Those of you who know me on Facebook know about my updating a list of what holidays are running around the internet. My kids remember growing up with me, and “any excuse to celebrate” was not far from true. I may have had a different set of curtains and tablecloths for each month of the year ranging from hearts to shamrocks to eggs stars & stripes to fall leaves to bats to snowflakes. I believe they said it was like growing up in a gift shop. I still have, I think, over a dozen sets of dishes, because I look on meals as a way of celebrating food and being together.
I figured that as eclectic pagans there was no reason not to explore the holidays of any faith. Now I’m a little bit more culturally sensitive, I try to appreciate them from outside, while not inappropriately appropriating the emotional/intellectual property of other cultures. (At the same time, I tend to think that what’s delicious, fun, pretty, or meaningful to someone can’t be “owned” by any group when those are intrinsic traits anyone can experience; but that’s a thought for another day.) Back then I spent a lot of time working on my pagan cookies cookbooks, and there was a computer list I was on (Pagan Musings I think it was, it went away and I was sad), where the list owner shared her collection of pagan (and other) holidays, and I mined it for every reference I could get to how people used special foods to create holidays, rituals and culture. I also started finding other calendar lists like food holidays, and saints holidays, and other holidays on the internet. Last year I started sharing MY collection on facebook and livejournal. For example, today:
Today’s Holidays (excuses to celebrate):
Today, Monday, August 27th is “Just Because” Day, Motorist Consideration Monday, Pots de Crème Day, Banana Lovers Day (probably because it’s) Tarzan’s Birthday, “The Duchess who Wasn’t” Day*, Global Forgiveness Day, and Petroleum Day.
The runic half-month of As (gods) ends.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 28th will be According to Hoyle Day, Bow Tie Day, Cherry Turnover Day, Dream Day (as in “I have a…”), Nut Spas, & Radio Commercials Day.
The runic half-month of Rad (motion) begins.
This is National “Be Kind to Humankind” Week.
August is “Happiness Happens” Month, Peach Month, Motor Sports Awareness Month, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month.
*Margaret Wolfe Hungerford (a novelist- Duchess was her pen name)
There are a LOT of sites that share my fascination with holidays. What I do is actually check to see if they are accurate (after I check, I post the connections I’ve found on LJ). Often the problem is that the holiday is “off” because it’s based what day of the week or phase of the moon it is, and having only recorded the month and number, it’s wrong for this year. I have this thing in my world view that people aren’t supposed to print or post something without checking the facts. Sadly a lot of what’s on the internet was posted years ago (one of the great things about it, usually), so while it was accurate once, it isn’t anymore. I guess that’s just one of my hobby horses. If something bugs me, I figure I should do something about it.
Besides that- I love holidays. Anyone can get excited about Christmas or Independence Day, but there’s something that appeals to me about people stopping to notice that Cherry Turnovers, or Dirt Bike Racing or whatever is something that makes people’s lives better. I’ve met lots of people I don’t like, but I’ve never met someone who was boring. Everyone has something he or she is passionate about, and if you let them tell you about their old cars, or thousand different salt and pepper shakers, they light up. Other wonderful things we have in common. A couple days ago was Toilet Paper Day. Admit it, aren’t you glad there is toilet paper? O brave new world to have toilet paper in it! (or something like that)
It’s probably just another aspect of trying to be aware of the good things in life. The bad things force themselves into your attention, like a thorn in your foot. The good things come as a scent, or a warm soft blanket wrapped around you, and you won’t notice them if you don’t think of it. So think about it, and celebrate considerate motorists, or nuts, or waffle cones. The world is marvelous.