strange, bizarre and kooky holidays happening in July

The Great Texas Mosquito Festival

great texas mosquito festival

Willie Man-Chew

Since 1981, the Great Texas Mosquito Festival has been celebrated on the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday of July in Clute, TX.

Visitors are greeted by a 26-foot-tall mosquito clad in a cowboy hat and boots. Promoters claim it’s the world’s largest and we certainly hope they’re right.

Highlights include the Mosquito Calling Contest, where entrants are judged on their ability to emulate and attract the biggest, orneriest skeeters around.

What festival would be complete without a beauty pageant? Anyone in shorts can compete in the Mosquito Legs Contest.

Other events are the Mosquito Chase 5K Run, Horseshoe Pitching Tournament, BBQ and Fajita Cook-off, Haystack Dive, Bingo and 6oo-meter Kids Run.

Other attractions are carnival rides and games, a petting zoo, food vendors and nightly musical entertainment. Organizers estimate 13,000 attend the three-day festival each year, sponsored in part by Budweiser, Sonic, Whataburger and Texas Roadhouse.

A dark side to the proceedings is revealed by the sponsorship of Dow, Olin and BASF chemical companies and Killum Pest Control. We urge all mosquitoes to beware. Willie has sold you out: it’s a trap!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

National Intern Day

National Intern Day, celebrated on the last Thursday in July, recognizes the hard work and dedication of interns across the country. It was created in 2017 by WayUp, a unique platform that connects college students and recent grads with job opportunities and career advice.

The task of getting an internship has always been a difficult one, often dependent on luck or “who you know.” Most people just starting out don’t have access to traditional on-campus recruiting services.

WayUp, the brainchild of CEO Liz Wessel, has democratized and streamlined the process, introducing a single common form which makes it easy to apply for jobs and helps prospective employers find candidates and set up interviews. To date, more than 3.5 million students and recent grads have become users of WayUp to connect with startups, local businesses and Fortune 500 companies that are hiring.

It’s only fitting that WayUp would seek to acknowledge the bright young people who help make the venture a success. Companies are encouraged to submit nominations for its Intern Awards, which will reward outstanding interns in six areas of expertise. Businesses that visit the holiday’s website and pledge to observe National Intern Day will receive a free kit with information and materials to hold their own in-office intern celebration.

As WayUp grows exponentially, it still has a sense of humor. We noticed this in the Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need a picture?
A profile picture is not mandatory, but according to industry standards it increases your chances of getting hired by 14x. That does NOT, however, include the following: selfies, awkward pictures taken against white walls, or pictures where a red cup has been cropped out.

Sage advice! Happy National Intern Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

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July 26 is Esperanto Day

international esperanto day

Dr. L.L. Zamenhof

Today is Esperanto Day. On July 26, 1887, Dr. L.L. Zamenhof published Dr. Esperanto’s Lingvo Internacia (International Language), also known as Unua Libro (First Book), a textbook about the new language he’d just invented.

Zamenhof didn’t create Esperanto as an intellectual exercise. It was his practical solution to an issue dividing people and cultures. He built a common language to allow everyone to communicate freely, without the need for the translation and manipulation of governments.

Esperanto is comparatively easy to learn due to its logical construction. It employs phonetic spelling and 16 basic rules of grammar that have no exceptions, eliminating the frustration familiar to a student of any other language. Because it uses the roots of European languages, mastering Esperanto as a second language can make it easier to learn a third.

Zamenhof wrote, “An international language, like a national one, is common property.”  He renounced his rights and placed his work in the public domain. He used the pen name “Doktoro Esperanto” (Doctor One-Who-Hopes). Students began to call it “Esperanto” and the name stuck.

Today, approximately two million people speak Esperanto and there are many magazines, books, clubs and pen pal programs devoted to it. Community members often seek each other out when traveling. Esperantists make friends all over the world.

Dr. Zamenhof would be proud.

Fun fact:

In 1966, William Shatner starred in Inkubo (Incubus), the first and only movie filmed entirely in Esperanto. In his autobiography, Shatner wrote that he simply memorized his lines and never saw the completed film because he doesn’t watch his own performances. He joked in the book that he certainly wasn’t going to break that self-imposed rule to watch himself trying to speak Esperanto. (If you care to watch this scene, we think you’ll agree that he made the right decision.)

Shatner was cast in Star Trek soon after and never had a need to learn the language. Some Esperantists who’ve seen the horror film say his diction was off and at times the actors appeared to be reading from off-camera cue cards. We’re not sure how Dr. Zamenhof would feel about that.

Happy Esperanto Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Test Tube Baby Day

test tube baby dayToday is Test Tube Baby Day. On July 25, 1978, in Oldham, England, Louise Joy Brown became the first person born after being conceived outside her mother’s body, in a revolutionary process now called in-vitro fertilization, or IVF.

In IVF, egg and sperm are placed together in a liquid with some smooth jazz and Bacardi 151; after the egg has been fertilized, it is transplanted into a woman’s uterus. (We’re kidding about some of that.)

The media’s description of Louise as a “test tube baby,” evocative of heretical work performed by mad scientists, was widely adopted but technically inaccurate. Her conception took place in a petri dish.

At the time, her parents knew the procedure was experimental but were unaware that it had never resulted in a baby. This called into question their ability to give informed consent and the ethics and motives of the doctors involved. Disciplinary action might have been taken had Louise not been born.

IVF has become an accepted treatment for infertility. By 2006, the World Health Organization reported that more than 1.5 million children had been conceived via the process. In 2010, Robert Edwards, one of its developers, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Happy birthday, Louise!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays