Festival of Popular Delusions Day

festival of popular delusions dayToday is Festival of Popular Delusions Day. It is said to have originated in Germany on June 5, 1945. Let’s begin with a little background information regarding this mysterious holiday.

On June 6, 1944, over 160,000 Allied soldiers landed on a 50-mile stretch of beach in Normandy, France. The area was heavily guarded by Nazi troops to prevent enemy access to the country’s interior. Operation Neptune, which would become known as D-Day, aimed to break through the line and free continental Europe.

The assault was initially scheduled to take place in May but had to be postponed until more landing craft could be secured. It appeared that poor weather conditions on the morning of June 6th would cause another delay. General Dwight D. Eisenhower made the decision to proceed as planned.

Heavy cloud cover hindered air strikes and some airborne troops that parachuted in missed their landing zones by miles. By the end of the day, an estimated 10,000 Allied troops had been killed, wounded or were missing in action. The Allies fought to gain ground, finally making it out of Normandy on August 15th. Ten days later, they liberated Paris. German forces retreated soon afterward.

On June 6, 1944, German troops weren’t expecting an invasion. They assumed the Allies wouldn’t attack when the bad weather would put them at a disadvantage. June 5, 1944, turned out to be the last day the Nazis could delude themselves that they would rule the Earth for a thousand years.

Supposedly, that was the inspiration for the first Festival of Popular Delusions Day. Maybe we’re delusional for wanting to believe this legend. There are certainly plenty of popular delusions to choose from these days. No matter which one you pick, have a happy Festival of Popular Delusions Day!


Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

International Sex Workers Day

international sex workers day

Occupiers in Saint-Nizier Church, June 1975

Today is International Sex Workers Day, known in some countries as International Whores’ Day.

On June 2, 1975, approximately one hundred prostitutes in Lyon, France, took over the Saint-Nizier Roman Catholic church to protest dangerous working conditions.

While police harshly punished prostitutes, their johns were allowed to go free. They, along with the French government, didn’t seem to consider the women citizens worthy of legal protection.

After law enforcement failed to investigate the murders of two prostitutes, a group of them went on strike and occupied the church, demanding action and fair treatment. On June 10th, the police conducted a brutal raid, removing and arresting the protestors.

Despite the outcome, the women sparked a worldwide movement. International Sex Workers Day recognizes June 2nd as the anniversary of their efforts.

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

May 23 is World Turtle Day

world turtle dayToday is World Turtle Day, a holiday created in 2000 by non-profit organization American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) to celebrate turtles and tortoises and to protect their habitats.

Susan Tellem and her husband Marshall have rescued and re-homed more than 3,000 turtles since cofounding ATR in 1990. Ten years later, they started World Turtle Day because, as Susan told the Huffington Post, “Turtles are not as popular as cats and dogs, so interest, awareness and understanding is pretty slim. This day is a good way to educate people about how to care for turtles, and to learn what danger they’re in and how to be more aware of what they need.”

The oldest turtle fossil found to date was unearthed in 2007 in China’s Guizhou province. Discovered in rocks of the late Triassic Period, it is estimated to have lived 220 million years ago, during the age of the dinosaurs. It is considered a transitional creature, an aquatic turtle that had armor solely on its underbelly and a mouth full of teeth, earning it the name Odontochelys semitestacea (“toothed turtle with half-shell”). By comparison, human evolution dates back a mere 2.5 million years.

While researching the connection between dinosaurs and turtles, we noticed several groups that assert the planet is, in reality, only six thousand years old. Here, one website explains how it knows fossil records have been faked:

According to evolutionists, the dinosaurs “ruled the Earth” for 140 million years, dying out about 65 million years ago. However, scientists do not dig up anything labeled with those ages. They only uncover dead dinosaurs (i.e., their bones), and their bones do not have labels attached telling how old they are. The idea of millions of years of evolution is just the evolutionists’ story about the past. No scientist was there to see the dinosaurs live through this supposed dinosaur age. In fact, there is no proof whatsoever that the world and its fossil layers are millions of years old. No scientist observed dinosaurs die. Scientists only find the bones in the here and now, and because many of them are evolutionists, they try to fit the story of the dinosaurs into their view.

The contention that fossils were not buried with labels must be correct since they died before the existence of tombstones and Post-It notes (or did they?). If a person digs into a garbage dump and finds a ham sandwich ten feet down, mightn’t he surmise, even without the benefit of scientific instrumentation, that it is older than the one his mom made for him that morning, in spite of the fact that he has unearthed it in “the here and now?”

It’s also a fact that no scientist has observed a dinosaur live or die. The logic is indisputable. We’ll go on record and say that no one alive today has ever hung out with Abraham Lincoln. Very few of us have met Stephen King. Yet most of us are pretty sure of their existence, even though they aren’t mentioned in the Bible. (We don’t want spoil the surprise, but one of them is working on a new book right now!)

But we digress. Turtles and tortoises are remarkable animals. Both are cold-blooded, breathe air and lay eggs on land. Generally speaking, tortoises live on land, are poor swimmers and have stumpy feet suited to walking very slowly on land. Turtles spend their time in the water and have streamlined bodies and webbed feet or flippers they are unable to retract.

The illegal pet trade puts tortoises at risk; transportation stresses them and many die during shipment from Russia or other far-flung locations. To combat this problem and reduce the demand for illegal imports, ART urges people to refrain from buying them at pet stores and adopt instead from one of the country’s many turtle rescue groups. Petfinder is an excellent resource, too.

All sea turtle species are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, mainly due to bycatch, accidental capture in fishermen’s nets and trawls. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) studies aquatic environments, works to reduce bycatch and develops recovery plans with the goal of increasing sea turtle numbers until they can be removed from the list.

In the meantime, everyone can help by keeping the beach free of litter and watching out when boating in an area where turtles live. If you find a tortoise in the middle of the road, carry it to safety and be sure to point it in the direction it was headed. Otherwise, it will instinctively turn around and walk back into danger.

If you find a turtle and can’t release it into the wild, soak it in tepid water and put it in a box with a lid. Keep it away from pets, children and stressful noises; contact an organization like ATR to help you care for it until a pet rescue group can secure it.

If you’d like to learn more about these fascinating creatures, check out National Geographic‘s article about a newly-discovered giant Galápagos tortoise; Live Science‘s turtle facts; and Mother Nature Network‘s post about 19 weird and wonderful turtle and tortoise species.

Have a happy World Turtle Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

May 22 is World Goth Day

world goth dayToday is World Goth Day, a holiday that celebrates the global influence of the Goth subculture on music, literature and art.

Many consider the 1979 release of Bauhaus’ first single, Bela Lugosi’s Dead, to be the genesis of the gothic rock genre, although the word “goth” had been used in a musical context for over than a decade. Bauhaus’ contemporaries included Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Killing Joke and The Cure.

Goth style has evolved from influences like punk’s “anti-fashion” movement and brooding, romantic Victorian mourning clothes. It includes many looks but is most often associated with dark clothing, black hair and extreme facial pallor.

In October 2005, after the opening of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, the New York Times noted:

The costumes and ornaments are a glamorous cover for the genre’s somber themes. In the world of Goth, nature itself lurks as a malign protagonist, causing flesh to rot, rivers to flood, monuments to crumble and women to turn into slatterns, their hair streaming and lipstick askew.

A shout-out from the Gray Lady is impressive, even when it gets things wrong. (Slatterns? You wish!) Influences credited for the rise of Goth include movies from Blade Runner to Beetlejuice, artists from H.R. Giger to Salvador Dali, authors from Mary Shelley to Anne Rice. Punk, New Wave, metal, vampire stories and horror films have all contributed to or benefited from Goth culture.

U.K. deejays DJ Cruel Britannia and martin oldgoth (a lowercase rebel) created World Goth Day in 2009, when BBC 6 radio station ran a day of Goth programming. Brittania wrote of the idea, “I got it into my head that Goth Day was a good enough excuse to encourage goths to have their own Goth ‘Public Holiday’, so to speak, and celebrate what goth means to them in either their musical tastes, the books they read, or whatever part it plays in their darkly-inclined lifestyle.”

In 2015, World Goth Day was immortalized on Angry Birds Seasons The Pig Days Level 4-1. We don’t know what that pile of words means but the walkthrough looks fun. Some might find its mix of bats, jack-o-lanterns and ankh symbols offensive, but every goth or punk we’ve met has had a great, if dark, sense of humor. (Except for one. We’re talking to you, Vyvyan.)

For information on events happening near you and other good stuff, head to the holiday’s official website.  In 2016, South African band Terminatryx offered a free download of its track SleepWalkers, remixed by iRONic. The song will set you back less than a dollar but we recommend springing for the whole album. We’re partial to CONsume, remixed by Martin Degville of Sigue Sigue Sputnik. We know, we know: our Eighties are showing!

Happy World Goth Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays