unofficial holidays related to animals


April 27 is Matanzas Mule Day

matanzas mule day

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Today is Matanzas Mule Day. While Mule Appreciation Day (October 26) honors mules in general, today’s holiday is dedicated to one special mule.

On April 27, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Navy fired upon the coastal town of Matanzas, on Cuba’s northern shore. When the smoke cleared, the villagers discovered one casualty: a mule.

Perhaps to express their outrage at the attack, they held a funeral for the mule and buried it with full military honors. (Of course, we can’t discount the possibility that they just really loved that mule.) Word of the memorial spread, along with disbelief.

On August 5, 1898, the New York Times printed an eyewitness account given to the London Globe. Chief Officer Smails of the Myrtledene, a steamship in the area to pick up sugarcane, confirmed the story and reported that he had attended the funeral at the invitation of a Spanish dockworker. He described the scene:

“Altogether there were about 200 persons present, including many distinguished officers. They all walked in mournful procession to the final resting place of the ill-fated animal, a band rendering melancholy music all the while. The authorities were also present to give the obsequies an official aspect. At the grave more appropriate music was played, and eloquent addresses were made by Spanish officers….Then the signal for lowering the carcass into the earth was given. The body went down enveloped in the Spanish flag, amid a volley of musketry!”

The Times article concludes with three unattributed verses one could reasonably assume were an ode to a fallen comrade.

They marshaled men of every rank,
They summoned muffled guns to roll,
They called the merchant from the bank,
They caused the Church’s bell to toll.

And slowly to his grave they passed,
Obeying every martial rule,
And there with tears they took a last,
Long look at that bombarded mule.

Wrapped in the flag he served so well.
Amid a cloud of smoke he sank;
“The Slain” – by tons of shot and shell –
Went under with a round of blank.

We’re fairly sure it wasn’t sung at the funeral. In fact, since it would have been written in Spanish, that’s either an excellent translation—complete with rhyming—or the newspaper of record was having fun heaping ridicule on a small town and, by extension, the enemy.

May you have a better Matanzas Mule Day than the mule did!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays


April 8 is Dog Farting Awareness Day

Have you ever let slip a silent-but-deadly gas bomb and blamed it on the dog just as your guests see him through the window, playing in the yard? Worse yet, have you ever done it only to have your friends remind you that you don’t own a dog?

Hey, we’ve all been there. It’s safe to say that anyone who’s experienced the noxious fumes a dog emits is aware of their existence. We can only assume that the creator of Dog Farting Awareness Day wanted to harness the power of canine flatus for the good of mankind.
dog farting awareness day

With that in mind, we want to lay some truth on you. No one is going to believe the dog did it, even when the dog did it. Friends will ask the usual questions: Did a squirrel get trapped and die in your crawlspace?  Are you on a cabbage diet? Do you have some saline so I can flush my burning eyes? If I cook you dinner, how many food groups will I have to omit so you won’t fumigate my apartment? And hey, I can’t afford an exterminator—could you come over and fumigate my apartment?

Your pooch only needs to scarf one box of cereal and release a fog that gags the cable guy for you to figure out he has a wheat allergy. Should you buy it again and keep it on a shelf out of his reach? Maybe he’s trying to tell you something. Could gluten be responsible for your last three failed relationships?

We’re going to take a stand here. Farts are funny. Shocking, we know, but please don’t write us to complain. We donate all our hate mail to charity. Excessive farting—only you can say how much is too much—could be a sign of malabsorption syndrome in animals and humans. So stay vigilant. And never fart in an elevator; only sociopaths do that.

Have a happy Dog Farting Awareness Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays


April 4 is World Rat Day

Today is World Rat Day. Back in 2002, members of the ratlist—the longest-standing mailing list about rats on the Internet—proposed the creation of a holiday to raise awareness of rats’ intelligence, affectionate natures and other qualities that make them excellent rat dayThe ratlist, which boasts over 2,300 members, has served as a meeting place and clearinghouse for pet care information since 1995. Current custodians James Kittock and Robyn Arthur took over the group on April 4th, making it the perfect choice for World Rat Day.

How should you celebrate? The World Rat Day site has a few suggestions: send greeting cards to fellow rat lovers around the globe. Hold get-togethers called Ratfests, as private parties or public events. Invite the media to attend, address the prejudice against these animals and encourage positive coverage in print and on television.

Or you could just make this a special day for you and your pets by giving them fun gifts and tasty treats. Take photos and videos. Post your favorites here or links to YouTube. Have a happy World Rat Day!

More rat-related celebrations:
January 30 is American Fancy Rat and Mouse Show

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

March 28 is Respect Your Cat Day

Today is Respect Your Cat Day. We would argue that every day is Respect Your Cat Day. Why is today singled out for this observance?

Respect Your Cat Day


Legend has it that on March 28, 1384, King Richard II outlawed the consumption of cats. We use the word “legend” because there doesn’t appear to be a lick of truth to it. We wanted to believe it because it’s a great story. Apparently, many sites agree: the Richard II edict dominates the first several pages of Google search results.

Some say that in times of famine, nothing would have been off the table, so to speak. A couple of people stated that cookbooks of the era didn’t feature cat-centric recipes. Another noted that her grandmother had called cats Scotch hares so it was possible they might have been part of recipes that didn’t explicitly use the word “cat.”

In our research, we were unable to find any confirmation of the tale, only repetition. We hate to be party poopers, but this smells like b.s. to us. If you have any information about it, we would be grateful to hear it.  In the meantime, we have submitted the statement to, a trusted arbiter of online fact versus fiction.

No matter what the truth is, have a happy Respect Your Cat Day today and every day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays