Whatever you're into, there's a day for you

NAOMI ARNOLD
Last updated 10:07 07/05/2012

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Naomi Arnold

It's time we regained the freedom to burn House has a wild past but it’s P-free Absence felt strong Packed in like grains of sand Enjoy the sights - slowly Don't give our athletes the cold shoulder All aboard for Gigatown It isn't gossip - it's a set of lessons for life Too much noise, too many distractions Letting it all come out

I hope you remembered to acknowledge World Tapir Day on April 27, properly observed Red Squirrel Awareness Day on May 2, and brought out your replica light sabers for Star Wars Day on May the fourth (be with you).

Happily, Sunday, May 6 is International No Diet Day, which I hope you'll join me in celebrating. It started when British woman Mary Evans Young became particularly irritated with the coffee-break biscuit dance – "Oh, I'll just have one ... I shouldn't really ... Oh, all right then" – and instigated a day just so people could say "Eat the damn biscuit and be done with it." Well done, Mary.

Also, don't forget to carry a towel on Towel Day this May 25, an entire 24 hours of tribute to the late, great Douglas Adams. Suggested activities include hanging banners that say "Don't Panic" and hoisting flags bearing the number 42.

There is a commemorative month, week, or day for every topic, cause, animal, and health issue you may care to think of. Many you couldn't imagine, but I'm delighted to report that they exist.

There's the pedestrian, of course. Trying to give up smoking? Join in solidarity with your comrades during National Smoking Week next January 20, which includes Weedless Wednesday on the 23rd. If you failed, try again on May 31, World No-Tobacco Day. On June 2, International Whores Day, you may find yourself marching with the Scarlet Alliance, joining prostitutes carrying red umbrellas and demanding protection for sex workers.

Book a dentist on National Toothache Day, February 9, and a doctor between February 6 and 12, during Tinnitus Awareness Week. August is National Library Card Sign-up Month, while January 18 is World Day of Snowman, when the global snowman community – at least those in the northern hemisphere – organise snowman-related activities. They celebrate on this day because the figure 18 looks like a snowman with his broomstick.

Earlier in April, Canada celebrated National Dental Hygienists Week, and reportedly enjoyed a "tremendously successful month". March is Supply Management Month, which, according to the Institute of Supply Management's website, "demonstrates its commitment to lead and serve supply management by encouraging celebrations and awareness activities showcasing the importance of the profession", which still gives no indication as to exactly what the profession of supply management is. However: "Never before have supply managers been asked to do so much and take on as much responsibility as they do now." Managing supplies is important stuff, then, and worthy of wider recognition.

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Sometimes commemorative days overlap, surely leaving news organisations befuddled. April 7 is World Health Day and National Beer Day. April 15 is the Day of Silence, an annual day of action organised by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. On this day, students take a day-long vow of silence to protest bullying and harassment of LGBT students and their supporters.

The day's been held each year since 1996; but in a particularly foul move, conservative United States organisation Alliance Defence Fund has hijacked it by encouraging Christian students to promote Day of Dialogue simultaneously, to counteract the "homosexual agenda".

July is Hot Dog Month, August 30 is International Sex Bomb Day, and August 13 is International Lefthanders' Day. February 9 is Formal Announcement Day, although this doesn't seem to exist anywhere outside of Wikipedia.

Not so Pi Day, on March 14, which celebrates the famous, irrational number that results from dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter. Physicist Larry Shaw started the first Pi Day in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where staff, public and other acolytes of the church of pi marched around one of its circular spaces and ate fruit pies. Other activities include pi limericks and pi recitation contests, although no-one has got close to remembering its trillion decimal places. The world recitation record belongs to Chinese chemistry student Chao Lu, who rattled off 67,890 digits over 24 hours in 2005. It took 26 video tapes to submit to Guinness.

Some people take it extremely seriously. The renowned private research university Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be the campus with the most passionate pi fans worldwide.

It has often tried to mail its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day. In fact, it's at MIT, on 3/14, probably at 1.59pm, that students have been known to wish each other – out loud, mind you – a happy Pi Day.

naomia@nelsonmail.co.nz

- Nelson

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