Did you know that there are an abundance of daily holidays and special days every month? Some are immersed in tradition, while others may be silly, bizarre, unique, special or inspirational. Unofficial Holidays are not traditionally marked on calendars but are celebrated by various groups and individuals. Some are designed to promote a cause or to recognize historical events not recognized officially, while others are fun holidays, generally intended to just be humorous. So, in the midst of our busy lives, consider taking time to enjoy some of the entertaining but lesser-known holidays throughout the year.
December is a month filled with love, humanity and gift giving events like Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve. December is the last month in the Gregorian calendar and its name is based on the Latin term for 10. In the Roman calendar, December was the 10th month until the addition of January and February at the beginning of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, December has the shortest daylight hours and marks the beginning of winter.
Although Christmas gets most of the attention this time of year, December is a month full of other fun days as well. If you need a moment to forget the stress that sometimes comes with the major holidays, there’s probably a few days here that can bring joy throughout the month.
Let’s start this month with Repeal Day, on Wednesday, December 5. On this day in 1933 the 21st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified, thereby repealing the 18th Amendment, which banned the sale, distribution and consumption of alcohol. This prohibition period started on January 5 1919 and officially ended on December 5 1933. The 21st Amendment brought back the neighborhood pubs and breweries to society. Celebrate the end of prohibition by stopping by your local bar, tavern, winery, distillery or brewery and enjoy a drink. There are so many places to celebrate, but if you’re looking for someplace that can really appreciate this day, visit Ciro’s Speakeasy in Tampa. Ciro’s is a throwback to prohibition era. You will need to call ahead for the secret password. Visit www.cirostampa.com.
After celebrating the end of bootlegging, there is no better time to honor our special primate friends than on Monkey Day on Friday, December 14. While the holiday is mainly about monkeys, it also celebrates other primates such as apes, chimpanzees and lemurs. The day was accidentally created in 2000 when artist Casey Sorrow jokingly scribbled Monkey Day on a friend’s calendar. He then began including Monkey Day in his artwork and Fetus-X comic strips as well as promoting it online along with other artists. Since then, Monkey Day has been celebrated internationally in America, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. So go bananas on this day and grab the kids and head to the Lowery Park Zoo or Busch Gardens to get your fill of monkeys. Use #MonkeyDay to post on social media. To donate to monkey causes, visit www.monkeyday.com/links/.
If you are looking for a holiday that serves as an alternative to the commercialization of Christmas, than look no further than Festivus, on Sunday, December 23. Festivus gained notoriety on the critically acclaimed sitcom, Seinfeld. It appeared on the episode entitled ‘The Strike’ that aired December 18, 1997. Although Festivus originated as a way to make light of traditional holidays and ease the stress of family get-togethers, today it has grown into a fun holiday for the entire family. According to Festivus tradition, the Festivus meal is accompanied with the airing of grievances, followed by the feats of strength, where the head of the household wrestles with other guests. So grab an aluminum pole and greet people by saying ‘Happy Festivus for the rest of us!’
Thursday, December 27 is National Fruitcake Day, and no, we are not talking about your crazy Uncle Bob. This is the day to pay homage to the controversial and sometimes misunderstood fruitcake. This cake is traditionally made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts, spices and alcohol. Many people give fruitcakes as gifts for the holidays, however, more than 38 percent of people say they re-gift their fruitcakes.
Nevertheless, fruitcakes have remained popular for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians buried their loved ones with fruitcakes because they believed the fruitcake was essential for the journey to the afterlife. The small cakes could withstand long voyages without spoiling.
Publix, Winn Dixie and commercial bakeries such as Harry & David all get their fruitcake candies from local company, Paradise, Inc., located on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Plant City. There’s a 90 percent chance that if you’re eating a fruitcake, the candied fruit originated from Paradise, Inc. Download coupons and find locations for the best fruitcakes at www.paradisefruitco.com.
December boasts many other fun holidays including National Pastry Day, Violin Day, Poinsettia Day and National Eggnog Day, just to name a few. For a complete list, visit www.holidayinsights.com.