Social Question

Symbeline's avatar

What kind of weird holidays have you heard about? Or perhaps participated in?

Asked by Symbeline (30633 points ) June 9th, 2012

Forget the big holidays we all know about, whether you celebrate them or not. All holidays have social factors that drive them, and for those who celebrate it, it’s most likely traditional.

However, I just learned that International Pillowfight Day exists. This seems to occur globally, although I can’t really find any specifics as to why, (one source said it was some Internet thing) and there’s never any significant dates that this really needs to respect. People just set it up, it’s really like a huge event rather than a holiday. if that made any sense So pillow day is in the name of fun. There was one in Montréal, and I didn’t even know…
I’d be tempted to go, really. Thousands of pillows everywhere…except the thing is, most of the pillows end up being destroyed and ruined, and that sucks. All those poor pillows, destroyed. I don’t like it.

There must be all sorts of weird holidays and traditional events that are weird as hell though. Some fascinating, some disturbing…maybe some are cruel. Heard of anything? Participated in any?

What are the holidays, what do they center around, and do you like the idea, or did you like it if you participated? Why or why not?

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22 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve never actually participated in it; but here in Delaware we have Return Day.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry on it. It’s unique to the state.

We also invented Punkin’ Chunkin, I’ll have you know, but that’s not exactly a holiday; it just happens at a particular time of the year.

fremen_warrior's avatar

Towel day – now all y’all just keep calm and DON’T PANIC!

bookish1's avatar

Holi is an Indian Hindu holiday that falls around the time of Easter (spring holiday). It is in memory of the mischievousness of Krishna. You celebrate by getting ripped by whatever is on hand and pouring brightly colored liquids/powders on each other.
Like this
Good fun.

LuckyGuy's avatar

In Japan I went to the Kanamara Matsuri .
It was something like a fertility festival. But mainly it was a chance for people to have fun and do things they would not normally do. Some people dressed very provocatively, some dressed in drag, some did both, There were lots of “interesting” conversations and discussions.
From wiki:“The penis, as the central theme of the event – is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and a mikoshi parade. The Kanamara Matsuri is centered around a local penis-venerating shrine once popular among prostitutes who wished to pray for protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

If you don’t have the desire to get laid that night, you need to get your hormone levels checked.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’m not sure if this is considered a holiday, but there are places in the southern US that annually celebrate roadkill and turn it into a festival. Here is one.

One time, I drove through a small Virginia town that had a huge banner strung across the main street announcing their annual Opossum Festival. I didn’t stop, although it was tempting.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
amujinx's avatar

Thanks to Anderson Cooper, Dyngus Day has become more well known outside of Buffalo. Many Buffalo citizens of Polish descent were extremely angry about Anderson Cooper laughing at their holiday. Somehow these same people are okay with the fact that I’ve been making fun of their holiday for years and to their faces.

Blackberry's avatar

We have this really weird holiday where we celebrate the birth of some guy that is supposed to be the son of god, but who is also god himself.

filmfann's avatar

My son wants to go to Modesto to see the annual Ninja parade , but I am not sure it exists.
In San Francisco they have the Saint Stupid Day’s Parade‘s_Day_Parade

Symbeline's avatar

@filmfann Wow, the Ninja Parade is actually really interesting. It’s like an event that doesn’t have anything, and people use the ninja theme to justify the gathering. That’s odd, yet really cool at the same time. Also, that ninja sighting in the end is pretty creepy. XD

@Pied_Pfeffer Omg lol. Roadkill day. :O

Only138's avatar

In Eastern Kentucky, there are Hillbilly Days. http://www.hillbillydays.com/
I guess you get to eat some viddles and drink some moonshine. :)

cazzie's avatar

In the tiny town I grew up in, at some point after I left in 1990, they started an annual festival called ‘Historical Days’ (it started becoming known as Hysterical Daze because of the slightly creepy re-enactors.) The was in town once or twice visiting when it was on, so I got to see the parade and the park all decked out with events and tents. It is a tiny city of about 5,000, but it’s historical significance is that is has been the site of a museum for a very horrendous fire that took place in 1871, so they sort of commemorate that and try to show examples of how people would have been living in the city before the fire. All the time you are thinking in the back of your head….... ‘If we HAD lived back then, most of us would have died in that fire.’

linguaphile's avatar

Lutefish Festival in Madison, MN. Sorry. Dried fish rehydrated in lye is NOT my idea of cuisine.

cazzie's avatar

OH! @linguaphile I don’t even bother to mention that because that is one of the traditional dinners had between Christmas and New Years here where I live… in NORWAY. I don’t eat it. I make sure there is something else on the table. The dish is truly horrible and rather indicative of the yucky food they eat here. They are abominably fond of their traditional food here, and it is, by all intents and purposes, of low quality, due to the fact that they relied on horrible preserving techniques that not only killed the animal, but had to preserve it in such a manner as to render it unspoilable for several seasons in needs be. They were a poor country with few natural resources, before the oil was struck, but NOW, they are rich! I try to explain, after drinking several of their akevitt, that with modern shops and refrigeration and freezing methods we need not eat food like that. Sadly, it falls on selectively deaf ears.

linguaphile's avatar

@cazzie Ehhh… it seems to fall on deaf ears here in Minnesota as well!! Shudder. I have friends from Norway that say exactly the same thing you just did! :D

fremen_warrior's avatar

@amujinx ok so in Poland it is totally different for some reason. On Smingus Dyngus (Shmeen-goos Din-goos) nobody in their right mind leaves the house, because there are regular battles fought in the street, with super soakers, buckets, bottles, what have you, whatever can be used to hurl water at anything that moves. Nobody is spared. Oh the horror!

linguaphile's avatar

@fremen_warrior I wanna go! Super water fight!

fremen_warrior's avatar

@linguaphile well it was nice knowing ya xD

amujinx's avatar

@fremen_warrior I could get behind a huge water fight. Squirting those tiny weak squirt guns and tapping people with pussywillows is stupid though.

Only138's avatar

In my home town, we celebrate the Festival of the Forks. Not silverware….but where the Kalamazoo river forks into 2 directions. Its just gives an excuse to eat and drink too much. :)

Symbeline's avatar

sounds good to me :D

fremen_warrior's avatar

@amujinx agreed, we don’t do that over here (no idea how it came about in the States lol)

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