weird and wacky holidays happening in March

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, created by Thomas and Ruth Roy of Wellcmake up your own holiday dayat Holidays and Herbs. Thomas is an actor perhaps best known for his role as a preacher in 12 Monkeys. Ruth is the proprietor of Wellcat Herbs, selling her own products online and at Pennsylvania Renaissance Faires.

Together, they have invented more than 80 holidays featured in Chase’s Calendar of Events, the bible of unofficial celebrations. Despite reports the Roys are co-authoring a book about practical wellness and expanding holiday information, their website looks like it hasn’t been updated in years.

We can’t say more without infringing on their copyright. So, when it comes to planning today’s festivities, you’re just going to have to make it up on your own. Have a happy Make Up Your Own Holiday Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

March 25 is Pecan Day

Today is Pecan Day, not to be confused with National Pecan Day (April 14) or National Pecan Month (also April). As the only nut tree native to North America, the pecan has been a source of pride since the founding of the United States.

pecan day

photo credit – Corey Leopold

The pecan tree was declared the State Tree of Texas in 1906; the pecan became State Nut in 1919. Ninety years later, Arkansas also named the pecan as its State Nut. Interestingly, the two states also share the same State Historic Cooking Vessel: the Dutch oven. (We would’ve chosen the George Foreman Grill. That thing is amazing.)

The story behind Pecan Day is this: On March 25, 1775, George Washington planted pecan trees on his grounds in Mount Vernon, NY. They were a gift from Thomas Jefferson, who had transplanted a number of the trees from the Mississippi Valley to his home in Monticello, NY.

A few of those trees still stand today as a reminder that, even as they geared up for war, the founders could still make time for a little agriculture. (Having slaves to do the manual labor probably helped, too, but that’s a story for another time.)

Happy Pecan Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

 

National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day.

In 1927, the Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Company had the brilliant idea of covering dried California grapes with chocolate. It named the results Raisinets and they’ve been a favorite of moviegoers and vending machine gourmands ever since. The formula changed hands several times before being purchased by Nestlé in 1984.

According to Nestlé, more than one million Raisinets are produced each hour. They’re coated, then machine-polished in large batches to achieve their round shape and high shine. In 2015, the company released this graphic:

national chocolate covered raisins day

They state on their website that if you lined up the number of Raisinets made in one year end-to-end, they would stretch around the globe twice, adding, “Every man, woman and child in the United States would receive 17 Raisinets if the amount made in a year were shared with all.”

Until then, keep buying them yourselves and have a happy National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

 

March 23 is Near Miss Day

near miss day

Today is Near Miss Day. On March 23, 1989, an asteroid passed uncomfortably close to Earth.

Asteroids fly by Earth fairly often, with no deleterious effects. If NASA notified us of every space rock in our general vicinity, we’d spend all our time:

  • watching Discovery channel disaster porn about the killer rock that’s probably on its way right now to snuff us like the dinosaurs,
  • sharing dash cam footage of the 2013 meteor explosion over Russia, or
  • searching Armageddon for clues about how to survive.
    (Bruce Willis + Ben Affleck x Aerosmith = a fate worse than death)

The asteroid known as 4581 Asclepius passed us at a distance of 684,000 km (425,000 mi) and briefly occupied the exact spot where Earth had been only six hours earlier. It might have caused concern if anyone had noticed it at the time. Amateur astronomer Dr. Henry Holt discovered it a week later.

After the fact, NASA breathlessly reported a made-for-Hollywood doomsday scenario, stating that the asteroid was at least half a mile (over 800 meters) in diameter. But studies of its brightness, likely composition and other factors have created scientific consensus that 4581 Asclepius is most likely 300 meters in diameter.

Why is this important? An asteroid would have to be at least 1 kilometer in diameter to precipitate an extinction-level event. But a comparatively small asteroid, while not a planet killer, would still devastate a large area, whether it hit the ocean, cratered on land or exploded in the atmosphere.

The best spin we can put on it is this: If you’re reading this, nothing has happened yet. The scientists watching the skies can’t stop an asteroid strike, but they will be able to let us know we’re doomed so we can make our last moments count. (Hint: Delete Deep Impact from your Netlix queue.) Until then, have a happy Near Miss Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays