Spring is in the air, as is the promise of several offbeat holidays—even if you don’t like pranks or chocolate bunnies. Here are 40 of them.
April 2: National Ferret Day
We'll definitely be celebrating these furry little guys.
April 2: International Children's Book Day
Celebrated since 1967, this holiday takes place on Hans Christian Andersen's birthday.
April 3: Tweed Day
Summer is coming, so dust off your favorite tweed clothing item and get in one last wear before it's crop top and linen season.
April 4: National Tell-A-Lie Day
Honesty is generally the best policy, according to one of our founding fathers. But today, you have carte blanche to fib your heart out.
April 4: International Pillow Fight Day
Have a pillow fight!
April 5: National Deep Dish Pizza Day
A day to appreciate sky-high pies, or argue over the best pizza in all the land.
April 5: Read a Road Map Day
There was a time not so long ago when we had to consult large, folded pieces of paper to figure out directions from point A to point B. Thanks to GPS and Google Maps, this is now practically a holiday of antiquity. But you can’t use a Sharpie to draw a route on your smartphone, so score one for the road map.
April 6: Tartan Day
Show off your Scottish heritage, and grab your kilt while you're at it.
April 6: Sorry Charlie Day
This holiday was inspired by Charlie the Tuna—the cartoon mascot for StarKist and the subject of an advertising campaign that ran until the 1980s. In the spots, Charlie purports to have good taste, and wants to be recruited by the company, but is perpetually rejected via a sign on a fish hook that reads, "Sorry, Charlie." (As the narrator explains, they're interested in tuna that tastes good, not tuna with good taste.) The ads spawned a national catchphrase, and this holiday seeks to recognize all those who have lived through rejection and still retain their spunk.
April 7: International Beaver Day
Ferrets aren't the only small mammals we love here at Mental Floss: International Beaver Day will warrant its own party, too.
April 7: National Beer Day
On March 22, 1933, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Cullen–Harrison Act, legalizing the sale of beer (as long as it was 3.2 percent alcohol by weight or less) after many years of Prohibition. The thirsty public had to wait two long weeks before they could legally imbibe again, and on April 7, the law finally went into effect. Beer drinkers around the country rejoiced, and celebrated with a nice cold one, presumably.
April 10: National Siblings Day
Celebrate the brothers and sisters who drive you mad and keep you sane—often all at the same time.
April 11: Barbershop Quartet Day
Consider a musical ode to these fearsome foursomes on their special day of the year.
April 11: International “Louie Louie” Day
"Louie Louie" is, by some accounts, the most recorded rock song in history. (The most famous version was recorded by The Kingsmen in 1963.) This year, celebrate this offbeat holiday by finally figuring out the lyrics.
April 12: National Licorice Day
This offbeat holiday—designed to celebrate black licorice specifically—will surely be a contentious commemoration. For those of you who cringed, please enjoy your Twizzlers.
April 12: Drop Everything and Read Day
Also known as D.E.A.R. Day, this holiday encourages you to abandon all prior commitments for the comfort of a good book. It also coincides with the birthday of children’s book author Beverly Cleary, who is a spokesperson for the event. Though marketed toward children, the celebration is open to everyone.
April 12: Walk On Your Wild Side Day
Whatever “wild” means to you, today's the day to do it.
April 13: National Scrabble Day
Created by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938, Scrabble did not become a national phenomenon until the 1950s. It has since inspired less mobility-impaired games like Bananagrams and Words With Friends. But to honor the holiday, use a classic board and show off your robust vocabulary.
April 13: Dyngus Day
According to Buffalo’s official holiday website, “Historically a Polish-American tradition, Dyngus Day celebrates the end of the often restrictive observance of Lent and the joy of Easter.” Some celebratory activities include men chasing around women to drench them with water, and hitting them with pussy willow branches. So basically, Dyngus Day is spring break.
April 14: National Reach as High as You Can Day
National Reach as High as You Can Day is really about grounding yourself in reality. Don’t reach for the stars if you can’t actually touch them—know your limitations. Set attainable goals, and take pleasure in being just good enough.
April 15: National That Sucks Day
It's Tax Day and the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, so yeah, kind of sucky.
April 16: National Stress Awareness Day
Founded on the very cute notion that you are not aware of your stress.
April 16: National High Five Day
Make 'em count today, and don't forget to keep an eye on the elbow.
April 17: National Haiku Poetry Day
Celebrate with your
Own haiku that is likely
Much better than mine.
April 19: National Hanging Out Day
Sadly, this is not a day to kick back and relax with some friends. Rather, it's a holiday encouraging people to hang out their laundry—and cut down on energy consumption by doing so.
April 20: Lima Bean Respect Day
Much like Rodney Dangerfield, the lima bean doesn’t get any respect. Well not today! Did you know lima beans are an excellent source of fiber? They also help balance your blood sugar and lower cholesterol. So give this bean a break and try extolling its more admirable qualities for the day.
April 21: National Library Workers Day
A day to honor the hardworking shushers and Dewey Decimal devotees who help us all on our reading journeys.
April 21: National Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day
If you didn't already know this, you can see yourself out.
April 22: National Jelly Bean Day
When you grab a handful to celebrate this year, just make sure you don't get "BeanBoozled."
April 23: Talk Like Shakespeare Day
We have of late, but wherefore we know not, lost all our mirth. What a perfect day to get it back! In honor of the Bard’s birthday, drop some thous and thees, master iambic pentameter, and cast people away by exclaiming “get thee to a nunnery!” Talk Like Shakespeare Day is the one time of year you can express yourself in rhyming couplets; wethinks thou oughtest useth the opportunity.
April 23: World Book Night
On Shakespeare's birthday passionate volunteers hand out books in the U.S., U.K., Ireland and Germany.
April 24: National Hairball Awareness Day
Don't become a statistic.
April 25: World Penguin Day
Seriously, all the animal holidays are fine with us.
April 25: International DNA Day
Unlike many holidays in the Offbeat Family, DNA Day has formal U.S. Congressional recognition. On this day in 1953, scientists first published papers in Nature on the structural makeup of DNA [PDF]. In 2003, the Human Genome Project was declared to be nearly complete; the National Human Genome Research Institute has since developed activities and celebrations to honor the holiday.
April 25: National Go Birding Day
Build bird feeders, bring your binoculars for a walk in the woods, or, if you live in the city, take a little extra time to notice all the pigeons.
April 26: Hug An Australian Day
It does not say they have to be human. Also: Learn some Australian slang while you’re at it.
April 26: National Pretzel Day
The beer is optional.
April 27: Morse Code Day
Break out your best dots and dashes, it’s the birthday of Samuel Morse—co-inventor of the eponymous Morse Code. These days any Joe Schmoe can try his hand at transmitting lights, clicks, and tones to send a secret message. But this system of communication used to be a highly specialized field that required a license and a proclivity for spying on communists.
April 30: National Honesty Day
Remember when you celebrated National Tell-A-Lie Day a few weeks ago? Today, do the opposite.
April 30: International Jazz Day
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is responsible for this holiday. Schools, communities, and even government organizations around the world will host programs to highlight the diplomatic role of jazz in bringing people together.