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Happy National Whatever Day!

June 2 was this year’s National Doughnut Day. Apparently, the first Friday in June gets the honor of being doughnut day every year, originating all the way back to 1938 when the Salvation Army in Chicago passed out doughnuts to World War 1 soldiers.

But today it’s really just an excuse for free doughnuts. We’ll celebrate anything if we can get free stuff with it, right?

While there are a lot of food related “holidays” we could celebrate, there can be a day for anything. National Best Friends Day is June 8. National Kissing Day is June 19.

Some of these so-called holidays are even supposedly international ones. Some websites list June 18 as International Panic Day (although I think we’ve all been celebrating that one every day since last year.)

And these are just a few of the ones listed for the month of June.

If there’s a certain thing you want to celebrate, chances are there’s already a designated “day” for it somewhere.

Celebrating these days can vary depending on how much you care. Like the aforementioned Doughnut Day, you might be able to get free food somewhere if it’s a pretty well-recognized holiday.

However, your chances of getting free corn on National Corn on the Cob day (June 11) are not as good.

You might just use the “holiday” as an excuse to eat chocolate ice cream (June 7) or to use your waffle iron (June 29). (Don’t be confused though. June 29 is to celebrate the kitchen appliance used to make waffles. The national day for the food item itself is on August 24.)

You can use National Selfie Day on June 21 as justification for the pictures you snap of yourself everywhere you go.

America isn’t the only country to make up weird (and pointless) holidays that don’t really mean much.

Pocky Day in Japan is on November 11, and it’s really just a marketing gag. Pocky is a popular snack food that’s like a long thin pretzel coated with different flavors such as chocolate or strawberry. Of course, that particular day was chosen because the date (11/11) looks like parallel sticks of Pocky.

The best weird holidays in Japan, however, are the ones based on puns. There are different ways to pronounce numbers in Japanese, so they can come up with some really random holidays based on dates.

Strawberry Day is on January 5 every year because one and five can be pronounced as “ichi” and “go.” Together that’s “ichigo” which is, predictably, the Japanese word for strawberry.

March 3 is Ear Day in Japan because 3/3 can be read as “mimi,” the word for “ear.” I’m not quite sure what you can do to celebrate Ear Day, except maybe use it as an excuse to buy a new pair of earrings.

There are probably strange, silly “holidays” in every country around the world. They may be pointless, but why turn down an excuse to have fun? According to the website nationaldaycalendar.com, the United States has almost 1500 “National Days” to choose from.

Oh, and by the way, National Columnists Day is supposedly on June 23. I guess I’ll celebrate by writing more columns.

Holly Taylor is a staff writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or by phone at 252-332-7206.