When Seinfeld’s Elaine went on a date with an advisor to New York Mayor David Dinkins in a 1993 episode of the sitcom, she told him that if she were running for mayor, one of her campaign themes would be for everyone to “wear nametags all the time to make the city friendlier.” He liked her idea and convinced the mayor to give it a shot. But the experiment backfired so badly that the advisor lost his job.
Two decades later, some diehard Seinfeld fans are trying to bring Elaine’s idea back. On June 1, organizers of Nametag Day will pass out nametags throughout New York City between 11:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m. If Nametag Day becomes an annual event, it will join a long line of little-known holidays worldwide that celebrate everything from bubble wrap to barefeet.
So take out your calendar and mark down these offbeat occasions that you can celebrate every month of year. (Specific dates may vary from year to year, so check in advance to make sure you don’t miss your favorite “Day”.)
The Bloomington, Indiana, radio station Spirit 95 Radio started the holiday in 2001 and kicked it off with a Bubblympiad (a play on the word ‘Olympiad’) featuring a popping relay, Pop-a-Mole and displays of clothing and sculptures made out of bubble wrap. But no pressure: If you want to spend the day popping bubble wrap on the couch, that’s just fine too.
Bring a pillow and relive your slumber party days at one of these outdoor pillow fights in cities like New York, Washington D.C., South Korea, Budapest, London, and Buenos Aires. At the New York City event this year, some fastened sticks to their pillows and donned superhero masks, while others collapsed and surrendered, forming a giant heap of feathers and pillow stuffing.
Finally, a socially acceptable reason to walk around barefoot. Going sock-free for a day “will mean a little less laundry, thereby contributing to the betterment of the environment,” according to the day’s creators, Thomas and Ruth Roy. Offended sock lovers can boycott the holiday.
Inspired by the Seinfeld episode, volunteers will be handing out free nametags in Manhattan and Brooklyn to make the city “a little friendlier.”
“Walking your plants around the neighborhood enables them to know their environment, thereby providing them with a sense of knowing, bringing on wellness,” according to a description of the holiday, which is also copyrighted by Thomas and Ruth Roy.
In 1994, Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov established the national holiday to honor the nation’s melon growers and the “queen of the melon fields.” Throughout the capital of Ashgabat, there are ceremonial dances, concerts and large displays of melons – even free ones.
Each year, mateys don a black eye patch, drink grog, and insert “Arrr!” and “Ahoy!” into daily conversation. And if you decide to spend that day wooing a beauty or a swashbuckler, the official website for the holiday boasts an impressive glossary of pick-up lines such as, “Prepare to be boarded.”
If you’re from Cleveland or the Midwest, you know the drill. For the uninitiated, it’s a holiday created around 1922 by Cleveland confectioners, who started giving out candy to brighten people’s days. Think Valentine’s Day in October – or another way for Hallmark to guilt people into buying greeting cards.
Some spend the day after Thanksgiving going out and braving the lines for the best Black Friday specials, while others celebrate “Sinkie Day,” which has been honoring the “casual dining style” of eating over the kitchen sink since 1991.
The House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2002 to create the Dec. 12 holiday to recognize the red flower, which was named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, a former special envoy to Mexico and botany hobbyist. Poinsett brought the specimens from Mexico — where they are known as “flores de noche bueno” — into the U.S. in the 1820s and grew them in his South Carolina greenhouse.