strange, bizarre and kooky holidays in October

October 10 is Hug A Drummer Day

Hug A Drummer Day

Today is Hug a Drummer Day. Some in the U.S. call it National Hug a Drummer Day, but it’s been celebrated internationally for many years. Though it appears the music industry invented this holiday, that shouldn’t make us cynical. After all, behind every great group, quite literally, is a great drummer. Without a talented percussionist to keep the beat steady and rhythm smooth, a band’s performance could fall apart. Too often drummers are overshadowed by flashier frontmen.

Hug a Drummer Day has evolved into a day when bands around the world perform and spotlight their drummers. The fun continues year-round on the Hug A Drummer Facebook page.

hug a drummer day

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney

Hug A Drummer Day

Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart and Geddy Lee

What are you waiting for? Get out there and hug a drummer today!

More great drummers:
20 Best Drummers of All Time – LA Weekly
The 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music – Spin
Drum Roll: The Top Ten Rock Drummers of All Time – Gibson
Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All Time – Loudwire

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

October 9 is International Beer and Pizza Day

international beer and pizza dayToday is International Beer and Pizza Day, an unofficial holiday founded in 2016 by website designer Nick Saulino to pay tribute to one of the greatest food and drink pairings in human history.

Beer is not a recent invention. When people began to cultivate grains about 10,000 years ago, they may have stumbled upon the tasty byproduct of the natural fermentation process.

The oldest known brewing recipe was included in the 1800 BC poem “Hymn to Ninkasi,” written in ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) and dedicated to the Sumerian goddess of beer.

The word “pizza” first appeared in payment records from 997 AD at a church in Gaeta, Italy. The discovery has led some food historians to challenge the common belief that nearby Naples is the birthplace of pizza. Most of us don’t care where it started out, as long as it ends up in our stomachs.

Beer and pizza, pizza and beer. It’s a perfect combination—for those over 21, of course. Brewers are doing some great things with non-alcoholic beers these days. Some of us prefer soda with a slice but International Pop and Pizza Day doesn’t have the same ring.

Was this event created solely to generate publicity and cash in on multiple marketing opportunities? Who cares? Nick Saulino has given us the holiday we didn’t know we needed. Have a happy and delicious International Beer and Pizza Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

Back to the Future Day Update: Cubs Win World Series!

Most holidays don’t require frequent updates. They happen once a year and the details don’t change much. That is not the case with Back to the Future Day, which has continued to evolve since its first observance on October 21, 2015.back to the future day

Back to the Future Part II was released in 1989. In it, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) utters the following line as he and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travel through time in his trusty DeLorean: “We’re descending toward Hill Valley, California, at 4:29 pm, on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015.”

While the time machine has not been perfected—as far as we know—some of the “technology” dreamed up for the movie has come to fruition. When Nike was offered product placement, execs imagined a pair of sneakers with self-tying laces. To celebrate the date when the real world caught up to the movie’s timeline, Nike created a working pair of Air Mags with self-tying laces and delivered them to Fox on October 21, 2015.

back to the future day

Fox tries on first working pair

For Back to the Future Day 2016, it produced 89 pairs of the sneakers and raffled or auctioned them off, raising more than $6.75 million dollars for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

The quest to create a hoverboard like the one McFly rides in the movie has been less successful. One prototype levitates over a special surface, has a battery that lasts less than two minutes and is so hard to steer that one reviewer simply spun around until someone came to his aid. Still, its maker produced 10 and sold them for $10,000 each.back to the future day hoverboard

Most hoverboards could be called HINOs (Hoverboards In Name Only). They are self-balancing scooters with wheels, like a Segway without handlebars. Many models have batteries that can overheat and burst into flame while being charged or ridden, presenting a potentially exciting yet possibly disastrous experience for riders. We’re still waiting for the real thing.

Back to the Future Day

Without a doubt, one of the things Future fans will discuss for years to come isn’t a product but a “prediction” made as a joke by screenwriter Bob Gale. In Back to the Future Part II, the Chicago Cubs beat Miami to win the World Series on October 21, 2015.

Gale, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, later said he was trying to come up with something completely outrageous that could only happen in a fictional universe. He also pointed out that Miami had no team in 1989: “People don’t automatically realize when they watch the movie today, but we were predicting there would be a major league team in Miami.”back to the future day mcfly chicago cubs

In reality, on October 21, 2015, the Cubs played the New York Mets in the fourth game of the National League Championship Series and lost. (The Mets swept all  four games, obviating the need to continue the seven-game series.)

The Major League Baseball schedule has changed since the movie came out, which explains why the timing of the World Series isn’t quite right.

Back to the Future Day - Cubs win World Series

The story doesn’t end there. On November 2, 2016, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians to win its first World Series since 1908. Coincidence or fate a year late? You decide.

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays

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Whatever Happened to Visit a Cemetery Day?

visit a cemetery day

Visit a Cemetery Day is supposed to take place on the last Sunday of October each year but the unofficial holiday has vanished without a trace.

The inaugural event in 2010 was intended to create an annual ritual of remembrance, according to organizers, International Memorialization Supplier Organization (IMSA), Kates-Boylston Publications and American Cemetery Magazine.

By 2012, the founders were so confident in their new tradition that they announced the next Visit a Cemetery Day a year in advance, yet there is no record of it taking place in 2013 or any year since. Where has it gone?

Perhaps it has been forgotten as the industry adjusts to an evolving marketplace. (Check out this TED Talk on the Infinity Burial Suit that uses embedded mushrooms to digest dead flesh and promote “an individual engagement with the process of decomposition.”)

American Cemetery Magazine has rebranded itself as American Cemetery and Cremation “to better connect with the expanding readership and better align with the changing dynamics in the death-care profession.”

Order a subscription through, where you will also find disaster pouches a.k.a. body bags, cremation pan cooling racks and stainless steel body trays with and without drain holes. If Very Berry spray “neutralizes body decomp odors” as advertised, imagine what it could do for your litter box!

Perhaps the most compelling reason to resurrect Visit a Cemetery Day lies in the game introduced on mysendoff‘s Facebook page on October 25, 2012:

“For those of you who are planning to introduce children to “Visit a Cemetery Day” we created a Cemetery Search game that is easy to play. Just click on the image and print your own card(s). It’s a fun way to start finding out some of the history that can be found in your local cemetery.”

visit a cemetery day search card

Just in case Visit a Cemetery Day ever comes back from the dead, it may be a good idea to start the therapy fund for your kids now. It’s not a terrible thing for children to learn about death—but isn’t that what hamsters are for?

Copyright 2016 Worldwide Weird Holidays