Polar Bear Day and Other Unusual February Holidays

How do you celebrate Lame Duck Day? Do you buy a duck a set of crutches? How would you like to fly your kite in the middle of the winter? Would you still fly it if a blizzard hit on this day? Are you going to try and catch a tooth fairy on National Tooth Fairy Day? Do you remove your brain on No Brainer Day? And do you celebrate Public Sleeping Day every day of the year? What in the world are you supposed to celebrate on Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day?

Lame Duck Congress, flickr

Lame Duck Day – For this day, a “lame duck” is someone who will soon no longer hold his or her current position. An incumbent politician who has been voted out of his current position is an example, as is any manager or teacher whose time is up or who is retiring. The term “lame duck” first popped up in the 1700s and was used to describe a stockbroker who did not meet his debts. The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the “Lame Duck Amendment.” It calls for Congress and the new President to assume office in January, but this holiday takes place in February.

Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day – This is a day to greet your neighbor with a big wave, but not a wimpy wave. On this day, you need to wave with all five fingers. If your neighbor annoys you, drives you crazy, or makes you want to scream, you may not wave at him or her any other day of the year. This is the one day you need to wave at your neighbor, though. No matter how unbearable your neighbor is the rest of the year, make a special effort to wave at him or her today.

contemporary ballet, wikipedia

Ballet Day – Ballet was brought to the United States on February 7, 1827, with a performance of “The Deserter” in New York at Bowery Theater. This is the day to appreciate the beauty of ballet, a beautiful form of art and dance combined. Ballet is also a wonderful form of exercise. Attend a ballet performance on this day or contribute to your local school of ballet to show your appreciation. Even better, make your local ballet school the center of one of your books or short stories and bring it national attention!

Kite Flying Day – I know. It is really strange for Kite Flying Day to be held in the middle of winter, but with the nice warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing this year, it might not make any difference. Any day in February should be nice for flying a kite. Just don’t make the same mistake that Ben Franklin did and fly one during a thunderstorm!

child laughing, flickr

Laugh and Get Rich Day – Wow! Is it really that easy? Can you just laugh and get rich? Well, laughing may not bring you immediate wealth, but it will improve your health, and depending on just how hard you laugh, it could even tighten your abdominal muscles. Laughter is good for you and very beneficial to your well-being. So why not laugh? And, who knows, it could lead to you becoming rich.

Why was this day started and by whom? I have no clue, so have some fun and write a story about this day’s beginnings.

Opera Day – Why is there a day celebrating opera? Well, I know it is a holiday because I found it listed on several different sites, but I had no luck finding out exactly why it is a holiday. Maybe it is a day to honor those who sing opera. Maybe it is day thanking those who have written operas. Maybe it is a day when everyone is supposed to try and sing really, really high. Put your writer’s imagination to work and write about the beginnings of this musical holiday.

walking the dog, wikimedia commons

Walking the Dog Day  – You should walk or run your dog every day, but if you have neglected to do this before, this would be a great day to start. The exercise will do you some good, too. I walk the same route most days with my dogs, so if there was something out of the ordinary along the way, it would stand out to me. Even though I might not realize it at the moment I saw it, I would realize at some time later that something was wrong.

Your character notices something out of place on the route she walks with her dog. By the time she realizes what she has seen, something bad has happened. And she knows something that someone doesn’t want her to know. What’s going on?

Diesel Engine Day – On February 23, 1893, Rudolf Diesel received a patent for his diesel engine. Instead of gasoline, this engine burns fuel oil and uses compressed air in the cylinder instead of a spark to ignite the fuel. Perhaps you drive a car that runs on diesel. This would be a great day to investigate the beginnings of this type of engine.

The life of Rudolf Diesel and his fabulous creation would be a great basis for a work of historical fiction.

Samuel Colt, wikipedia

Pistol Patent Day – On this day in 1836, Samuel Colt received Patent #138 for his invention of the Colt Revolver that had a rotating chamber with six bullets. This is probably the reason that Pistol Patent Day is always celebrated on February 25. If you have a new design for a pistol, you could celebrate by filing for a patent for your creation on this day. If not, well, you could always do some research and pen a historical fiction novel about the patent for the first pistol.

For Pete’s Sake Day – One has to wonder who Pete is and why do we do things for his sake? The expression, “for Pete’s sake,” is what is known as a minced oath. Surprise, anger, or disgust is usually implied when this minced oath is used. This saying was, of course, started in the church. If you said a curse word, you risked being hauled in front of the bishop or other church authority. This idiom actually started out as “for Saint Peter’s sake.”
On this day, why not write a story about the first time this phrase was used? Did someone pound his finger with a hammer? Did someone drop a huge piece of lumber on his toe?

chili con carne, wikimedia commons

National Chili Day – Many historians believe that chili originated in Texas where Native American, Mexican, and Spanish culinary traditions collided with each other. However and wherever chili was created, it makes an awesome meal, especially during the cold and dreary months of winter. Chili makes your house, especially your kitchen, smell really inviting. And this wonderful dish warms up your insides, even when it is freezing outside. My family’s favorite chili is Whistle Stop Chili. This chili comes to us from the state of Alabama. There are numerous other types of chili out there. No matter what type of chili you enjoy, why not make a big pot of it on this day?

You could write a tale on how chili was created. Or you could write a story about a chili cooking contest. A mystery surrounding a prize-winning chili recipe that is worth millions would make a great story. Are there any more that you can think of?

Tell a Fairy Tale Day – Fairy tales are full of mystery, enchantment, bravery, and triumph. The Grimm Brothers used local legends and superstitions to write their tales that have enchanted people, especially children, for hundreds of years.

Whether it is a fairy tale aimed at children or a fairy tale aimed at older people, this is the day to read at least one. Or you could try your hand at writing a fairy tale. Just remember, it must start with “once upon a time”. That seems to be a requirement for all fairy tales.

No Brainer, bussword bingo

No Brainer Day – What is a “no brainer?” It is something that is super easy and so obvious that anyone should be able to understand it. If your plans for this day require serious thinking or a lot of thought, this isn’t the day for them. Today you need to just do simple, relaxing things.

Who created this day? Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith is the one who blessed us with this day. Why not write a story about how and why you believe she created it?

polar bear, wikipedia

Polar Bear Day – I think polar bears are beautiful, magnificent creatures. Want to know some interesting facts about this bear?
>Even though they appear to be white, they aren’t really. Their hair is transparent and reflects visible light.
>An adult male can 10 feet tall (when standing) and weigh up to 1400 pounds.
>Female polar bears begin having cubs at 4 or 5 years of age.
>Newborn polar bears weigh little more than a pound.
>These cubs go to school while their mother is hunting. They must freeze and remain still. If they mess up and move, their mama gives them a whack on the head.

There are many, many more fascinating facts about these beautiful animals. On this day that celebrates them, go to the zoo and see some for yourself. Try to find out some more interesting facts about them, then write a short story about a family of polar bears.

International Sword Swallowers Day – This holiday, of course, was founded by the Sword Swallowers Association International. Each year it is co-sponsored by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums. How do you celebrate this day? Well, if you happen to be a sword swallower, you swallow as many swords as you can in the most outrageous way possible. If not, you can go to one of Ripleys’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums and watch those who do swallow swords, swallow them. And I would not recommend trying to swallow a sword if you are not a professional. Anyway, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium and a group of sword swallowers on this holiday would make an intriguing setting for a crime to take place. Why not try your hand at writing one?

tooth fairy, nationaldaycalendar.com

National Tooth Fairy Day – Over the years, different cultures have looked upon the loss of children’s teeth in some really strange ways. Some thought that witches and evil spirits would use these lost teeth for voodoo, so these teeth were buried to hide them. The Vikings would pay children for their lost baby teeth. Why? They believed that these teeth had magical powers and would help them during battle. The baby teeth they obtained would be strung onto jewelry that would be worn in battle.

Before the invention of the Tooth Fairy, there was a Tooth Mouse. This mouse would run around in the middle of the night and gather up all the lost teeth. This little mouse soon morphed into the Tooth Fairy who would leave presents underneath each pillow in place of the lost tooth.

You should already have lots of ideas for stories just from the information about superstitions surrounding lost baby teeth given above. Choose one of the facts above, investigate it some more, and write a story about it.

Public Sleeping Day – Have you ever fallen asleep on a park bench? Have you dozed off while laying out in the sun? Perhaps you’ve dozed off while at work or at school. This is how you celebrate Public Sleeping Day – you sleep in public.

How was this day created? I don’t know, but I think that probably somebody fell asleep at work and was caught by their boss. This person then came up with the excuse that he or she was just celebrating Public Sleeping Day. Why not write a story about it?

sinking ship, wikimedia commons

Four Chaplains Memorial Day – Who are the four chaplains remembered on this day? What is the reason we are supposed to remember them? The four chaplains were Reverend George Fox (Methodist), Jewish Rabbi Alexander Goode, Reverend Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed) and Father John Washington (Roman Catholic). The four men, each of a different faith, were aboard an Army transport, the Dorchester, bound for Greenland. Nine hundred troops were being transported to an American army base located in that country. The transport was struck by a German torpedo. Those who did not die instantly were scrambling for lifeboats as the Dorchester sank into an unforgiving ocean. These four chaplains gave the surviving soldiers directions to safety while they comforted the wounded and distributed life jackets to those who needed them. When there were no more life jackets to distribute, they took off the ones they were wearing and put them on soldiers who needed them. Arms linked together while praying, these chaplains went down with the ship.

Bubble Gum Day – Children’s book author, Ruth Spiro, began this holiday in 2006. On this day, a lot of money is raised for charity. What charity? Well, each school picks the charity to which it wants the collected money to be donated. How is this money raised? On this day, any student who donates $0.50 or more is permitted to chew gum at school all day long. Creative teachers even work bubble gum into their lesson plans! Even some libraries, community centers, and businesses hold events for this special day.

Windows Installer Clean Up Application, wikimedia commons

Clean Out Your Computer Day – I don’t know about you, but I could stand to clean my computer out at least once a week, if not more often. This is the day to clean out and get rid of all your old files that aren’t used anymore and free up space on your computer. What if while cleaning out all of your old files you find one that rouses your curiosity? You have no clue where this file came from and it is rather mysterious. The subject of it is the murder of your next-door neighbor. What do you do?

Ferris wheel, wikimedia commons

Ferris Wheel Day  – On this day in Chicago in 1893, the first Ferris wheel was unveiled. Today is the day to celebrate its invention. Do so by visiting a fairground and riding one. Or you can celebrate by writing a story about being one of the very first people to ride such an awesome creation!

A Ferris wheel would be a romantic setting for a love story. Or if one character needed to have a discussion with another character who just wouldn’t stay still long enough, a Ferris wheel would be the perfect place for them to have this discussion. One can’t exactly just walk away from anything while suspended up in the air.

National Organ Donor Day – If you haven’t decided to become an organ donor upon your death, this would be the day to sign up. My somewhat demented mind cannot help but think of storylines to use for this day. There is a murderer out there who is hunting down and killing people who have decided to donate their own organs after death. Or, what if during the rapture, when the bodies rise up out of the grave, the ones who have donated organs are reunited with the organs they have donated? Will the people who received these organs just be walking down the street and have these transplanted organs fly out of their bodies?

There are plenty of books and stories out there that have to do with killing people to steal their organs or other body parts. Will you be the one to add another best-seller to the list?

ice cream, pexels

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day – This yummy holiday was started by a set of parents who were looking for a way to keep their two children entertained during the dreary days of winter in upstate New York. They decided that on the first Saturday in February each year, they would all have ice cream for breakfast. The kids eventually grew up, went to college, and married. Along the way, they told everyone about Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. This little known holiday is now celebrated by many and is much better known. Why not spread the word about it to all of your friends? You can tell even more people about it by writing a story that includes Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Learn more about this holiday by visiting http://www.itzahckret.com/icecreamforbreakfast.html.

Do a Grouch a Favor Day – Why in the world would you want to do a grouch a favor of any kind? To make him or her happy, of course. Then maybe the world would be a happier place. People are grouchy for all kinds of reasons. Maybe something bad is going on in his life. Maybe she didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Maybe someone close to them is really sick. Whatever the reason, any grouch would like to be cheered up. Do something really nice for one today and see if you can make the world a better, happier place.

No one knows how this day began, so put your writer’s imagination to work and come up with a really fantastic reason, then write about it. Your character could be so set on doing random acts of kindness that his or her acts of kindness turn into something not so random or so kind.

cow, wikipedia

Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day is definitely an unusual kind of holiday. On February 18, 1930 or 1931 (I found two different dates), Nellie Jay, a dairy cow, flew in an airplane. She flew from her farm in Bismarck, North Dakota, to the International Aircraft Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. She was milked during the flight and gave 24 quarts of milk which were then sealed in paper containers and dropped, hooked to parachutes, over St. Louis. I’m not sure how humane it was to transport the cow by airplane, but she was kept comfortable, fed, and milked. I don’t know whether of not any other cows have been transported anywhere by plane since then.

There are several possibilities for a story here, especially a children’s story. This is one to have some fun with.

Pluto Day is the day to celebrate the actual discovery of this tiny planet. On February 18, 1930, this distant planet was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh. This is your chance for not only a good historical fiction novel, but you could also write a science fiction story from the events surrounding this momentous discovery.

Northern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day, ces.district14. org

If you celebrate Northern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day, people may think that you’re just a little strange. On February 20 at noon, you are supposed to go outside, wave your hands over your head, and chant “Hoodie-Hoo”. Why on earth would you want to do that? It is supposed to help chase away winter and your winter blues. It is supposed to encourage the sun to come back and warm up the days. You think those weather-forecasting groundhogs could have had anything to do with the creation of this day?

Mardi Gras is celebrated on February 21. It has been celebrated in various cities around the world since 1699. Closely related to the pagan festival of fertility, Lupercalia, it is a day of carnival and merrymaking.

The Mardi Gras would be a fantastic setting for a story that is a story filled with intrigue, a thriller or a mystery. Look up the Mardi Gras on the internet, look at pictures of the partiers of past carnivals and see what you can come up with.

Leap Day, flickr

Leap Day – Leap Day happens only once every four years, well, almost every four years. If the fourth year ends in “00” and is not divisible by 400, then it does not qualify to be a leap day. Why do we have a leap day just about every four years? It is to keep our calendar as consistent as possible with the earth’s annual trip around the sun.

Imagine that Leap Day was created because of a myth, legend, or superstition. Now write a story about it.

Hula in the Coola Day – Say you live up north and the winter has been long, cold, and dreary. You feel the need to bring some warmth and sunshine back into your life. How can you accomplish this? On this day, no matter how cold, snowy, and icy it is outside, put away your winter clothes and don a hula skirt and coconut bra. Bravely step out into the cold and do the hula. If your imagination is good enough, you can just wish all the coldness away and be rewarded with hot, sunny temperatures! Just for fun, when you take a break from all of your hula dancing, drink some icy cold Bahama-style drinks while you eat the pig you have roasted. If nothing else warms you up, at least you have the toasty fire used to roast the pig. Even if you don’t celebrate it, you could write a really wacky story about someone who celebrated it alone or with a group of people.

Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday, wikimedia commons

Robinson Crusoe Day – On this day, even if you haven’t been stranded on a lonely desert island, you can show that you, too, can be adventurous and self-reliant. Or you can just celebrate the fact that this is the day in 1709 that Alexander Selkirk, said to be the inspiration for the book Robinson Crusoe, was rescued from the deserted island that he requested his captain put him ashore on. They had been quarreling. Here is a writing prompt about this day for you – he and his captain had been arguing to such an extent that Andrew wanted off the boat. What argument could have been that bad? What would make you want to get off the boat and stay on a deserted island?

Working Naked Day – If you work outside your home, it might not be such a good idea to celebrate this day. When your job enables you to work from the luxury of your home, today is yours to celebrate the freedom that comes with it – either work in your pajamas all day or go all out and work in your birthday suit. You can also message a friend who works in an office or cubicle and brag about how comfortable you are and how you don’t have to dress up for work.

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