Calendar

Feb
14
Wed
Valentine’s Day in Canada
Feb 14 all-day

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for people in Canada to tell somebody that they love them in a romantic way. It falls on February 14, the name day of two saints, St Valentine of Rome and St Valentine of Terni. In pre-Christian times, the middle of February was a time of pagan fertility festivals in Europe and allegedly the time when birds chose a mate.

valentine's-day-church Romantic dinners are a popular way to celebrate Valentine's Day. ©iStockphoto.com/g_studio

Romantic dinners are a popular way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
©iStockphoto.com/g_studio

What Do People Do?

Many people send letters, cards, presents and gifts to the person with whom they have or want to have a romantic relationship. Valentine’s Day cards are often red or pink and decorated with images of hearts, red roses, teddy bears, presents or happy couples kissing or embracing. They may be in brightly colored, perhaps pink or red, envelopes.

Many people give gifts to loved ones on Valentine’s Day. Common gifts are:

  • Flowers, particularly red roses.
  • Chocolates and/or candy.
  • Teddy bears.
  • Toy hearts.
  • Sparkling wine.
  • Cosmetics.
  • Clothing, including lingerie.
  • Jewelry.

Some people celebrate Valentine’s Day lavishly. They may treat their partner to a themed meal in a restaurant or a night in a luxury hotel. Others may take short breaks or vacations on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day can also be an occasion for a more general celebration of love and appreciation of people who are personally important to an individual. School children may help decorate their classrooms with hearts and spring birds and make cards or presents for their parents. Stores may also sell Valentine’s Day themed cakes, cookies or candy. Teenagers and young adults may hold Valentine’s Day parties or dances on or near February 14.

Public Life

Valentine’s Day is not a public holiday. Schools, businesses, organizations, post offices and stores are open as usual. Public transport services run to their usual timetables. Restaurants and hotels may be busy as many people take out their partner for a romantic meal or night away in a hotel.

Background

The origins of Valentine’s Day are not clear. It is thought that there were a number of local fertility festivals in Europe in pre-Christian times. These were often in the middle of February. Many people also thought that birds chose their mates at this time of year. Around the year 1380, the English poet Chaucer wrote a poem for the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. This is thought to be the first association between celebrations of romantic love and St Valentine’s Day on February 14. The connection remained important throughout the middle ages.

In the mid-19th century, there was an increase in interest in Valentine’s Day, first in the United States, then in Canada. It was promoted by manufacturers of paper lace and cards as a means of increasing their sales. Gradually, this date was seen as an occasion for a man to present gifts to a woman with whom he had or would like to have had a romantic relationship.  It was also customary for lovers to exchange handwritten notes. These have now largely been replaced by commercially produced cards.

Symbols

The most common symbols of Valentine’s Day are heart shapes, which are used to decorate many things, including cards, trees, wrapping paper, cookies and gift boxes. Other symbols associated with February 14 are pairs of birds, cute teddy bears, Cupid and his arrows and couples kissing or embracing. The colors red and pink are often associated with Valentine’s Day.

Mar
14
Wed
Good Friday in Canada
Mar 14 all-day

Good Friday occurs two days before Easter Sunday. It is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which plays an important part in the Christian faith. It is also a statutory holiday in all Canadian provinces and territories except Quebec, where it is partially observed.

Good Friday Church

Good Friday Church A depiction of Jesus on the cross.

What Do People Do?

Christians may attend special church services, even if they do not attend church regularly during the rest of the year. Good Friday is a day of mourning and quiet prayer among many Christians. The candles are often extinguished and statues, paintings and crosses may be draped in black, purple or gray cloth. Some Catholics observe a partial fast on Good Friday and do not eat any meat.

Hot cross buns are a traditional treat on Good Friday. These are small bread-like buns, made from dough that contains raisins, currants and other dried fruit. The top of a hot cross bun is marked with a cross and covered with a sugar glaze. The cross may be cut into the bun or marked with a special dough that remains pale even after it has been baked. Hot cross buns may be eaten as they are, split and spread with butter or toasted.

For Canadians who are not Christians Good Friday is the start of a three or four-day weekend. This is a welcome spring break, which some people use to visit family or friends. It is also a popular time to take a short vacation.

Public Life

Good Friday is a public holiday at a national level in Canada. Schools and many businesses and organizations are closed and many people have a day off work. Post offices are closed and in some areas, particularly in the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, stores are closed or have restricted opening hours. Public transport services many run to their usual or restricted timetables. In rural areas, public transport may close down completely.

In Quebec, Good Friday or Easter Monday are a statutory general holidays at the option of the employer. Schools and post offices are closed. Public transport services many run to their usual or restricted timetables. In rural areas, public transport may close down completely.

Background

Good Friday is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. This is an important event in Christianity, as it represents the sacrifices and suffering in Jesus’ life. The crucifixion was the culmination of a number of events in Holy Week, including: the triumphal return of Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus; and the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

On Good Friday in 1964 (March 27), a large earthquake occurred when a fault between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates ruptured. The epicenter of the earthquake was near Prince William Sound in Alaska, USA, but also caused a tsunami. This damaged or destroyed more than 400 homes in communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, including Port Alberni and Zeballos.

Symbols

The most important Good Friday symbol is the crucifix, or cross, which represents the way Jesus died. Some crosses bear a figure of Christ. Other symbols of Good Friday include black cloth used to cover the cross, paintings and statues in churches and some homes to signify mourning. In addition, some people deliberately create a bare appearance in their homes and churches by removing all flowers and shiny objects.

Mar
15
Thu
Holy Saturday
Mar 15 all-day

Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus Christ lay in the tomb after his death, according to the Christian bible. It is the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter Sunday. It is also known as Easter Eve, Easter Even, Black Saturday, or the Saturday before Easter.

Holy Saturday Church

Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus (sculpture of him pictured above) lay in his tomb after he died. He was resurrected on Easter Sunday, the day after Holy Saturday, according to Christian belief.
©iStockphoto.com/Edward Lin

What Do People Do?

Many Christians worldwide observe Holy Saturday by remembering it as the day when Jesus lay in the tomb. It is a day of both sadness and joy among Christians in many cultures. Many churches hold an Easter vigil (watch) service. Discussions about the meaning behind the rituals, prayer and symbols that are all part of the Easter vigil occur during these services. Some churches also hold large baptism services on this day.

Holy Saturday is known as Judas Day in Mexico, where people burn effigies of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Street vendors sell the effigies, which range in height, and make Judas look as ugly as possible. Effigies designed for children are stuffed with candy and hung in patios at people’s homes. Other effigies are seen on the streets or hung on lamp posts. Firecrackers are attached to many of these effigies and are ignited as soon as the Mass of Glory is over. Children scramble for the candy inside the effigies after they explode.

A Czech custom, known as White Saturday, is to rattle keys and burn out Judas by burning the last of the holy oil before the church door. Holy Saturday is observed by the blessing of food and Easter baskets in Poland. Children in many countries spend time decorating and coloring eggs on the Saturday before Easter Sunday.

Public Life

Holy Saturday is a public holiday in many parts of Australia (where it is known as Easter Saturday), and in places such as (but not exclusive to):

  • Belize.
  • Chile.
  • El Salvador.
  • Hong Kong.
  • Macau.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Panama.
  • Papua New Guinea.
  • Samoa.
  • Seychelles.
  • Solomon Islands.
  • Zambia.                    
  • Zimbabwe.

Holy Saturday is not a national public holiday in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Background

Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and ends the season of Lent. It is also known as the Vigil of Easter. The day is traditionally a time of reflection and waiting. The vigil stems back to when Jesus’ followers spent this day waiting after his crucifixion on Good Friday. It is also known as the day when Roman governor Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ followers from removing the body to claim that he had risen from the dead.

Holy Saturday was also known as Great or Grand Saturday, as well as the Angelic Night. It was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted in the early days of the Christian church. According to some sources, fasting occurred during the entire day or lasted for 40 hours before the Easter Sunday sunrise during the first century CE. This day was a major day for baptisms in the early church. Many churches still hold large services for baptisms on Holy Saturday.

Some people refer to Holy Saturday as Easter Saturday but this is a misnomer, as Holy Saturday is the last day of Lent and the eve of Easter. The Saturday after Easter Sunday is known as Easter Saturday, or Bright Saturday. It is important to note, however, that Holy Saturday is often referred to as Easter Saturday by some government sources in countries such as Australia.

Symbols

The Paschal candle, which is made of white wax, symbolizes leading people out of the darkness into the celebration of the Easter vigil. The candle is marked with a cross, an alpha and an omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet). This symbolizes that Jesus Christ has, and always will be with humanity, and is with humanity now, according to Christian belief.

Mar
16
Fri
Easter Sunday
Mar 16 – Mar 17 all-day

Easter Sunday in Canada celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his death, which is described in the Christian Bible. Some people observe Easter Sunday by attending church while others spend time with their families and friends or engage in Easter egg activities.

Easter Sunday Canada Church

Easter eggs are part of the Easter tradition in Canada.

What Do People Do?

Easter is a religious holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death by crucifixion. For Christians, Easter is a day of religious services and family gatherings. Easter Day is a popular day for attending church, getting together for a big family meal, and staging an Easter egg hunt. It is also a good time for people to decorate Easter eggs, join in Easter craft contests and to indulge in holiday recipes, such as mustard-crusted lamb and the Easter basket cake.

The Bal en Blanc’s main event is held every Easter Sunday, attracting thousands of partygoers every year in Montreal.

Public Life

Many businesses, government offices, banks and liquor stores are closed on Easter Sunday.

Background

Many people organized spring festivals associated with the Pagan gods in ancient times. Many festivals celebrated nature’s rebirth, the return the land to fertility and the birth of many young animals.The idea of modern day Easter eggs derives from these festivals.

Many ideas associated with spring were then linked with Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection as the Christianity spread throughout the world. The crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday and the resurrection on Easter Sunday. The idea of the resurrection became joined up with the ideas of re-birth in Pagan beliefs. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Symbols

Easter candles are sometimes lit in churches on the eve of Easter Sunday. Some believe that these can be directly linked to the Pagan customs of lighting bonfires to welcome the rebirth or resurrection of the sun god.

Eggs of all types are an important symbol of Easter. They represent the rebirth of nature in the spring and the promise of new life in the spring and summer months to come and are seen as a reflection of the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion. Easter eggs, whether they are made of chocolate or candy or are decorated hens eggs, are common gifts all over the world during Easter. However, the biggest Easter egg in the world is a representation of a Ukrainian Easter egg, known as a Pysanka, located in Vegreville, Alberta.

The Pysanka in Vegreville was constructed in 1974 to mark the centenary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and to celebrate Vegreville’s strong links with the Ukraine. It is made of more than 2000 aluminium triangles fixed together with nearly 7000 bolts and 177 internal struts. The egg is more than 25 feet (nearly eight meters) in diameter and is decorated with a gold, silver and bronze design. Its construction represented significant advances in computer modeling, mathematical theory, architectural design and engineering construction.

Mar
17
Sat
Easter Monday
Mar 17 all-day

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday, which commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection, according to the Christian Bible. Easter Monday is also a holiday for many Canadians.

Easter Monday Church

A basket of Easter eggs.
©iStockphoto.com/Shannon Long

Celebrate Easter Monday

A proportion of Canadians have a day off work on Easter Monday and for some it is the end of a four-day weekend. People who have been on a short vacation or who have visited family or friends often travel home on Easter Monday. For others, it is a chance to eat their easter eggs, relax and, depending on the weather and when Easter falls, enjoy some time outdoors.

Public Life

The Canadian federal government lists Easter Monday as a statutory holiday but this isn’t the case with some provincial and territorial governments. Some state that the holiday is taken at the employer’s option. Rules about this holiday change and vary across businesses and provinces/territories from time to time.

Schools, businesses and organizations are closed in places where Easter Monday is a day off. Public transport services may run to reduced timetables. In rural areas, there may be no public transport services.

About Easter Monday

Easter Monday is a holiday in many English speaking countries, including England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Australia, and European counties. The tradition of having a holiday on the day after Easter Sunday was brought to Canada by European immigrants. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Symbols

Eggs of all types are an important symbol of Easter. They represent the rebirth of nature in the spring and the promise of new life in the spring and summer months to come and are seen as a reflection of the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion. Easter eggs, whether they are made of chocolate or candy or are decorated hens eggs, are common gifts all over the world during Easter. However, the biggest Easter egg in the world is a representation of a Ukranian Easter egg, known as a Pysanka, located in Vegreville, Alberta.

The Pysanka in Vegreville was constructed in 1974 to mark the centenary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and to celebrate Vegreville’s strong links with the Ukraine. It is made of more than 2000 aluminium triangles fixed together with nearly 7000 bolts and 177 internal struts. The egg is more than 25 feet (nearly eight meters) in diameter and is decorated with a gold, silver and bronze design. Its construction represented significant advances in computer modeling, mathematical theory, architectural design and engineering construction.

Jun
2
Sat
Meteor Watch Day
Jun 2 all-day

June 30 is Meteor Watch Day, a day to look up at the skies and behold the wonder of nature’s celestial fireworks, meteors

Meteor-Watch-Day-Church A shooting star goes across a cobalt blue star filled winter night with an apple tree silhouetted in the foreground. ©bigstockphoto.com/Faux Toe

A shooting star goes across a cobalt blue star filled winter night with an apple tree silhouetted in the foreground.

Commonly known as shooting stars, meteors are space particles known as meteoroids that burn up with a flash of light when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Even though meteors can only be seen by the naked eye when it is dark, meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere all the time. It is estimated that about 20 to 25 million meteors weighing about 100 tons in total enter the Earth’s atmosphere every day!

Meteor Showers

Meteors can sometimes enter the Earth in clusters. When this happens the event is known as a meteor shower. Some meteor showers occur at the same time every year.

The unofficial holiday is also sometimes called National Meteor Watch Day or Meteor Day.

How to Celebrate

  • Have a meteor watching party with friends – grab a blanket, find a good spot to spread it, lay down on it and gaze over the night sky – you may be able to spot a meteor or two.
  • Remember to check the weather before you step out of the house and always wear weather appropriate clothing.

Did You Know…

…that meteors that enter the Earth’s atmosphere and hit the ground are called meteorites?

Jun
22
Fri
Onion Ring Day
Jun 22 all-day

Celebrate the delicious deep fried snack on June 22, Onion Ring Day.

Onion-Ring-Day-Church Breaded onion rings in a basket. ©bigstockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

Breaded onion rings in a basket.

Commonly found in most bar menus in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia, onion rings are made by breading and deep frying rings of onions. Onion rings are usually served with ketchup or some other form of dip or sauce.

Found Around the World

Some food historians believe that this snack was first created sometime in the 1930s in the United States, though versions of the dish can be found in many other parts of the world. In India for example, strips of onions are battered and fried and then served as a roadside snack.

A blooming onion is a whole onion that is cut in a shape of a flower and then battered and deep fried. This version of a fried onion was first served in the late 1980s in a chain restaurant in the United States.

How to Celebrate?

  • Have onion rings for all your meals. Make it more interesting by creating different dipping sauces for each meal.
  • Health conscious? What about baking onion rings instead of deep-frying them?

Did You Know…

…that people in Libya consume more onions than people in any other country?

Jun
23
Sat
Typewriter Day
Jun 23 – Jun 24 all-day

June 23, the anniversary of the granting of a patent to American inventor Christopher Latham Sholes in 1868 is celebrated around the world as Typewriter Day. So, take out your old typewriter from the attic, dust it and get started on your magnum opus!

Typewriter-Day-Church A young man typing in an old typewriter at the beach. ©bigstockphoto.com/nito

A young man typing in an old typewriter at the beach.

A typewriter is a mechanical device that allows users to type directly on a sheet of paper. While many people had been working on different prototypes of typewriters before 1868, Christopher Latham Sholes’ typewriter was the first one to be commercially marketed. Known as the Sholes and Glidden typewriter or the Remington 1 typewriter, the device could only type uppercase letters.

Revolutionary Device

Typewriters revolutionized the world of communications. Letters and correspondences looked more professional, followed a consistent format and were more legible when typed out on a typewriter compared to handwritten communications that dominated the workplace in the past. In addition to creating an efficient and more organized workspace, the use of typewriters in businesses and governments worldwide meant that typing became a required skill for many jobs. A large percentage of these jobs were administrative in nature and were usually done by women, who were specifically hired for their typing skills – the typewriter played an very important role in opening up workspaces for women.

How to Celebrate?

  • Organize a typewriting contest – whoever types the fastest and with the least number of errors wins.
  • Show your typewriter pride by wearing typewriter shaped jewelry.
  • Avoid using your computer and email, type letters and send them in the post/ mail.

Did You Know…

…that most typewriters and computers today share the same keyboard layout?

Jun
24
Sun
Take Your Dog to Work Day
Jun 24 all-day

Studies have shown that bringing pets to work can increase productivity. So, on the third Sunday of June take your dog to work to celebrate Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Take-Your-Dog-Work-Day-Church Fashion designer with his chihuahua at work. ©bigstockphoto.com/Wavebreak Media Ltd

Fashion designer with his chihuahua at work.

Celebrated annually since 1999 on the first Friday after Father’s Day in the United States, the unofficial holiday was created by Pet Sitters International as a way to encourage dog adoption and to celebrate the love and joy dogs bring to the lives of their pet parents.

The week preceding this unofficial holiday is Take Your Pets to Work Week.

How to Celebrate?

  • Take your furry friend to work on this day. Make sure you let your co-workers know that you will be bringing your dog to work and clear it with anyone who may have allergies or other issues.
  • Have your company organize a visit to the local dog shelter or better yet, let the local dog shelter come to your workplace with dogs that are in need of a loving home – you may never know, some of your co-workers may adopt a dog!

Did You Know…

… that in ancient China, royals would carry little dogs in their sleeves to keep warm?

Jun
25
Mon
Please Take my Children to Work Day
Jun 25 all-day

Please Take my Children to Work Day first began as a tongue-in-cheek holiday for overworked and tired stay-at-home mothers to take a day off from their routines. The holiday is celebrated annually on June 25.

Please-Take-My-Children-To-Work-Day-Church Father working in office with daughter. ©bigstockphoto.com/monkeybusinessimages

Father working in office with daughter.

Today, as times have changed, this day applies to any parent who would like to take a break from their parental duties.

The unofficial holiday, which is not be confused with Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, was created in 2003 by Jen Singer of MommaSaid.net – a parenting blog. The holiday encourages friends and family to take care of the children so that the stay-at-home parent can have some time to relax and rejuvenate.

The holiday is also sometimes celebrated on June 30 or on the last Monday of June.

How to Celebrate?

Being a stay-at-home parent can be one of most rewarding as well as an exhausting experience for parents. This unofficial holiday is a great excuse for them to take a break and enjoy some much needed me-time. Here are some ways to celebrate it:

  • Ask friends or family members to look after your children for the day. And if they can’t, hire a babysitter and take the day off to pamper yourself. Go to the spa or take the day to go to the movies. Shop or do anything else that you may not be able to do on a normal day.
  • If you know someone who is stay-at-home parent, take this day to show your appreciation of them. Do something nice for them!  Take them out for an adults only lunch or volunteer to babysit their children so that they can have some much needed time to themselves.

Did You Know…

…that a new born child has 300 bones while a fully grown adult has 206? The bones fuse together as the child grows.

Jul
1
Sun
Canada Day
Jul 1 all-day

On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Ontario; and Quebec. The anniversary of this date was called Dominion Day until 1982. Since 1983, July 1 has been officially known as Canada Day

Canada-Day Church Canadians of all ages can be proud of their heritage on Canada Day, an event widely celebrated throughout the country. Illustration based on artwork from ©iStockphoto.com/Carrie Bottomley

Canadians of all ages can be proud of their heritage on Canada Day, an event widely celebrated throughout the country.

What Do People Do?

In many towns and cities, municipal governments organize a range of events, often outdoors. These include pancake breakfasts, parades, concerts, carnivals, festivals, firework displays and citizenship ceremonies for new Canadian citizens. The celebrations often have a patriotic mood. Canada’s national flag is widely displayed and a lot of people paint their faces red and white, which are Canada’s national colors. The celebrations in Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital city, are particularly exuberant.

In the province of Quebec, many home leases start on July 1 and last for exactly one year. Hence, many people in Quebec spend Canada Day moving their possessions from one house to another. In this province, Canada Day is also known as Moving Day.

In the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1 is also Memorial Day. This commemorates the heavy loss of life in the Newfoundland Regiment on the first day of the Battle of the Somme during World War I. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the morning of July 1 is usually somber. Flags are flown at half-mast and memorial services are held at cenotaphs (war memorials). In the afternoon, Canada Day celebrations in the province are similar to those in the rest of the country.

Public Life

July 1 is a statutory holiday in Canada unless it falls on a Sunday; then it moves to July 2. All provincial governments observe this day. Many organizations, businesses and stores are closed, although some book stores, pharmacies and gas stations may be open. Post offices are closed. As Canada Day falls in the Canadian summer holiday period, all schools are closed.

Public transport services may operate to their usual or a reduced timetable. In some areas, extra services are provided for large scale events. Street closures due to concerts, parades and festivals may cause some local disruption to traffic.

Background

On July 1, 1867, the British North Americas Act created the Dominion of Canada as a federation of four provinces. This event is known as the confederation of Canada. The four original provinces were created from the former British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada, which was divided into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Canada’s boundaries have been extended since 1867. The country now consists of 10 provinces and three territories.

On June 20, 1868, the Canada’s Governor General proclaimed that Canadians should celebrate the anniversary of the confederation. July 1 became a statutory holiday, known as Dominion Day, in 1879. However, no official celebrations were held until the 50th anniversary in 1917 and the 60th anniversary in 1927. After World War II, Dominion Day was celebrated more frequently and more events were organized by the national government. After the centenary of the confederation in 1967, Dominion Day events became more widespread. July 1 became popularly known as Canada Day. The date was also officially known as Canada Day from 1983 onwards.

Since 2006 Canada Day celebrations were also held at London’s Trafalgar Square in the United Kingdom. It is expected that these celebrations will be held annually. Depending on the availability of Trafalgar Square, these events may be held just before, on or just after July 1.

Symbols

Canada’s national flag is seen on Canada Day. This consists of two vertical red rectangles separated by a white square. The white square contains a red image of a maple leaf. Canada’s national colors are red and white and are used in many ways on Canada Day. Some people wear red and white clothing and others paint their faces in these colors.

Jul
2
Mon
National Cheesecake Day
Jul 2 all-day

July 30 is National Cheesecake Day, a day to treat yourself with a slice (or two) of this decadent dessert made of cream cheese, eggs, sugar and a graham cracker crust.

national-cheesecake-day-church We won't judge you! Celebrate National Cheesecake Day with a slice or two or three of your favorite cheesecake. ©iStockphoto.com/william87

We won’t judge you! Celebrate National Cheesecake Day with a slice or two or three of your favorite cheesecake.

Believed to have originated in ancient Greece, cheesecakes, whether baked or chilled, have become a restaurant and bakery staple around the world. There are many different regional variations of the cake. For example, the Germans use Quark and a freshly made pastry as the base for their version of the cake. In Brazil, on the other hand, cheesecake is served with a thin layer of guava jelly or marmalade.

How to Celebrate?

  • With a big slice of cheesecake of course! Add some fruits to it, and you can claim that it is healthy!
  • Bake a cheesecake at home and add new twists to the traditional recipe. Here are some ideas: replace the graham cracker crust by chocolate cookie crust; add bacon to the crust for a salty and smoky flavor; replace cream cheese with ricotta or goat cheese.
  • Make a savory version of the cake for dinner and a sweet version for dessert.
  • In honor of National Cheesecake Day, many restaurants and bakeries have cheesecake specials on their menus. Take your family and friends out to try out one of these specials.

Did You Know…

…that a turophile is someone who loves and fancies cheese?

Jul
5
Thu
Workaholics Day
Jul 5 all-day

July 5 is Workaholics Day, a day dedicated to people who spend all their time working and tend to ignore other pursuits in life.

Workaholics-Day-Church Accountant doing financial reports being surrounded by huge piles of documents. ©bigstockphoto.com/pressmaster

Accountant doing financial reports being surrounded by huge piles of documents.

The unofficial holiday raises awareness about the fact that all work and no play can be harmful to the mental and physical health of workers. The day encourages workaholics to make lifestyle changes so that they give other aspects of their lives as much importance as their work.

How to Celebrate?

  • If there is a workaholic in your life, ask them to take the day off and take them out to do something fun. Perhaps a trip to a theme park or a hike?
  • Make a nice meal for the workaholic in your life and tell them about the problems associated of working all the time.
  • If you are a workaholic, take the day off to reevaluate your life and take some time off for yourself.

Did You Know…

…workaholic is a portmanteau word. It comes from combining two words – work and alcoholic. The term was first used extensively to refer to people who excessively and compulsively work in the late 1960s.

Jul
7
Sat
Tell the Truth Day
Jul 7 all-day

July 7 is Tell the Truth Day, a day dedicated to honesty and the rejection of manipulation and lying. Tell-The-Truth-Day-Church Chalkboard with writing. ©iStockphoto.com/yuriz

The unofficial holiday encourages people to always tell the truth, even if it is often times inconvenient and hard.

Honesty and truthfulness are virtues that are emphasized by all world religions. Cultures around the world put a premium on integrity and sincerity – people who tell the truth are always honored and celebrated over people known to tell lies.

Tell The Truth Day is also sometimes celebrated on April 2, the day after April’s Fool Day, a holiday that encourages pranks and harmless forms of lying.

How to Celebrate?

  • Celebrate honesty by telling the truth the whole day.
  • If you have kids in your life teach them that lying is harmful and tell them the benefits of telling the truth all the time.
  • If you have been lying to a loved one or a family member, today is the day to come clean.

Did You Know…

…that Benjamin Franklin is thought to have popularized the phrase “honesty is the best policy”?

Jul
9
Mon
Sugar Cookie Day
Jul 9 all-day

On July 9, whip up a batch of warm, delicious sugary sugar cookies because it is Sugar Cookie Day.

Sugar-Cookie-Day-Church Star-shaped sugar cookies with pink, green and yellow frosting. ©bigstockphoto.com/Hank Shiffman

Star-shaped sugar cookies with pink, green and yellow frosting.

While the origins of this unofficial holiday are unknown, the day celebrates a childhood favorite that not only tastes good, but will also makes your kitchen smell amazing!

A holiday staple in the United States, sugar cookies are sweet treats made of flour, eggs, butter and sugar. The primary flavor in the cookies is vanilla.

Blank Canvas for Decoration

While sugar cookies can be eaten plain, they are usually used baked in different shapes and decorated with colorful icing, frosting and sprinklers.

In the United Kingdom and some other parts of the world, the term biscuits is used to refer to treats similar to cookies.

How to Celebrate?

  • Learn how to make sugar cookies and bake them. Share the cookies with co-workers, family and friends.
  • Gourmet up your cookies by making them in different shapes and coating them with different colored royal icing.
  • Host a sugar cookie decorating and exchange party. Have your guests bake cookies and bring them to the venue, where all of you can decorate the cookies and take some home.

Did You Know…

…that the term cookie, comes from the Dutch word koekje, meaning little cakes?

Jul
11
Wed
Cheer Up the Lonely Day
Jul 11 all-day

Make someone smile on Cheer up the Lonely Day. Annually celebrated on July 11, the unofficial holiday aims to encourage people to give some of their time to make people who are lonely smile.

Cheer-Up-The-Lonely-Day-Church Young carer giving helping hands for elderly woman. ©bigstockphoto.com/Ocskay Bence

Young carer giving helping hands for elderly woman.

Loneliness is an inevitable part of life. For some people it can be temporary, and for others it may be a daily struggle. Loneliness can affect the young and the old, and people from all walks of life. It can be harmful to the mental, physical and social health of those suffering from it.

Bringing Cheer

Cheer Up the Lonely Day aims to spread awareness about the damaging effects of loneliness and asks for people to give some of their time to bring happiness and cheer in to the lives of those who may be lonely.

How to Celebrate?

  • This is one holiday that is easy to celebrate. All you need to do is make someone feel loved. If you know someone who could use your company, spend some time with them, make them their favorite meal, give them some encouragement and let them know that you enjoy your time with them.
  • If the person lives far away, send them a note to tell them that you miss them and that you think about them. Or what about sending them a little gift – perhaps their favorite candy or a bunch of flowers?
  • Volunteer your time to work with the elderly in a nursing home – not only will you be bringing cheer in their lives, you may get to hear some amazing stories about their past.
  • Learn more about the connection between mental health and loneliness and what you can do to ward of loneliness in your life and in the lives of others.
  • Invite someone who has just moved to your town for coffee and cake and get to know them better.

Did You Know…

…that some people can have a real fear of being lonely? Autophobia is the fear of being alone.

Jul
12
Thu
Simplicity Day
Jul 12 all-day

Simplicity Day is celebrated every year on July 12. The unofficial holiday commemorates the life, times and work of American philosopher and proponent of simple living, Henry David Thoreau.

Simplicity-Day-Church Spring landscape with tree and a sun. ©bigstockphoto.com/TTstudio

Spring landscape with tree and a sun.

Born on July 12, 1817, Thoreau was against slavery, a supporter of small government, an environmentalist and an author. He was also involved in the early transcendentalist movement in the United States. Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the U.S. in the mid 1800s. The main idea of the movement was that humans by nature are inherently good and that knowledge can only be gained through looking inwards as well as outwards.

Embrace Simple Living

Simplicity Day was created by the Emily Fund an organization created in memory of Emily Rachel Silverstein. The unofficial holiday encourages people to embrace simple living and a simple outlook to life. It also promotes participants to do one thing to make the world a better place.

The holiday is also sometimes known as National Simplicity Day in the United States.

How to Celebrate?

  • Take a vow of simplicity. Cut out unimportant things in your life.
  • Is there an expensive object you have always wanted to buy? Instead of buying it, donate the money to a deserving organization.
  • Volunteer your time and money to a local organization working on a cause of your choosing.
  • Learn more about Henry David Thoreau’s life and philosophy. Read books and essays written by him. Some of his more well-known works include Walden, A Plea for Captain John Brown and Paradise (to be) Regained.

Did You Know…

…that Thoreau was one of the first people to encourage hiking and other outdoor activities for fun?

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.