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Create-Your-Own Holiday When There's Nothing to Look Forward To!

Boring August! No holidays! Why not ask your students to invent their own holidays for August?

Boring August! No holidays! January has Martin Luther King Day. February has Presidents Day. March has Saint Patrick's Day and the first day of spring. ... But what has August got? Boring August! No holidays!

I smell a learning activity that encourages kids to think critically and write persuasively!


There's a holiday for everything -- or so it seems. Some of the holidays celebrated across the United States are pretty odd, I dare say.

Take a quick look in your public library's reference section and you're bound to find a copy of Chase's Calendar of Events, the bible of special days and celebrations. One look at Chase's will prove to you that there is a holiday for everything. The volume is thicker than the Manhattan telephone directory!

Not long ago, Boys' Life, the national Scouting magazine, did a scan of Chase's. Here are just a few of the holidays found!


  • National Nothing Day  (January 16), created by a journalist to give people one day when they can just sit, "without celebrating, observing, or honoring anything."


  • National Kazoo Day  (January 28), a day to appreciate that handy musical instrument.


  • Get a Different Name Day  (February 13), for those with boring names.


  • National Honesty Day  (April 30), when "Honest Abe" Awards (named for President Abraham Lincoln) are presented to honest people and honest companies.


  • Yell "Fudge" at the Cobras in North America Day  (June 2), because -- according to the holiday's sponsors -- the word fudge makes cobra snakes gag and slither away.


  • Hug Holiday  (June 15 to 22), to show appreciation of others in any way you can, but especially with a simple hug.


  • Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day  (July 27), because your houseplants will become healthier from knowing their environment.


  • National Mustard Day  (August 5), a day when mustard lovers can slather their favorite spread on everything, pretzels and ice cream included.


  • Middle Children's Day  (August 13), to salute kids born between brothers and sisters.


  • World Hello Day  (November 21), a day set aside to advance peace by saying hello to at least ten people you meet that day.


  • Underdog Day  (December 16), honors all the underdogs and unsung heroes who give so much to people.


  • National Whiner's Day  (December 26), dedicated to those who complain endlessly as they return holiday gifts in crowded stores.


  • Noon Year's Eve (December 31), celebrated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for early risers who have difficulty staying awake until midnight on New Year's Eve.


Readers of the Hartford Courant were asked to create a special holiday that might be celebrated annually in the state of Connecticut. The fifth-grade students at the Wells Road School in Granby, Connecticut, had some great ideas:

  • Children's Day, a day when kids "can do anything they want. And parents cannot tell you what to do."
  • Goof-Off Day, "so kids can have some fun in their life because our parents make us do all the chores" and because "we might just have too much stress, and we might have to get it out."
  • Best Friends Day, a day when friends would do projects together.
  • Teachers' Day, because "they prepare us to take over for them."
  • Repeat Day, a day "to increase our vocabulary ... by having everybody learn a new word and try to say it [in sentences] as many times as they can."
  • Treat People Nice Day, when "we would clean the mess the cat makes and wash the windows, vacuum and do the dishes. Then we would go to bed early and go to church and not fuss."


So here's the project! Invite your students to think about a special holiday that they'd like to see celebrated once a year -- in August! Each student should write a persuasive essay telling why the holiday deserves to be considered. (An alternative: You might make this activity a cooperative group exercise.)

You might choose to extend this activity into other areas of the curriculum. You could

  • Invite students to share their holiday ideas and arguments in front of the class (only if they want to).
  • Hold a class vote so students can choose the holiday they'd most like to celebrate; the holiday that they think was most persuasively promoted.
  • Students could create posters promoting their holidays as part of a "campaign" to get their classmates to vote for their holiday suggestions.
  • Make a bar graph to show the results of the class vote.


Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor in Chief
Copyright © 2010


Originally posted 06/01/2010
Last updated 06/03/2011