Spend a little time Googling, and you’ll quickly realise that the world is full of unusual holidays. Most of them are never going to find their way onto the radar, and the few successes are subject to what personnel managers may know as the Punxsutawney Paradox. (Punxsutawney, Pa. hosts an annual ceremony involving groundhogs to which no-one paid any attention…until a certain 1993 movie put the town on the map, turning a fun local event into a worldwide media phenom.)
Here are the most unusual holidays we’ve come across. Will your employees be celebrating?
National Nothing Day is, quite simply, a day for doing nothing. Created in 1973 by newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin, the expectation is to not promote this day. In other words, we do nothing. And, to say anything more would contradict the purpose of this day. Celebrate this day by doing…nothing. Of course, that assumes that doing nothing is okay with your boss.
World Naked Gardening Day, normally celebrated on the first Saturday in May, is billed by its organisers as an opportunity for nudists to “tend their portion of the world’s garden unclothed as nature intended.” Depending on your perspective, the event is either a charming celebration of the freedom of one’s own garden or an excuse for over-eager naturists to intimidate passers-by…but it’s certainly eccentric.
Festival of Sleep Day is an opportunity to sleep in, snooze, doze, nap, and catch 40 winks. Whether it’s all day, a full 8 hours, or just a power nap, people are encouraged to enjoy the day sleeping. If one of your employees has ever requested time off to celebrate Festival of Sleep Day, we’d love to know.
At LeavePlanner, our particular favourite is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19). The sole purpose of the event is to give participants an excuse to impersonate Robert Newton in Treasure Island , to hail workmates with cries of ‘Shiver me timbers!’ and ‘Avast there!’, and to play sea shanties on the office stereo. We love it, and we don’t think it’s in any danger of ‘going global’.
Of course, the splendid amateurism of some of these events is an indication of how easy it can be to convene a holiday. All you need is a plausible theme and some like-minded friends. With software like LeavePlanner to handle all the admin, your staff will find organising their own unusual holiday is a doddle! Let those imaginations run riot…