30 Offbeat Holidays to Celebrate in September

101cats/iStock via Getty Images
101cats/iStock via Getty Images

Even after Labor Day has come and gone, there is still plenty to celebrate in September, as the list of holidays below proves. And if nothing in here catches your fancy, just remember that September is also Happy Cat Month.

1. September 3: National Skyscraper Day

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Celebrate the architectural triumphs that make the skyline of your city unique by paying tribute to oversized buildings. This day coincides with the birthday of Louis Sullivan, the influential architect who helped develop and advance the skyscraper movement in the late 19th century.

2. September 4: Bring Your Manners To Work Day

Whatever it is you do, do it politely. (Even if it’s via Zoom this year.)

3. September 4: Eat an Extra Dessert Day

You may have observed this holiday a little early on Labor Day, but go ahead and indulge those residual gluttonous impulses because this holiday gives you the green light. That leftover pie isn’t going to eat itself, so really, it’s the least you can do.

4. September 4: Newspaper Carrier Day

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This day honors Barney Flaherty, who was hired as the first paperboy for the New York Sun way back in 1833. (International Newspaper Carrier Day, meanwhile, is happening on October 10.)

5. September 5: Cheese Pizza Day

No frills, just deliciousness.

6. September 5: Be Late For Something Day

While a lot of people don't need an excuse to be late, here’s a day for all you punctual types out there to cut loose and be tardy for once.

7. September 6: National Fight Procrastination Day

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One of these years we're going to get around to celebrating.

8. September 7: Neither Rain Nor Snow Day

September 7 is the anniversary of the opening of the New York Post Office in 1914, and the name of the holiday comes from the inscription on the building: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

9. September 10: TV Dinner Day

The TV dinner was first introduced to consumers in the United States by C.A. Swanson & Sons in the early 1950s. This pre-packaged, frozen meal would not only provide you a whole dinner with the slight flick of an oven—it was also designed for ease of consumption while parked in front of a television screen.

10. September 10: Swap Ideas Day

This is less of a celebration and more of a reminder to not hoard good ideas: They're much more useful when you put them out into the open.

11. September 13: Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day

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Just maybe don't be so quick to eat what they make (or keep a close eye on how they’re preparing it).

12. September 13: Grandparents Day

Mom and dad get one, so why not the older generation? Grandparents Day has been celebrated annually on the first Sunday after Labor Day since 1978. Many other countries have their own versions of this day at some point during the year and, unlike the U.S., they often give grandmothers and grandfathers their own separate days. Just something to think about.

13. September 13: National Hug Your Hound Day

If you don't have a hound of your own to hug, looking at photos of other people hugging their hounds is a perfectly acceptable substitute.

14. September 16: World Play-Doh Day

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Today's the perfect day to do something with your favorite childhood clay! It's OK with us if you mostly just smell it.

15. September 16: Mayflower Day

This is the anniversary of the day in 1620 when 102 men, women, and children set sail from Plymouth, England, aboard the Mayflower.

16. September 16: Anne Bradstreet Day

September 16 was officially proclaimed a holiday by the governor of Massachusetts to honor Anne Bradstreet, an underappreciated figure in the history of American literature. Bradstreet, who emigrated to the colonies along with her family in 1630, is considered to be America's first poet for her 1650 work, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America, published, supposedly, without her knowledge.

17. September 17: Constitution Day

On September 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States of America was officially signed—although it wasn't voted into effect until two years later. Since 1952, Citizenship Day has also been celebrated on September 17.

18. September 19: International Talk Like a Pirate Day

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International Talk Like a Pirate Day just might be the most widely-known offbeat holiday, because who doesn't relish the chance to call everyone matey?

19. September 21: World Gratitude Day

In 1977, those hippies at the United Nations Meditation Group established World Gratitude Day to appreciate existence. Even the least existential among us can recognize a thing or two in our lives for which we feel grateful. For example, we here at Mental Floss are grateful that you’re still reading this article.

20. September 22: Elephant Appreciation Day

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This ode to oversized pachyderms was created by Mission Media Inc. founder Wayne Hepburn in 1996. Years before, his daughter had given him an elephant paperweight that led to a lifelong obsession with the animals, which eventually culminated in the creation of this holiday.

21. September 22: American Business Women's Day

First recognized by Congressional resolution in 1983, this honoring of the female half of the workforce is celebrated annually on the anniversary of the 1949 founding date of the American Business Women's Association.

22. September 22: Hobbit Day

On the birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, J.R.R. Tolkien fans celebrate all things The Lord of the Rings. It is also the day that determines the larger celebration of Tolkien Week.

23. September 22: Dear Diary Day

Get reacquainted with your diary … and penmanship … and maybe some feelings.

24. September 22: National Centenarian’s Day

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We realize that the people above probably aren't centenarians, but we bet they'll be just as fun and active when they are.

25. September 24: National Punctuation Day

Let the Oxford comma debates begin!

26. September 25: National One-Hit Wonder Day

Get your playlist started now.

27. September 26: Johnny Appleseed Day

Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

There is some debate about whether this American folklore hero should be celebrated on the anniversary of his birth on September 26, or on the anniversary of his death in March. But this is a celebration, after all, so let's stick with his birthday.

28. September 28th: Drink Beer Day

Finally, an excuse.

29. September 29: International Coffee Day

We won't talk to you before you've celebrated this one.

30. September 29: Biscotti Day

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Surely it's no coincidence that this falls on the same day as International Coffee Day, and that's why we love the offbeat holiday gods.

Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Even though Black Friday is still a few days away, Amazon is offering early deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40) 

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse 3.5 Quarts; $180 (save $120)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75) 

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $88 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10) 

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $13 (save $14)

HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- Fairywill Electric Toothbrush with Four Brush Heads; $19 (save $9)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31) 

TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Home Office Shredder; $33 (save $7)

Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30) 

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition for Nintendo Switch; $20 (save $10)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

The Sims 4; $20 (save $20)

God of War for PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

Days Gone for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- Apple MacBook Air 13 inches with 256 GB; $899 (save $100)

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250) 

- Samsung Chromebook 4 Chrome OS 11.6 inches with 32 GB; $210 (save $20) 

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches with 32 GB; $100 (save $50)

Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $379 (save $20)

- Apple iMac 27 inches with 256 GB; $1649 (save $150)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $179 (save $20) 

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera with EF-M 15-45mm Lens; $549 (save $100)

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Why Do the Lions and Cowboys Always Play on Thanksgiving?

Elsa, Getty Images
Elsa, Getty Images

Every year since 1934, the Detroit Lions have taken the field for a Thanksgiving game, no matter how bad their record has been. It all goes back to when the Lions were still a fairly young franchise. The team was founded in 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio, as the Spartans. Portsmouth, while surely a lovely town, wasn't quite big enough to support a pro team in the young NFL. Detroit radio station owner George A. Richards bought the Spartans and moved the team to Detroit in 1934.

Although Richards's new squad was a solid team, they were playing second fiddle in Detroit to the Hank Greenberg-led Tigers, who had gone 101-53 to win the 1934 American League Pennant. In the early weeks of the 1934 season, the biggest crowd the Lions could draw for a game was a relatively paltry 15,000. Desperate for a marketing trick to get Detroit excited about its fledgling football franchise, Richards hit on the idea of playing a game on Thanksgiving. Since Richards's WJR was one of the bigger radio stations in the country, he had considerable clout with his network and convinced NBC to broadcast a Thanksgiving game on 94 stations nationwide.

The move worked brilliantly. The undefeated Chicago Bears rolled into town as defending NFL champions, and since the Lions had only one loss, the winner of the first Thanksgiving game would take the NFL's Western Division. The Lions not only sold out their 26,000-seat stadium, they also had to turn fans away at the gate. Even though the juggernaut Bears won that game, the tradition took hold, and the Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving ever since.

This year, the Lions will host the Houston Texans.

How 'bout them Cowboys?

The Cowboys, too, jumped on the opportunity to play on Thanksgiving as an extra little bump for their popularity. When the chance to take the field on Thanksgiving arose in 1966, it might not have been a huge benefit for the Cowboys. Sure, the Lions had filled their stadium for their Thanksgiving games, but that was no assurance that Texans would warm to holiday football so quickly.

Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm, though, was something of a marketing genius; among his other achievements was the creation of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Schramm saw the Thanksgiving Day game as a great way to get the team some national publicity even as it struggled under young head coach Tom Landry. Schramm signed the Cowboys up for the game even though the NFL was worried that the fans might just not show up—the league guaranteed the team a certain gate revenue in case nobody bought tickets. But the fans showed up in droves, and the team broke its attendance record as 80,259 crammed into the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14 that day, and a second Thanksgiving pigskin tradition caught hold. Since 1966, the Cowboys have missed having Thanksgiving games only twice.

Dallas will take on the Washington Football Team on Thursday.

WHat's with the night game?

In 2006, because six-plus hours of holiday football was not sufficient, the NFL added a third game to the Thanksgiving lineup. This game is not assigned to a specific franchise—this year, the Pittsburgh Steelers will welcome the Baltimore Ravens.

Re-running this 2008 article a few days before the games is our Thanksgiving tradition.