Last month there was yet another day of celebration for the dog – on 27th August it was National Dog Day, and just like on Christmas Day, Little Christmas Day (see blog post https://catherinerosevear.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/another-little-christmas/ ) and his birthday, there were presents, treats and cards galore – this time, all especially for him.
He absolutely loves opening presents. He was delighted to discover that we’d got him a new blanket, which he immediately lay down on. There were also home-made dog biscuits, and a game of ‘pass the parcel’ in which – surprisingly – the music always stopped when the parcel was in front of him. I think it’s safe to say that he really enjoyed himself, as, in fact, did the rest of us, but it got me thinking about all these special days we have, for this and that.
I found a list on Wikipedia of all the various special days that are celebrated around the world, and it was fascinating reading. There’s a huge list of them, including, of course, all the famous ones like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. In reading down the list, I found it difficult to choose my favourite – I suggested to the dog that maybe it would have to be either World Chocolate Day, or possibly, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day! He immediately objected strongly to this, and suggested that if I was looking for something other than National Dog Day to celebrate, then it should be National Puppy Day. I had to explain to him that as far as Wikipedia could tell me, this was only celebrated in the USA. He huffed petulantly, and pointed out that I hadn’t even mentioned Take Your Dog to Work Day. I realised that on 24th June, when this day is apparently celebrated, I hadn’t even known about it. Quickly passing him a dog treat to ease my guilt, I decided to move on to looking into which days are related to writers and writing.
Wikipedia informed me that in various countries around the western world, there are several days that are linked to writing or literature. These are –
- National Science Fiction Day (2nd January) – celebrated in the USA.
- Family Literacy Day (27th January) – a day celebrating literacy in Canada.
- Dr Seuss Day (2nd March).
- World Writers’ Day (3rd March) – established in 1986, and founded in London by the International PEN club, to promote support among writers, internationally, and to bring together respected international writers for discussion.
- World Poetry Day (21st March) – established by the UN.
- Tolkien Reading Day (25th March).
- International Children’s Book Day (2nd April).
- World Book and Copyright Day (23rd April).
- National Writing Day (27th June) – an annual day to inspire writing, across the UK.
- Author’s Day (1st November) – established in Illinois, USA, in 1928 to celebrate American Authors.
- International African Writers’ Day (7th November).
- Day of the Imprisoned Writer (15th November) – an international day established in 1981, to recognise writers who stand up for freedom of expression.
All these days connected with writing and literature looked great, but what struck me was that none of them were just about generally celebrating writers, in the way that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just generally celebrate mothers and fathers. And this in a world where the vast majority of writers (both self-published and traditionally published), earn very little money from their writing, with only the rare, famous few making a good living from it. In fact, the vast majority of unpublished and self-published writers slave away with no financial reward at all.
Surely, I suggested to the dog, it was time for a National (or even International) Writers’ Day, when all book-lovers would show their appreciation to any writers they happened to know, feting them with cards, flowers and gifts? He yawned – for some reason he seemed to be getting a bit tired of listening to me – and, settling down on his new blanket for a well-earned snooze, he pointed out that there were only six months to go until World Sleep Day came around again on 17th March, and maybe we should start celebrating that now, instead.
Oh well – it was only a suggestion!
With many thanks to Wikipedia and their wonderful (and very informative), ‘List of minor secular observances’.