Elsewhere in Holidays

by Shai Nir

This Saturday, Shai Nir explains some lesser known holidays:


Like a dinosaur through a flood of milkshake, the winter holidays have been slowly but inevitably approaching, both sweet and terrifying in their way. Furthermore, they come in a multitude of species and flavors. I’m sure I don’t need to describe them all to you by now after all these years of politically-correct holiday specials on TV; Christmas is the chocolate Tyrannosaurus Rex, Chanukkah is the blueberry Velociraptor, Kwanzaa is maybe some kind of caramel Archaeopteryx1, I can’t even spell what Boxing Day is, and the list just goes on and on. Which of these, I pretend to hear you asking, is best? This is a very stupid question because practically any answer nowadays will offend someone and possibly get you mauled.

There are, however, several holidays in the winter season of which you probably haven’t heard, veritable kiwi-strawberry Therizonosaurs. The reason for this will become clear as I describe them to you:

December 3 — Gold Day (Europe): This day, celebrated in some rural parts of northern Europe commemorates the anniversary of Goldilocks’ legendary B n’ E on the three bears. Traditionally, every boy in the village is given a bowl of warm porridge. The girls then try to steal the porridge for themselves. If, at the end of the day, it is found that a boy’s porridge has been stolen, he is exiled from the village in shame for being beaten by a girl. They may only reclaim their honor by snatching that girl’s picnic basket the following spring on Red Day.

December 13 – The Fast of Are You Sure You’re Really A Virgin? (Christianity): This minor fast, only 85 minutes in length, is held annually between 11:15 AM and 12:40 PM to remember a drastic slump of St. Joseph’s faith in the then Virgin Pregnancy. A hurried appeal by Mary soon fortunately patched this up.2

First Day of Summer (Antarctica): Down at the southern extreme of the Earth, the sun only shines for half of the year3. The first day of summer comes right around the halfway mark between sunrise and sunset, just when the continent really starts warming up4. Don’t let the fact that there aren’t actually any people in Antarctica fool you; this holiday is widely celebrated by hordes of penguins. They sing penguin songs, exchange gifts of fish, and come up with cutesy movies to sell to easily-amused northerners.

January 3 – New Battlestar Galactica Episodes (Sci-fi Channel): This isn’t technically a holiday. I just put it here to remind me to set my DVR.



1 You have no idea what that is, do you? It’s all just gibberish to you, isn’t it?
2 Miraculously, Joseph’s faith was rekindled just in time for lunch.
3 This is technically true anywhere on earth, but in Antarctica, it’s all in a row.
4 Officially defined as when the toilets thaw just enough to flush counterclockwise.

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