29 Offbeat Holidays to Celebrate This February

There’s a lot more to February than just Valentine’s Day.
There’s still a lot going on during the shortest month of the year.
There’s still a lot going on during the shortest month of the year. / Nora Carol Photography/Moment/Getty Images
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Don’t let the dead of winter get you down: February has all kinds of offbeat reasons to party hard.

1. February 1: Robinson Crusoe Day

Robinson Crusoe
'Robinson Crusoe.' / Culture Club/GettyImages

On February 1, 1709, Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk was rescued from the uninhabited island of Juan Fernández, where he’d been put ashore at his own request following a fight with his captain. The story was the basis for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, and can now be the basis for your adventurous start to the month.

2. February 2: Hedgehog Day

A Hedgehog (Erinaceus Roumanicus)
Spiky and cute. / Heritage Images/GettyImages

It might technically be Groundhog Day, but just look at this cuddly creature. They also deserve to be celebrated.

3. February 3: National Golden Retriever Day

Portrait of a golden retriever puppy.
How could anyone resist this face? / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Golden retrievers are pure love and joy. Take some time to honor one of America’s most popular dog breeds.

4. February 4: Medjool Date Day

They brighten your smoothies, breakfast bars, desserts, and appetizers all year long. Take this day to salute the humble date.

5. February 5: National Weatherperson’s Day

There’s a 60 percent chance of your local weatherperson being at least 20 percent right about his job today, but there’s a 100 percent chance this holiday takes place on February 5. Whatever percent chance you’re convinced this should be a holiday, give a little thanks for the people who help you get dressed appropriately in the morning.

6. February 6: Lame Duck Day

Photo of mallard ducks swimming
The holiday has nothing to do with these ducks. / Anadolu/GettyImages

Though the holiday was created to celebrate the introduction of the 20th Amendment on February 6 of 1933, the amendment was actually ratified in January of that year. Lame Duck Day is a way to honor those who just left office after being rendered totally ineffective for a few months.

7. February 7: Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day

Charles III of the United Kingdom
King Charles III has the hang of it. / Max Mumby/Indigo/GettyImages

In other words, consider actually interacting with the people that live nearby, whether across the street or in the apartment below you. Just don’t overdue it, on this day or any other—someone actually once called New York City’s non-emergency hotline to report that their neighbor was waving to everyone on the block.

8. February 8: Laugh and Get Rich Day

If only it were that easy! Maybe it can be, why not? Given the healing properties of laughter, all you have to lose is your good health if you don’t try.

9. February 9: National Read in the Bathtub Day

a woman reading in a bath tub with a glass of wine
Wine not required. / Karen Moskowitz/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Today is the day to treat yourself to a long, warm bath and a good book. But unless you’re a fan of severe pruning, this might not be the day to finally finish Infinite Jest.

10. February 10: National Umbrella Day

Rainy day in Istanbul
Umbrellas make rainy weather a bit less miserable. / Anadolu/GettyImages

Go ahead and bust out your favorite umbrella, even if it isn’t raining. And don’t worry about bringing yourself bad luck if you open it inside—that’s just an old superstition. 

11. February 11: Satisfied Staying Single Day

photo of a man happily yelling atop a cliff at a beach
He's really enjoying his independence. / Ippei Naoi/Moment/Getty Images

Don’t let the days leading up to Valentine’s Day get you down. Instead, celebrate all the known scientific benefits of being single.

12. February 12: Darwin Day

Charles Darwin was born on this date (side note: Abe Lincoln was born on exactly the same day). The International Darwin Day Foundation elects February 12 as a day to commemorate the man, science in general, and humanity.

13. February 13: Get a Different Name Day

Close up of businessman's hands holding blank name tag
Now's your chance for a major rebrand. / Tetra Images/Getty Images

If you’ve been coveting one of the most popular baby names, here’s your chance to make it your own. Or, if you feel your name is too modern and trendy, perhaps try swapping it for something that would have topped the charts a century ago.

14. February 14: Library Lovers’ Day

The New York Public Library, circa 1900.
The New York Public Library, circa 1900. / George Rinhart/GettyImages

Here’s a great Valentine’s Day date idea: Grab your sweetheart (or go solo!) and check out all the wonderful things your local library has to offer.

15. February 15: World Hippo Day

Two hippos swimming at Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda
They're watching to see if anyone is celebrating them. / Anadolu/GettyImages

Hippos may look cute and cuddly, but they’re actually incredibly dangerous. It’s best to celebrate this holiday far away from any actual hippos.

16. February 16: Tim Tam Day

You don’t have to be in Australia or New Zealand to indulge in these tasty chocolate biscuits. If you have some coffee or hot chocolate handy, make sure you try a Tim Tam slam.

17. February 17: National Random Acts of Kindness Day

In some parts of the world, Random Acts of Kindness Day is actually observed on September 1. But what’s the harm in two days of niceness? So as our magnanimous act for the day, we’re happy to grant February 17 equal footing in the kindness department.

18. February 18: Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day

Nellie Jay, later known as Elm Farm Ollie, took to the skies on February 18, 1930. She was no ordinary passenger: She was a cow. She was milked while flying from Bismarck, Missouri, to St. Louis. That milk was then pored into paper cartons that were parachuted from the plane to the people watching from the ground. The whole ordeal was part publicity stunt, part scientific study on how high altitude affects cow milk. 

19. February 19: National Arabian Horse Day

Gray Arabian horse being led at a show
Arabian horses are known for their dished faces. / Anadolu/GettyImages

Arabian horses have a long history, and have gone on to influence many other horse breeds, including Thoroughbreds.

20: February 20: Northern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day 

On this day, residents of the Northern Hemisphere take to the streets at noon, toss their hands in the air, and exclaim, “Hoodie Hoo!” It’s meant to chase away winter, and while it might sound ineffectual, we challenge you to come up with a better idea.

21. February 21: National Sticky Bun Day

An Amish woman making sticky buns.
An Amish woman making sticky buns. / John Greim/GettyImages

Sticky buns are not to be confused with cinnamon rolls: The former uses less cinnamon, and usually features a delicious layer of caramelized sugar. They’re also usually topped with nuts and caramel instead of a cream cheese frosting.

22. February 22: National Margarita Day

a tray of frozen margaritas
Cheers! / Douglas Peebles/Corbis Documentary/Getty Images

We can’t think of a better day to head to your local Margaritaville and raise a glass to Jimmy Buffet.

23. February 23: Curling Is Cool Day

Impress everyone at your local curling club by telling them what the red and green lights on the stones actually mean.

24. February 24: International I Hate Coriander Day

Baja Fish Tacos topped with cilantro, served with a side of guac
February 24 is not the day to garnish your tacos with cilantro. / Lisa Wiltse/GettyImages

Cilantro and coriander come from the same plant. In the U.S., people call the leaves and stem cilantro and the dried seeds coriander; elsewhere, the leaves and stem are known as coriander while the dried seeds are simply coriander seeds. If you’re one of the people partaking in this holiday because you think cilantro tastes like soap, you can blame your genetics.

25. February 25: Quiet Day

Noah Jupe at a screening of 'A Quiet Place.'
Noah Jupe at a screening of 'A Quiet Place.' / Dave J Hogan/GettyImages

Shhh. 

26. February 26: For Pete’s Sake Day

Pete Davidson
The holiday does not involve Pete Davidson. / Dimitrios Kambouris/GettyImages

Who is Pete and why do we do things for his sake? Take this day to learn all about it.

27: February 27: National Pokémon Day

Giant inflatable Pikachu
Pikachu approves. / Lauren DeCicca/GettyImages

It’s a perfect day to admire your trusty old cards (some may be pretty valuable!) or take a walk while playing Pokémon Go. If you really want to show off your knowledge about the franchise, you can scandalize people with these facts about famous Pokémon controversies.

28. February 28: National Public Sleeping Day

photo of a businessman sleeping on a bus
Sweet dreams! / ljubaphoto/E+/Getty Images

Don’t feel bad about falling asleep on the bus ride to work or taking a quick snooze at your office desk. Napping is good for you, after all!

29. February 29: Leap Day

a woman proposing marriage over a video call
Who knew Leap Day could be so romantic? / Peter Dazeley/The Image Bank/Getty Images

February gets a bonus day every four years, thanks to the Gregorian calendar we use. According to some traditions, it’s the one day where it’s acceptable for a woman to propose to a man.