Need More to Celebrate After the 4th?

National Hot Dog Month

Need More to Celebrate After the 4th? Try These Wacky July Holidays

It’s commonly acknowledged that the unofficial start of summer is Memorial Day and the unofficial end is Labor Day, and there’s just one big holiday between those dates in the U.S. — Independence Day aka the 4th of July. Now that the fireworks are over and millions of hot dogs have been eaten — including 71 (plus buns) in just 10 minutes by reigning champ Joey Chestnut — it may seem like we’ve entered a holiday-less stretch of almost two months.

Not really.

While you won’t be enjoying a paid day off for any of the following holidays, there is literally something to celebrate every single day of July. I chose just a few from an extensive list; trust me — I did not make these up.

July 11

Cheer Up the Lonely Day is an opportunity to make a lonely person happy. Any time you can make someone happy, you've done a good thing and should be proud of yourself.

Lonely people have few friends and loved ones. They may have lost loved ones over the years. They may be elderly. They see people on an infrequent basis.

Spend some time today cheering up lonely people. It's easy to do. Keep the conversation upbeat and lively. When you leave, give a big hug and let them know you enjoyed the stay. Sending cards or making a phone call is okay, only if they live too far away to visit. What a lonely person really needs is face-to-face time with other people.

Its Origin. According to L.J. Pesek, Cheer Up the Lonely Day was created by her father, Francis Pesek of Detroit, Mich. She said he "was a quiet, kind, wonderful man who had a heart of gold. He got the idea as a way of promoting kindness toward others who were lonely or forgotten as shut-ins or in nursing homes with no relatives or friends to look in on them." He chose this day because it was his birthday.

July 13

Embrace Your Geekness Day is a great day to be a geek. Or to know a geek. A geek is an individual who is highly intelligent, brainy and technically oriented. Geeks are at home in the world of computers and computer systems. A geek is usually formal, studious and into his or her technical environment, often to the exclusion of all else.

A geek is closely related to a nerd, but nerds may or may not possess technical expertise. Some people view the term "geek" with a negative connotation. Are they jealous of geeks’ knowledge and skills? Probably.

Enjoy Embrace Your Geekness Day to the fullest by spending plenty of time with your computer as well as talking computer lingo and jargon. If you’re a geek, stand tall and proud. Isn't it great to be so brilliant and gifted!?

Its Origin. Believe it or not, Embrace Your Geekness Day is a copyrighted holiday created for fun and profit by the good folks at Wellcat Holidays.

July 17

Yellow Pig Day — not to be confused with National Pig Day on March 1 — is a mathematician's holiday celebrating yellow pigs (is there such a thing?) and the number 17. It’s been celebrated annually since the early 1960s, primarily on college campuses, and primarily by mathematicians. On campus, Yellow Pig Cake and Yellow Pig Carols are tradition.

If you’re a mathematician, spend part of the day thinking and working in multiples of 17. And, while you do so, give a little thought to yellow pigs.

Its Origin. Yellow Pig Day was the brainstorm of mathematicians Michael Spivak and David C. Kelly in the early 1960s. They were students at Princeton University, studying mathematics. History was made as they were listing interesting properties of the number 17. During this thought wave, the yellow pig was born. Most likely, it had 17 toes, 17 teeth, 17 eyelashes, etc. The yellow pig and the number 17 have been linked ever since.

July 22

Rat Catcher's Day commemorates the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the most infamous of rat catchers as per one of the most well-known German folklores. The town of Hamelin, Germany was infested by rats. The mayor promised to handsomely pay the Pied Piper if he rid the town of them. The Pied Piper played his flute. Lured by the magical music, all the rats left town, and followed him. He played his music all the way down to the river. He waded into the river. The rats followed him and drowned — estimates of upwards of a million. The mayor refused to pay him. So, one night when the townspeople were asleep, the Pied Piper played his music again. This time, the children of the town followed him all the way into a cave. Some versions for the legend vary here. In one version, the Pied Piper kept them there until he was paid by the town for his services. In most versions, the children were never to be seen again.

Its Origin. It’s not clear why July 22 was selected as the date for Rat Catcher's Day.

According to the legend, the Pied Piper rid the town of Hamelin, Germany of rats on or around June 26, 1284. After the town mayor refused to make payment as promised, the Pied Piper returned to lure the children to a cave. In some versions of the legend, this occurred the next night. In others, he returned several weeks later. We speculate that "several weeks later" was July 22.

None of these holidays float your boat? If you really feel the need celebrate something this month, you can certainly research all the rest — of maybe you want to focus on something you can celebrate all month, since July is:

  • National Blueberry Month

  • National Anti-Boredom Month

  • Unlucky Month for weddings

  • National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

  • National Hot Dog Month

  • National Ice Cream Month

  • National Picnic Month

Is there anything special you do during July? We’d love you to share!

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