Penguin Awareness Day is celebrated January 20. And The Holidays Just Keep Coming 

Now that the glitter has been swept away, and the garland has been wrapped up, it’s time for me to drop another bomb on you. There are more holidays ahead. I know, I know. I can hear the unison groan from all of you out there. But I have good news as well, I promise. January has plenty of fun, interesting and even weird holidays ahead. I have dug deep beyond the world wide holidays and found some of the strangest, most obscure, holidays that are celebrated here in the good ole U. S. of A. in the month of January.

The first and oddest holiday I have found is World Penguin Day and Penguin Awareness Day. World Penguin Day always falls on April 25th and Penguin Awareness Day is always January 20th. April is the annual northward migration of penguins, thus why World Penguin Day is celebrated then. No word on why Penguin Awareness Day is celebrated January 20th.  Penguin Awareness Day, and World Penguin Day are great opportunities to learn about and appreciate one of the few natives of Antarctica. It is customary to learn more about the feathered natives on these days. You can also watch a documentary of these cute and popular, grounded birds. To celebrate, most don their best black and white attire, although tuxedos are optional. It is also popular today to tell a penguin joke or two. Fun fact: penguins can only be found naturally in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, the Falkland Islands, and the Galapagos Islands. They can only be found in zoos everywhere else.

Another holiday that no one knows about is Squirrel Appreciation Day. Created by Christy Hargrove from Asheville, North Carolina. Hargrove is a wildlife rehabilitator and wanted to create a day in which everyone enjoyed and appreciated our tree climbing, nut loving friends. Squirrel Appreciation Day is celebrated on January 21st every year; a mid-winter event when our squirrel neighbors are searching for scarce food. A way to celebrate is to give them an extra treat because the variety and quantity of food is scarce. While not everyone loves squirrels, according to Christy Hargrove, the founder, “Celebration of the event itself is up to the individual or group—anything from putting out extra food for the squirrels to learning something new about the species.”

My favorite holiday I have found is National Handwriting Day. Celebrated on January 23rd every year, National Handwriting Day was started  “by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association  in 1977. January 23rd was chosen because this is the birthday of John Hancock. John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.” A national holiday requires an act of Congress, so National Handwriting Day is therefore not technically a national holiday, in name only. To celebrate National Handwriting Day is a chance to pick up a pen or pencil and a piece of paper. In this day of computers, more and more information, notes, and letters are sent back and forth via a keyboard and cyberspace. According to the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) website “The purpose of National Handwriting Day is to alert the public to the importance of handwriting. According to WIMA, National Handwriting Day is a chance for all of us to re-explore the purity and power of handwriting.” Participate in National Handwriting Day by writing a note or letter to someone.

Visit this webpage to see some of the more obscure holidays throughout the year.