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Valentine’s Day et al

Valentines Day

During my childhood, Christmas, Easter and a few other days were important days to be commemorated each year. St Valentine’s Day went by almost unnoticed. Nobody I can remember ever really celebrated Cupid’s Day.

Nowadays it seems like Valentine’s Day rose to the stature of a mini festive season. Now from a business point of view I can understand that it makes good sense. For many businesses February is one of the quietest months of the year and Valentine’s Day may add a very welcome cash flow injection in a month that may otherwise be rather loathsome.

But I was astounded about the number of days, weeks, months, years and even decades that are nowadays observed after having received a list of these by email a while ago. I suppose for each such a day to be promoted there must be someone managing and marketing it. . Seems like it may be a lucrative business to come up with something to be observed or celebrated and thereby trying to raise funds for the cause.

Besides Valentine’s Day, February also have World Thinking Day, International Safer Internet Day, Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day, Rare Disease Day, International Mother Language Day and many more.

There are so many awareness days every year that it is hard to find an open day. Ever heard of Bicycle Day, celebrating the discovery of LSD and a couple of days for animals, like World Turtle Day, Sparrow Day and Take your Dog to Work day?

It is somewhat difficult to grasp the true meaning of certain days, e.g. Self-Injury Awareness Day, Undiagnosed Children’s Awareness Day and Edible Book Festival Day (which is also April Fools’ Day).

Then we have days to celebrate what we eat and drink, like International Bacon Day, World Egg Day, International Chocolate Day, International Beer Day and International Coffee Day. The ones that I like best though, are International No Diet Day and National Pizza Month in October.

Celebrating some days seems to me does not produce results. Annually we have the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty; 1996 was the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty and the Decade for the Eradication of Poverty was from 1997 till 2006. By this time poverty should not have been a problem anymore.

In other cases we are reminded of aims that in my mind are so far beyond our ability that I can hardly believe there are such days. There is a World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, an International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction and the 1990s was the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. The Water for Life Decade started in 2005 and from 16-18 September we are supposed to Clean Up the World.

Some days gives me a chuckle, such as Buy Nothing Day, Ask a Stupid Question Day, Middle Name Pride Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Global Hand Washing Day, Smile and Wave to Tourists International Day, World Sleep Day (I can do with that), Fix a Leak Week, Dairy Goat Awareness Week and International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Do we really need days like International Stuttering Awareness Day, National Coming Out (of the closet) Day or Adoption Awareness Month, World Toilet Day and World Television Day?

Is there any chance of being successful with days like World No-Tobacco Day, International Day of No Prostitution and the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict?

If the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the International Year for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1971) were successful in the past, the world could have been a much better place by now. The same is true for World Suicide Prevention Day, International Anti-Corruption Day and World Entrepreneurship Day.

Amidst all these days, weeks, months and years that we celebrate, I think our hope for the future perhaps lies with focusing our efforts on days like the World Hello Day, World Smile Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, the International Day of Happiness, the International Day of Friendship and perhaps even the Day without News.

But for now enjoy St Valentine’s Day and ensure that your loved ones know that you love them. We all have need to be loved.

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