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, maybe consider taking time to enjoy some of the entertaining but lesser-known holidays throughout the year.

The month of January is all about new beginnings. It is most well known for the fun-filled party event—New Year’s Eve, which is celebrated by more than one million people ringing in the New Year in Times Square in New York City and more than one billion people watching the famous ball drop on television. January is certainly popular for reflection and new goal setting. This month gets its name from the Roman god Janus and is depicted as having two heads. He looked back to the last year and forward to the new one.

As we settle into January, many of us start on our resolutions. On average, about 45 percent of Americans consistently make a resolution. The most common resolution is to exercise and other healthy habits. Unfortunately, about 22 percent of resolutions fail after about a week and 50 percent fail after three months. If you want to make a resolution you can stick to, decide to spend each month celebrating a fun and unusual holiday!

Let’s start with National Spaghetti Day on Friday, January 4. This day can be spent honoring the most traditional noodle of all noodles—spaghetti. More than 1.3 million pounds of spaghetti are sold each year in American grocery stores. If those packages were lined up, they would circle the Earth’s equator nine times. Spaghetti is the most common round-rod type of pasta and means ‘little lines’ in Italian. Fun Spaghetti fact: In March 2010 a Buca di Beppo restaurant in California successfully filled a swimming pool with more than 13,780 pounds of pasta. To celebrate National Spaghetti Day, make spaghetti and meatballs for dinner or head to your favorite Italian restaurant, such as Rosati’s located at 3437 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Use #NationalSpaghettiDay to post your perfect pasta picture on social media.

Does your pet have a picture-perfect sense of style? Then Dress Up Your Pet Day on Monday, January 14 is the precise opportunity to flaunt their colorful collars, sassy sweaters and other pet fashion accessories. National Dress Up Your Pet Day began in 2009 by celebrity pet lifestyle expert and animal behaviorist Colleen Paige. This doggone delightful day is designed to celebrate our pets and to support the pet fashion community. Take a moment to ‘paws’ and reflect, then snap a photo of your purrrfect pet in a fun outfit and use #DressUpYourPetDay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To find some fur-friendly outfits, visit Pet Supplies Plus at 1937 East S.R. 60 in Valrico or Pupaholic at www.pupaholic.com.

If the cold weather this month has you feeling bleu, Sunday. January 20 is a gouda day to celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day. Did you know that the average American consumes more than 31 pounds of cheese each year? Cheese is certainly popular throughout the world as well. There are more than 1,400 types of cheeses, classified by taste and texture. Some popular cheese types range from mozzarella, feta, fontina, cheddar, swiss, gorgonzola, limburger and brie. The earliest record of cheese-making dates all the way back to 5,500 B.C. in Poland. If you are a self-proclaimed cheese lover, treat yourself by visiting a local grocery store and pick up your favorite kind of cheese. Or consider a visit to Cheese Please in Tampa. Visit www.cheesepleasetampa.com.

Finally, gather up your creative juices and celebrate Inspire Your Heart With Art Day on Thursday, January 31. You don’t have to be artistic to appreciate this day, just use the day to reflect on your appreciation of the arts. Whether through music, paintings or dance, art has the power to change us. Inspire Your Heart with Art Day encourages us to explore the many genres of art. When was the last time you went to a museum, a play or a live concert? Let the art into your heart and mind on this day. If you feel inspired to create a work of art, consider a visit to AR Workshop, a DIY studio that offers hands-on classes for creating custom, charming home décor. Visit www.arworkshop.com/brandon.

January boasts many other fun holidays including Bean Day, Bubble Bath Day, National Hat Day and National Kazoo Day. For a complete list, visit www.holidayinsights.com.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.