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July 29 is Rain Day

rain dayToday is Rain Day. Why? According to records kept by the town of Waynesburg, PA, it has rained there on July 29th in 114 of the last 142 years, a statistical anomaly.

Every year, the town holds a festival, come rain or come shine. Events include a t-shirt design competition, umbrella and window decoration contests and the requisite beauty pageant.

Here’s a sample of the Miss Rain Day application and contractual agreement.  “I am of good character, have never been married, divorced, had a marriage annulled, given birth to a child or convicted of a crime.” Picky, picky!

Happy Rain Day, Waynesburg!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

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 Simplicity Day

national simplicity dayJuly 12, 2017, is the 200th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s birth. His name is held in high regard and his work evokes a fondness and nostalgia in its readers and inspirational-quote-mongers.

Romantic notions of his retreat into nature and the wisdom it brought him are largely fictional. At Worldwide Weird Holidays, we’re okay with that. We ask only that publishers stop classifying this stuff as memoir.

Then maybe we can all stop trying to live up to an impossible standard that he didn’t even try to reach. Any pompous ass can say profound things when his mom’s on the way over to cook dinner.

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National Simplicity Day honors the birthday, on July 12, 1817, of Henry David Thoreau, author, ersatz ascetic, armchair philosopher and navel-gazing misanthrope.

Thoreau famously went to live in a cabin in the woods, the better to ponder life without the inconvenience of other people and the irritations of everyday, well, life.

In Walden: or, A Life in the Woods, he wrote, “I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beechtree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.”

Thoreau certainly could turn a phrase; many of them clog the arteries of inspirational sites and satisfy the sweet tooth of quote-mongers who reverently offer them up on posters, mousepads and coffee mugs.

He neglected to mention that the area was bustling with people year-round. A commuter train passed nearby. He hosted parties. He lived a twenty-minute walk from his parent’s house and made the trip several times a week to enjoy his mother’s cooking.

The man who advised his readers to eat only one meal a day to avoid indulging base appetites was visited by his mother and sisters at least once a week to bring him food, tidy up the cabin and clean his laundry.

Exhortations to simplify one’s life can be helpful, but they often mask disdain and smug superiority. Thoreau reminds us of the intrepid explorer in a documentary, ostensibly forging a path trodden moments before by the cameraman walking backward in front of him.

Have a happy National Simplicity Day but if you can’t keep it simple, don’t worry: you’re in good company.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

May 30 is Water a Flower Day

Today is Water a Flower Day. We don’t know who started this day of observance, but we’re hoping that you won’t play favorites and show all your plants some love.

Dictionary.com defines a flower as:

water a flower day1. the blossom of a plant

2. Botany.

a. the part of a seed plant comprising the reproductive organs and their envelopes if any, especially when such envelopes are more or less conspicuous in form and color.

b. an analogous reproductive structure in other plants, as the mosses.

3. a plant, considered with reference to its blossom or cultivated for its floral beauty.

Pollen, when transferred between a flower’s male anther and female stigma, carries the genetic information necessary to create a new plant. Some flowers can pollinate themselves while others rely on cross-pollination by wind, insects or birds. The process produces seeds only when pollen moves between flowers of the same species.

Do your part to help Mother Nature today. If you need some inspiration, visit Geißkammen Museum in Geissen, Germany, devoted entirely to its collection of 1,087 watering cans. It is always working to expand the exhibit. Its website asks, “Would you like to donate a watering can and thus enrich our collection to another individual, horticultural aids for targeted artificial irrigation?” (Thank you to Google for that poetic translation.)

Happy Water a Flower Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays