TOMORROW SEES THE second of what is now undoubtedly an annual Arthurs Day – where the world gets together at 17:59 to toast the man who lent his name to one of Ireland’s most famous exports, Guinness.
The Feast of St Guinness, as it’s otherwise known, is just the latest in a series of holidays created by inside lobbies to try and promote, or indeed to genuinely celebrate, their particular interests.
So, in their spirit, we bring you: five of the weirdest made-up holidays.
National Doctors’ Day
Let’s start with the most meritorious of the feasts. National Doctors’ Day, you see, has a certain degree of significance: the day it is celebrated, March 30, is the date in 1842 in which general anaesthesia was used by a surgeon for the first time.
Why exactly the date isn’t dedicated to surgeons, then, is a little beyond us. But the date was set aside by the Houses of Congress in 1958 as being a day for recognising the efforts of medical professionals. Of course, it wasn’t until 1991 that George Bush declared the day celebrate-able.
Hallmark count: The card manufacturer produces just one card for the day. Presumably a ‘thanks for saving my life’ kind of thing.
The Wednesday of last week in April: more usually occupied by worries about when the summer holidays will finally come around. For the managers of the world, however, it’s got a slightly more ethical significance: it’s apparently Secretaries Day.
A holiday created by by the president of America’s National Secretaries Association and the President of Dictaphone (no, seriously), the two arranged a National Secretaries Week, with the fourth day of that week marking the climax of those festivities.
The National Secretaries Association has since become Professional Secretaries International, and then to International Association of Administrative Professionals. The day has changed names a few times to go along with it.
Hallmark Count: 36, plus another 26 in Spanish.
National Boss Day
On a similar theme, here’s a strange one – it’s ironic that many bosses are so annoyed by employees claiming days off for religious holidays when, once upon a time (or at least in 1958), you could just call up the government and register a holiday.
Such was the case when Patricia Haroski rang up and registered October 16 as a holiday in honour of the world’s bosses, choosing the day because it was the birthday of her father, who she considered a model manager.
Standard gifts include buying your boss lunch, making them a card, or bringing them flowers. Other ‘gifts’, such as showing up to work on time, are not considered one-off gifts.
Hallmark Count: 13.
They’re just getting a bit ridiculous now – this one even regularly clashes/compliments with Boss Day, as it does in 2010. The third Saturday in October is, apparently, celebrated in much of North East America as Sweetest Day, an occasion on which one showers the loved ones in their life with affection.
Despite having been initially declared by a committee of twelve from Cleveland’s then-struggling candy companies (no ulterior motives there… oh), as a day to celebrate the unfortunate of the world – orphans and the like – the day became more commonly interpreted as a day to show ones loved ones just how loved they are.
Such is the general antipathy in which the feast is held, however, that it was even plagiarised by The Simpsons, who manufactured a ‘Love Day’ (though held sometime in August) in order to produce a massive pile of consumer trash that ultimately led to Homer Simpson becoming Springfield’s Sanitation Commissioner.
Hallmark count: 16.
National Clergy Appreciation Day
Oof. This one’s going to take a hit. ‘Under His Wing Ministries’ of (where else?) the USA in 1992 declared the second Sunday of October to be a day where churchgoers could invite a priest around for dinner, send them a gift, or make an offering in their name.
These days, of course, most would simply be happy if their parishioners showed up for Mass.
Hallmark count: 0.