5 Lesser Holidays and How to Celebrate Them

Jon Fesmire |

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are great. We all enjoy dressing up, gathering around the table, giving presents, and spending time hunting for eggs at the park with the kids.

But what about those lesser-known holidays? Here are five holidays you’ve probably never celebrated at all and some fun things to do when they roll around.

Groundhog Day

You know the story: If the groundhog sees its shadow on February 2nd, there will be six more weeks of winter. The official Groundhog Day mascot is Punxsatawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

One fun way to celebrate is to watch the movie named for the holiday, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. Though a comedy, it’s a deep tale about a man who has to relive the same day until he grows enough to escape the loop. You could also eat dirty ice cream. No, don’t put dirt on your dessert! Instead, serve ice cream in cups and cover each serving with ground Oreo cookies.

Arbor Day

Falling near the end of April each year, Arbor Day is all about trees. The very best way to celebrate it is to plant a tree. Since we don’t all have the option to plant a tree wherever we want to, contact the Arbor Day Foundation and ask how you can participate.

If you don’t have the option to plant a tree, consider planting new flowers in your yard or getting a small tree as a houseplant. Just take good care of it! This will help beautify your home as well and provide extra oxygen.

Flag Day

June 14 is Flag Day, a patriotic day here in the United States, but one that often goes overlooked. This is a good day to teach your kids some American history, or to brush up on it yourself.

If you enjoy baking, make cookies in the shape of flags and decorate them with red, white, and blue frosting. You could also make a cake and layer on the frosting in the stars and stripes design of our flag. It’s also a good day to display the American flag if you have one. If you don’t know how to already, research how to properly fold and store a flag. Finally, if there are Flag Day fireworks near you, go enjoy the show.

Bastille Day: The French Fourth

Did you know that the French Revolution was inspired by the American Revolution? The French people fought against the monarchy and stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, which was a major turning point in that war. Celebrations take place yearly in France and French-speaking places, including New Orleans.

If you love the French, you can celebrate Bastille Day in many ways. Go out to brunch at a place that serves crepes. If you’re not in Paris, watch the Bastille Day fireworks online. Go to a Bastille Day event, like the Bastille Day Ball in New York. All francophiles should do something, however small, to commemorate this historic day.

Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember, the fifth of November, goes the saying. In England in 1605, a group of Catholic conspirators, tired of the mistreatment of Catholics by the English government, attempted to blow up the Parliament. Though they failed, the day went down in infamy and is now celebrated with bonfires and fireworks.

If you have a rebellious streak, you can celebrate Guy Fawkes Day on November 5 by heading down to the beach and firing up a bonfire pit, or simply by hosting a barbeque at home. Invite your friends, cook some chow, make some s’mores, and fire up some sparklers. If you want to watch a movie, we recommend V for Vendetta, about an alternate world where a fascist regime has taken over England and a Guy Fawks-like character fights back.

We hope these celebrations add some color to your year!