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How does a 'National' day become a 'National' day?


How does a holiday become a holiday?

This month we have had National Banana Cream Pie Day, National Day of Unplugging, National Oreo Cookie Day, National Proofreading Day, National Artichoke Hearts Day and National Melba Toast Day... just to name a few. But who decides what day is the national day of what, and why?

We scoured the internet to find out firstly, how we find out what National Day it is, and why. The easiest way to find out is by visiting the National Day Calendar, which lists every single national day possible. They also have an application form that you can fill out, in order to put an idea forward for a National Day of your choosing.

Government-supported holidays

These holiday's are the ones we all know about. For example, Easter Holidays, Christmas and the Queen's birthday are all holiday's that are established and set by the government.

Other events such as World Elephant Day which was established by the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, became a National day due to being initiated and backed by a company and also because of the country it came from (In this case Thailand.) The foundation's goal is to acquire captive elephants and reintroduce them to the wild in protected forest habitats, and fundraising efforts support those efforts. The day was a trending topic on Twitter recently, which naturally brought awareness to the topic, and helped the day become a recognised one.

Other days like this have been on the up rise, and have become a trend on social media platforms, either highlighting a certain issue or bringing awareness to a brand or product. 

Private groups, public days

Some events are started by companies, activist groups or even individuals. National Dog Day, for example, was established in 2004 by pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige, who also created events like National Mutt Day, National Farm Animals Day, National Walk Your Dog Week and National Specially-abled Pets Day.

The National day of Unplugging is another national day that has gained much momentum. The National Day of Unplugging is a project of Reboot.

The brand Innocent (known for their smoothies!) have had the same idea and jumped on the bandwagon with Innocent Unplugged. The event, that takes place in May, is all about leaving technology behind and enjoying a festival without needing to be 'plugged in.'

Innocent say: "Leave your phone at home and escape to innocent un-plugged, a festival for grown-ups in a woodland clearing in Kent. Sometimes the stream of emails, whatsapp messages and Facebook notifications can get on top of you. Life’s a bit too connected these days, which is why we’re unplugging for real. No Wi-Fi, no texts, no traditional electricity. Just a load of people camping in a forest clearing with great music, real conversations and lungfuls of fresh air. So forget about Facebook. Turn off Twitter. Say goodbye to Google. We’ll see you in the woods."

Some events belong to individual people

Strong personalities and passionate people help keep events going past their inaugural dates.

For example, Earth Day has also grown well past its original founding organisers' vision. Earth Day is "promoted and shaped" by the Earth Day Network.

One that is a bit closer to our hearts is Hour of Code for example; The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics.

No matter their origins, all of these holidays are occasions to make a difference in the world. So put a few dates on your calendar and keep celebrating the environment year-round.

There is also time to celebrate the more trivial National Days too, even if they are just for fun!

Why not get involved, and select a National Day to embrace?