stage and partake in a few hours of humorous entertainment.
  • Fancy yourself as a comedian? Why not take comedy and Improv classes to hone in your skills?
  • Play a harmless prank on your co-worker or friend.

Did You Know…

…that the study of laughter and humor and their therapeutic effects on the human body is known as Gelotology?

Aug
29
Wed
According to Hoyle Day
Aug 29 all-day

On August 29, honor expertise, authority and the rules because it is According to Hoyle Day. Named after the English language phrase, according to Hoyle, the unofficial holiday celebrates the life and times of Englishman Edmond Hoyle, who died on this day in 1769

according-to-hoyle-day-church Celebrate According to Hoyle Day with a game of Bridge. ©iStockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

Celebrate According to Hoyle Day with a game of Bridge.

A lawyer by trade, Edmond Hoyle is best known for publishing books detailing the rules and regulations of many popular card and board games of his time, including chess and backgammon. He is also known for writing an authoritative pamphlet on the card game of Whist.

Game of Skills

Whist is a trick card game played by two teams of two players each. The card game evolved from a previous game called Ruff and Honors and is the predecessor of Bridge. Popular in the 18th and the 19th century, the game required mathematical and logical skills.

Appeal to Authority

The phrase according to Hoyle came from the authoritative books Hoyle wrote on the rules and regulations of games. When people played these games and made a play that was questioned, they could invoke Hoyle’s rules by saying “according to Hoyle…”. Today, the phrase is used generally to suggest expertise or the highest authority on a subject matter.

How to Celebrate?

  • Play a game of Whist by following Hoyle’s rules. Don’t know how? Today is a good excuse to learn!
  • Are you an expert on a subject? Why not spend the day jotting your thought about the subject?

Did You Know…

…the word Whist comes from whisk, from whisking or moving the cards during the game?

Sep
5
Wed
Cheese Pizza Day
Sep 5 all-day

September 5 is Cheese Pizza Day, a day to indulge in a slice (or two) of the classic and simple cheese pizza.

cheese-pizza-day-church Cheese pizza may be one of the simplest kinds of pizza, but it is no less delicious. ©bigstockphoto.com/Milkos

Cheese pizza may be one of the simplest kinds of pizza, but it is no less delicious.

While the origins of this fun food holiday are unknown, we can all safely assume that it encourages people to pay homage to the humble but delicious pizza pie covered with only tomato sauce, seasonings and cheese.

Hearty Italian Dish

Italian in origin, a pizza is a hearty dish made of rolled out dough topped with tomato, cheese, vegetables or meats, which is baked in an oven before being served. It is believed that the pizza as we know it today originated in Naples, Italy. A Traditional Speciality Guaranteed product in Europe, the Neapolitan pizza is made with tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese. This means that only pizzas made in Naples can be called Neapolitan pizza in the European Union and the rest of Europe.

Fit for a Queen

Legend has it that a variant of Neapolitan pizza, the Margherita, was created by pizza maker Raffaele Esposito in 1889 to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. The pizza represented the national colors of the flag of Italy with the use of tomato, mozzarella and basil.

How to Celebrate?

Celebrating Cheese Pizza Day, which is also sometimes known as National Cheese Pizza Day in the United States, is easy. Here are some ways to celebrate this delicious holiday:

  • Make your own cheese pizza at home from scratch. Experiment with different types of cheese. Perhaps you could try replacing the mozzarella with blue cheese, brie or some creamy goat cheese?
  • Have cheese pizza for all your meals. Start with a breakfast pizza, with feta cheese, bacon and eggs. Have a classic cheese pizza for lunch, and a gourmet cheese pizza with your favorite meat and vegetable toppings for dinner. End the day with a dessert pizza – pizza with cream cheese, chocolate and berries.
  • Visit your favorite pizza place and treat yourself to a slice or two of their cheese pizza.

Did You Know…

…that tomato wasn’t a staple addition to the pizza until the 1700s? Tomatoes only became popular with pizza lovers in Italy in the 1900s. Before that, they were thought to be poisonous and unfit for consumption.

Labour Day In Canada
Sep 5 all-day

Labour Day in Canada is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It originally gave workers the chance to campaign for better working conditions or pay. The day is now part of a long weekend for many Canadians.

Labour-Day Church Labour Day is a time when many Canadians can relax and unwind from work or studies. ©thinkstockphoto.com

Labour Day is a time when many Canadians can relax and unwind from work or studies.

What Do People Do?

Traditionally, Labour Day was an occasion to campaign for and celebrate workers’ rights during parades and picnics organized by trade unions. These still play a role in Labour Day for some Canadians, but many people see the first Monday in September as an opportunity to take a late summer trip, perhaps to their country cottage, or enjoy the company of family or friends at picnics, fairs, festivals and fireworks displays. For teenagers and other students, the Labour Day weekend is the last chance to celebrate with a party or to go on a trip before school re-opens for the new academic year.

Canadian football fans may spend a large proportion of the weekend watching the Labour Day Classic matches live or on television. The Labour Day Classic consists of three games between high ranking teams in the Canadian Football League. One match is played on the Sunday before Labour Day and two on Labour Day.

Public Life

Post offices, many businesses, and many organizations are closed on Labour Day in Canada. Schools and other educational establishments are also closed, as Labour Day falls at the end of the summer holiday period. Many public transport services run to a reduced or “Sunday” service, although others may not run at all. There may be some local disruption to traffic around parades, particularly in Toronto, and some congestion on highways and at airports as people return form late summer vacations or trips.

Background

The origins of Labour Day can be traced back to April 15, 1872, when the Toronto Trades Assembly organized Canada’s first significant demonstration for worker’s rights. The aim of the demonstration was to release the 24 leaders of the Toronto Typographical Union who were imprisoned for striking to campaign for a nine-hour working day. At this time, trade unions were still illegal and striking was seen as a criminal conspiracy to disrupt trade. In spite of this, the Toronto Trades Assembly was already a significant organization and encouraged workers to form trade unions, mediated in disputes between employers and employees and signaled the mistreatment of workers.

There was enormous public support for the parade and the authorities could no longer deny the important role that the trade unions had to play in the emerging Canadian society. A few months later, a similar parade was organized in Ottawa and passed the house of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John Macdonald. Later in the day, he appeared before the gathering and promised to repeal all Canadian laws against trade unions. This happened in the same year and eventually led to the founding of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1883.

Labour Day was originally celebrated in the spring but it was moved to the fall after 1894. A similar holiday, Labor Day is held on the same day in the United States of America. Canadian trade unions are proud that this holiday was inspired by their efforts to improve workers’ rights. Many countries have a holiday to celebrate workers’ rights on or around May 1.

Nov
11
Sun
Remembrance Day in Canada
Nov 11 all-day

Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices of people in all armed conflicts.

remembrance-day-church  Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices that Canadians made in armed conflicts, including World Wars I and II. ©iStockphoto.com/James Warren


Remembrance Day commemorates the sacrifices that Canadians made in armed conflicts, including World Wars I and II.

What Happens on Remembrance Day?

Many people wear artificial poppies on their clothes in the weeks before Remembrance Day. Red poppies symbolize the memory of those who died and white poppies campaigns for non-military interventions in conflict situations. On November 11, special church services are organized. These often include the playing of “The Last Post”, a reading of the fourth verse of the ‘Ode of Remembrance’ and two minutes silence at 11:00 (or 11am). After the service, wreaths are laid at local war memorials.

The official Canadian national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, according to a strict protocol. A service is held and wreaths are laid by armed services representatives. In May 2000 the remains of a Canadian soldier who died in France in World War I, but was never been identified, were laid in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.

Since then, members of the public have laid poppies, letters and photographs on the tomb. Similar services and events are held throughout Canada. Some schools that are open on Remembrance Day hold special assemblies, lessons and presentations on armed conflicts and those who died in them.

What’s Open or Closed?

The federal government recognizes Remembrance Day in the Holidays Act as a national holiday, but not all provinces treat it as a paid statutory holiday. Its status varies by province.

Manitoba

Manitoba retail business is prohibited between 9am and 1pm on Remembrance Day, with exception to professional health services, goods or services relating to:

  • Living accommodation or prepared meals.
  • Veterinary services.
  • Drugs, medicines, surgical appliances, or infant formula.
  • Gasoline, motor oil or related products.
  • Or parts and services for emergency repairs to a vehicle.

Remembrance Day is not a general holiday under Manitoba’s labour legislation but most industries in Manitoba are not allowed to operate that day, with some specified exceptions.

Ontario

In Ontario, some employers give their employees a holiday on Remembrance Day, but they are not require to do so under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

Quebec

Remembrance Day is also not a statutory holiday in Quebec, although corporations that are federally registered may make the day a full holiday, or instead, designate a provincially recognized holiday on a different day. When Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday or Saturday that is a non-working day, workers are entitled to a holiday with pay on the working day immediately preceding or following the general holiday.

Nova Scotia

Remembrance Day is governed by the Remembrance Day Act in Nova Scotia. Some employees may be entitled to a benefit. Employees required to work on Remembrance Day in Nova Scotia get an alternate day off with pay, except for those types of businesses that are exempt from the Act. Employees who do not work that day, do not get paid for the day, unless the employer offers pay as an added benefit. Remembrance Day must be observed on the actual date.

About Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the official end of the World War I hostilities on November 11, 1918. World War I was a massive conflict was played out over the whole globe, but particularly in Europe, where troops from Canada supported the Allied forces.

World War I resulted in the loss of huge numbers of lives amongst both civilians and military personnel. Many more people were badly injured. The war left great emotional scars in the servicemen, who had experienced it, and in the communities, whose sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and even grandfathers had died. Remembrance Day commemorates those who died in armed conflicts, particularly in and since World War I.

In Canada, November 11 is officially called Remembrance Day, but it is also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day. Remembrance Day is commemorated in many countries, particularly members of the Commonwealth, including Australia and New Zealand (where it is also referred to as Armistice Day). In the United States, Veterans Day falls on the same date. In the United Kingdom, the Sunday closest to November 11 is known as Remembrance Sunday.

Symbols

Remembrance Day is symbolized by the artificial poppies that people wear and place at war memorials. The poppies may be worn or placed singly or as wreaths. The use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance comes from a poem written by John McCrae, a Canadian doctor serving in the military. The poem is called In Flanders Fields and describes the poppies growing in the Flemish graveyards where soldiers were buried.

Poppies grow well in soil that has been disturbed. They also grew in large numbers on battle fields. The red color of their petals reminded people of the blood lost by victims of and casualties in the conflict. Some people choose to wear white poppies to campaign for non-military interventions in conflict situations.

Other symbols of Remembrance Day are the war memorials, which are often near the geographical center of communities. These commemorate members of the community, who have died in military action. A particularly well-known memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa, Ontario. The military parades held on November 11 are also symbolic of Remembrance Day.

Note:  For more information on the day, government sources such as Veterans Affairs Canada have a more detailed account.

Nov
21
Wed
World Hello Day – Promote Peace
Nov 21 all-day

World Hello Day on November 21 is an unofficial holiday created to promote world peace through interpersonal communication.

world-hello-day-church Say "hello" to everyone you meet on World Hello Day. ©iStockphoto.com/Maridav

Say “hello” to everyone you meet on World Hello Day.

The unofficial holiday was created by Brian and Michael McCormack as a response to the Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egyptand Syria in 1973.

Say Hello

The purpose of World Hello Day is simple – to encourage communication and dialogue between people of different backgrounds in order to achieve peace and understanding.

Since its beginning in 1973, the day has been celebrated around the world annually with several Nobel Peace Prize winners and peace activists taking part in it.

How to Celebrate?

  • World Hello Day requires that participants greet at least 10 people. These people can be family and friends, but it is suggested that one finds strangers to greet and talk to.

Did You Know…

…that hello was used as a telephone greeting for the first time by Thomas Edison?

Dec
8
Sat
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 8 all-day

Many Christians, particularly those of Catholic faith, in Canada observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on or around December 8.

feast-of-the-immaculate-conception-st-stephens-church  Various statues and other forms of artwork on the Immaculate Conception often feature the Virgin Mary as a young woman. ©iStockphoto.com/Domenico Pellegriti


Various statues and other forms of artwork on the Immaculate Conception often feature the Virgin Mary as a young woman.

What Do People Do?

Some churches in Canada, particularly the Catholic churches, hold special services (or masses) to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on or close to December 8. The feast focuses on the concept that the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin. Many churches that observe the Feast of the Immaculate Conception are busy preparing for the occasion prior to its occurrence.

Many church-run schools teach their students about the observance and its meaning around this time of the year. Some people write feature articles about the observance in publications or gazettes that are centered on the theme of religion.

Public Life

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is an observance among many Christian churches but it is not a nationwide public holiday in Canada.

Background

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception centers on the belief that Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary, was conceived without sin. Pope Pius IX issued an apostolic constitution, known as the Ineffabilis Deus, on December 8, 1854. This document clarified the importance of the Immaculate Conception in the Catholic Church.

Symbols

Various paintings, statues and other forms of artwork have been made depicting the Immaculate Conception. Images of the Virgin Mary are shown in many of these artworks. Some churches and church-run schools in Canada are named in honor of the Immaculate Conception.

Conception Bay, in Newfoundland and Labrador, is named to commemorate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. People from Europe came to this area as far back as the early 1500s to use the bay for its rich marine resources.