Did you know there’s a ‘National Popcorn Day’ (January 19th)? There’s also a ‘National Go Barefoot Day’ (luckily on June 1st), ‘National School Librarian Day’ (April 4th, Shhhhh) and even a ‘National Make your Bed day’ on September 11th.
Where do all these weird and wonderful National Days come from? Well the fact is that anyone can make one up, use social media to promote it and hey presto, you have your own day! There are a couple of calendars on the web which list them, and where you can register your own day (beware though, as many are submitted, few accepted!)
Some, like ‘National Talk like a Pirate Day’ (September 9th) are the brainchild of a couple of friends and just celebrated in private until it was picked up by the media and the whole world joined in the fun. Others, like ‘National Equal Pay Day’ (second Tuesday in April) have a serious message and were set up by national organisations.
Some seemingly trivial days have interesting stories behind them: National ampersand day is on September 8th each year – did you know that:
- The ampersand was the 27th letter of the English alphabet until the early 1800s?
- The ampersand is a joining together of ‘e’ and ‘t’, spelling ‘et’ in Latin (meaning ‘and’)?
- The word “ampersand” is a slurring of the words ‘and per se and’ (‘and, by itself, and’)?
- The plus sign may have derived from the ampersand?