Wow! The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, actually updates its Holiday Observances web page on a daily basis! Some of the National Days, Weeks, and Months seem peculiar, even a bit excessive, no? For example, chocolate is “honored” four times every year:
· Celebration of Chocolate Month (February).
· Chocolate Ice Cream Day (June 7).
· Chocolate (singular) Day (October 28).
· Chocolates (plural) Day (November 29).
Tea, on the other hand, is observed only twice:
· Hot Tea Month (January).
· Iced Tea Month (June)/ Iced Tea Day (June 10)
The Tea Council of the USA concocted both the Hot Tea Month and Iced Tea Month, for marketing purposes, in the 1990s. During my decades-long stay in Los Angeles, I do not recall seeing or reading about tea-related festivities specifically designed for these two National Months. Like the rest of the world, tea enthusiasts in the States celebrate tea every day with their individualized tea consumption ritual.
June the 26th is England’s National Cream Tea Day. Everyone knows that cream tea is not a type of tea but a version of afternoon tea, right?
To commemorate a Japanese sailor’s attendance, on November 1st, 1791, at a grand tea party hosted by Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796), the Japan Tea Association designated November 1st as the National Tea Day in 1983. This sailor found himself living in Russia after being shipwrecked. Interestingly, the record shows that the first Japanese national ever set foot in the States experienced the same fate.
Other tea producing countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, and Indonesia choose to observe the International Tea Day every year on December the 15th. Let’s not forget June 28th – the National Tapioca (Boba) Day.
Which is more difficult? Registering a National Day or running as a candidate in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries? To formalize a truly “National” Day is a “mission impossible” as it requires congressional approval. As for DIY Holidays, one could kick off the potentially tedious effort by acquiring a copy of Chase’s Calendar of Events.
Other images provided by the author.