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Greek-American Stories: Holidays

I’ll bet there are holidays you never knew about. You don’t think so? Well, let me introduce you to a few holidays you couldn’t have found on your calendar or anywhere else.  Yet, they exist! For instance, January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day, an unofficial holiday encouraging people to put out seeds and nuts for those cute, furry, rodents. It’s a day when we should consider those little beings that clear the lawns of acorns and other ground edibles for the winter. For your information, they’re not just American animals either – they’re found in almost every country in the world. Then, there’s No Brainer Day on Feb 27, a day to remind people that many problems can have a much simpler solution than we think, making it unnecessary to rattle our brain, growing despondent and then wondering how we got there.

It’s a day dedicated to giving people time to focus on the reality of the situation – My kind of holiday. Problems come and go (mostly come!). So, let’s stop and pause on February 27 and remember that we’re not alone and helpless.

In Japan, there’s Bean Throwing Day on Feb 3, when a religious official tosses out beans that are supposed to ward off evil spirits. (I wonder if they’re cooked!) How about National Kale Day, celebrated the first Wednesday in October. Kale has vitamins and lots of good stuff. But, I didn’t think those green leaves warranted a holiday. My husband grows greens in the garden; stuff like vlita (seeds brought from Greece), radikia, and swiss chard. But, it’s no holiday for me, not when he gathers them in large bouquets, soil falling off them, and then drops them on the kitchen counter and tells me, “cook ‘em!”

Then, there’s Let’s Laugh Day on March 19. (Now, that’s also my kind of holiday.) There are health benefits when we laugh. It rests the heart, calms the nerves, and makes us feel a little less tense. Humorous stories and jokes won’t make you laugh all the way to the bank, but it will lower your blood pressure and improve your immune response. Hey! That’s worth celebrating, isn’t it?

What about Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day, a holiday that follows New Year’s Eve, when we decide that we went too far making resolutions that we can’t or don’t really want to keep, like promising to clean out the garage or no more glasses of wine before dinner.

Then, there’s the Festival of Sleep. We can assume that this holiday, conveniently occurring on January 3, encourages people to sleep to recover from the antics, the drinking and other goings-on following New Year’s Eve’s hullabaloos. So, get into your favorite pj’s and lock the door and count your ZZZZZs.

There’s another holiday you might like, I’ll bet. It’s called Nothing Day, January 16. To celebrate this day, (listen closely) we must do (are you ready?) nothing! No working, no paying bills, no yard work, no exertion of any kind, hear? Of course, if you’re already doing that, then, pay no attention – you’re, probably one of those who are still celebrating Festival of Sleep Day.

Then, there’s a holiday on January 25 called, Opposite Day, when we eat breakfast for dinner and dinner when it’s time for breakfast, walk backwards around the house, and wear a sneaker on one foot and a dressier shoe on the other foot. I’ll pass!

One holiday really grabbed my notice. It’s celebrated on January 13 and it’s called, Make Your Dream Come True Day, a day whose purpose is encouraging people to be more active in achieving what they’ve always wanted to do in life. (We’re talking legal things!)  But, hey! I’d bet we all have dreams that are possible if we make huge efforts – like – ahhh, well, what about buying and winning lottery tickets on that day?

What I noticed is that those silly holidays are, mostly, in January. Do you think it all has to do with the fact that it’s all after New Year’s Eve? You know… those celebrations with glasses of 90-proof stuff? Anyway, there’s probably more holidays we’ve never heard of or, care about! Anyway, I still think you never heard of these holidays and well, you, probably, don’t give a hoot! Right?

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