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Strangest Holiday Traditions in the World
From ferocious food fights in Spain … to evil Santas and monkey buffets … Here are 15 of the Strangest Holiday Traditions in the World
#15 Bermuda Day
Celebrated on the last Friday in May, this is a national public holiday across the islands of Bermuda. By tradition, it marks the first day of the year that residents will venture into the sea. It also marks the first day where Bermuda shorts can be worn as business attire. A parade and a road race in Hamilton, Bermuda are held to celebrate the holiday. The events are so popular that people will sleep overnight at the sites to ensure they have good seats for the events.
#14 Melon Day
August 3rd is when National Watermelon Day is observed in the US. But in Turkmenistan it’s called Melon Day, and it’s observed on the second Sunday of August. In that Central Asian country it’s the muskmelon that is recognized for its taste, aroma and large size. The holiday was established by a former president in 1994 and involves a day-long celebration of the fruit along with music and dancing events. Did you know these melons are regarded as a source of national pride for Turkmenistan?
#13 National Weatherperson’s Day
One of the first weather observers in US history was a physician and scientist named John Jeffries. So it makes sense that National Weatherperson’s Day is annually observed on his birthday, February 5th. Professional meteorologists, as well as volunteer storm spotters, are recognized each year. Did you know that Jeffries started taking daily weather measurements in 1774? He might be best known for participating in the first balloon flight over the English Channel in 1785.
#12 Goose Day
Lekeitio (leh-kay-tee-oh) is a small fishing town located in the Basque (bahs’k) country of Spain. Since the 5th century AD a festival honoring the town’s patron San Antolin has taken place during the first week of September. The most popular event involves geese that are hanging from ropes placed across the harbor from dock to dock. A goose drenched in oil is placed in the middle of the rope and participants on boats try to grab the bird by the neck as the vessel passes by. The winner is allowed to keep the goose. Researchers say that this particular competition has been going on since 1877. But it has come under heavy criticism from animal rights groups who have called for the practice to stop. What do you think?
#11 International Beer Day
While some people might like to celebrate it every day, the official observance is on the first Friday of every August. It started in 2007 as a small, localized event in Santa Cruz, California. Today it’s a worldwide celebration that involves more than 80 countries and over 200 cities across six continents. During this sacred day, participants are encouraged to express gratitude towards brewers and bartenders, and give each other the gift of beer. Some popular events include beer pong, trivia nights, and all-day happy hours. A major purpose of this holiday is to unite the world under a banner of brew. Surely we can all agree with that, no?
#10 Groundhog Day
Long before the name was linked to the 1993 classic film comedy, Groundhog Day was a popular tradition in the US and Canada. Observance of the event is linked to a superstition among the Pennsylvania Dutch about a groundhog seeing its shadow. If that happens, expect six more weeks of winter. The best-known groundhog in the US is Punxsutawney (punks-ah-tawn-nee) Phil. He and his descendants have been officially prognosticating the weather since the 19th century. These days crowds of 40,000 people gather each February 2nd in western Pennsylvania to celebrate the event. Prior to the Bill Murray flick, the average crowd size was about 2,000!