Discovering the Strangest Holiday Traditions

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Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali, Kwanzaa… we probably know many of the famous religious and secular holidays from around the world. But what about the oddities that tend to slip beneath the radar? How about National Punctuation Day and Blessed Rain Day? And those are just the beginning of the rabbit hole…

BTRtoday staffers took the time to share some of the downright weirdest holidays out there to help get you in the festive spirit.

Aside from being the day we’ll celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and legacy, Jan. 16th, 2017 is also National Nothing Day, where presumably we all celebrate the nothingness of our collective existences and everything they contain. Anyone else seeing the racially tense irony here? – Joe Virgillito

Well, apparently Dec. 8th is “Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day.” How does one celebrate this day? No clue. Maybe have a “Back to the Future” marathon? Sounds good to me. – Elena Childers

This isn’t exactly unheard of but I’ve always thought that the juvenile “tradition” on St. Patrick’s day of pinching fellow classmates who aren’t wearing green is pretty strange at best, pretty fucked up at worst. GTFO of my space and stop pinching me, you cretins. – Taia Handlin

When it comes to strange holidays, there are a lot to choose from, but perhaps the strangest set of them are the hashtag holidays. You know, the days created by the internet to honor all sorts of strange things! My first question is who comes up with these days, and my second is who the fuck actually cares? Do avocado sales go up on #GuacamoleDay (Sept. 16th,) and LITERALLY WHAT HAPPENS ON #CatHerdersDay (Dec. 15th)?! If you ask me, maybe we need to pump the breaks on these fake holidays, because, when every day is a holiday, then it’s kind of like no days are holidays! Know what I mean? – Rebecca Chodorkoff

According to a 1973 Sesame Street calendar, Rubber Duckie’s birthday is Jan. 13, so around the country it’s National Rubber Ducky Day. As silly as this holiday seems, and yes it is silly, the toy may be worth honoring. After all, it was almost extinct during WWI and WWII, due to the rationing of rubber, which was deemed a valuable commodity at the time. But my skeptical, socialist mind tends to think it-—and any holiday for that matter—-have more to do with profit. In this case, it’s Sesame Street, who popularized the weighted toy with songs like “Rubber Ducky You’re The One.” Have any of you seen a rubber ducky and not made the association to the bath time song? I’m sure your subconscious did. – Kimberly Ruth

Courtesy of Flickr user Mike Jamieson.
La Tomatina Festival–it’s like a massive snowball fight, but with ripe red tomatoes instead. On the last Wednesday of August annually in Bunol Spain, thousands gather to participate in the world’s largest hour long food fight. While the festival has been around since 1945, the origins of the festival are still unknown, yet some locals claim the festival was inspired by a food fight amongst young children in the town square. The mass food fight has drawn a large international following in more recent years, with tourists traveling from around the globe to attend the event. To mark the beginning of the squishy onslaught, someone has to climb up a greased wooden pole in the town square to retrieve a ham. Water cannons are then set off to signify that the hour-long event of pelting tomatoes has begun. This past August, 26,000 people engaged in the food fight, leaving the town painted red. – Cassidy Colarik