Commentary – There’s a day for that

Pearl Lorentzen

If you can think it, someone has probably made a world, national or international day for it!

My favourite silly international day is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I cannot think of any useful reason for this day, but want to celebrate it. Founded in 2002, it is Sept. 19.

Other days are more serious and better known. Many come from reputable organizations. Such as May 12, International Nurses Day, which started in 1971 by the International Council of Nurses.

Valentine’s, Mother’s and Father’s Days are the most widely celebrated, non-stat holidays. They are even on calendars.

A website called nationaldaycalendar.com claims to track 1,500 national days. This is an average of four per day of the year.

June 8 was World Wide Knit in Public Day.

According to the website www.wwkipday.com there were 440 KIPs in 33 countries. KIP appears to stand for Knit in Public. Countries ranged from Slovakia Republic to Japan.

In Alberta, Brigus, Saskatoon [I assume as a typo], Alberta, Calgary, Edmonton times two, Slave Lake and Fort McMurray all had KIPs.

The Slave Lake KIP was called The Big Flipside Knit. It was not exclusive to knitting, which as a crocheter I appreciate.

I wasn’t able to attend an actual event, but crocheted at an event I was already attending. The existence of the day spurred me to engage in an existing hobby.

On the radio that Friday, I heard June 7 was National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Someone else said it was Doughnut Day.

UNESCO has days every month of the year. These days are not silly. Each one has a specific purpose and goal. For example, Jan. 27 is International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. There is nothing funny about that. It is serious and important.

Feb. is International Mother Language Day. March 20 and 21 are International Francophonie Day and World Poetry Day respectively. Francophonie is a new word to me. All of three raise awareness of the importance of language.

June is Pride month.

International UNESCO days in June have an environmental theme. June 5 is World Environment Day, June 8 is World Oceans Day, and June 17 is World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

In Canada, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples’ Day. On UNESCO, Aug. 9 is International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.

Unlike national holidays, these days are celebrated by people connected with the subject matter and remain tied to the meaning of the day.

On the flip-side, national holidays have lost their original meaning. May long weekend is technically Victoria Day, but no one, or at least very few people think about the monarchy or Queen Victoria. It’s become about camping.

There are still holidays like Remembrance Day which retain a connection with the original reason.

International, worldwide, and national days, lack the clout of a stat holiday, but for those who celebrate them they retain their meaning. They appear to be a useful tool to raise awareness, celebrate and a way to connect with people with similar interests.

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