For many years there has been a troubling trend threatening to rip our calendars to pieces and burn them with theoretical fire. As various causes, diseases, organizations, and just plain sweet nothings have sought a greater share of the world’s attention, they have resorted to the tactic of declaring a single calendar “Day” as a special time to pay special attention to their cause.
This method of drawing attention to one’s cause has been very effective throughout history. The Jewish holidays of Passover and Purim have cemented into their culture the remembrance of those events. Christians have celebrated Christmas and Easter for millenia to commemorate the birth and death of Jesus. Islam was the first religion to realize the power of harnessing a whole month with their use of Ramadan.
Previously, a powerful religious or political leader was necessary to have a Day added to the calendar. This is true to this day with Congress passing a bill starting Black History Month in 1976. Into the late 20th century that changed with influential disease advocacy groups like the American Cancer Society getting the whole month of October known for being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Unfortunately, those of us who watch the calendar carefully began to see a problem. With only 365 days in a year, that means that you can reasonably fit only 365 causes into a single year (366 in a leap year). Even more alarming is the rush for whole months of which there are only 12.
To stand against this flood of “Days” I have founded the Day Awareness Day Foundation. Founded in my living room just this past Sunday afternoon, our burgeoning ranks of supporters include….well….me.
But I am undeterred. I think that we need to be thoughtful with our calendars lest we reach a day when there are so many things to celebrate we just ignore them entirely. In the spirit of the cause, I have founded a Day to consider this cause, Day Awareness Day. Starting this year, the Thursday following the fifth Tuesday of April every year will be Day Awareness Day. We will stand together and let our neighbors, our communities, and our nation know that we want a calendar that is not just en enormous list of things we won’t look into.
But, you might say that it is important to celebrate these causes. I agree. So we here at the Day Awareness Day Foundation have several possible solutions to this vexing dilemma.
First, we could stop having annual Days and move them into events that occur once a decade. For example, Male Watcher’s Day, which happens every January 8th (the same as Bubble Dath Day). Wouldn’t it make better sense to have a decades worth of days to fit each of these meaningless reminders into. That is 3,652 or 3,653 (depending on the decade) days where you could easily fit Make a Hat Day (September 15th) along with all of the other days we need to remember. In addition, this is 120 months as appose to the very confining 12 months in a single year.
A second solution is to instead use hours of the year instead of days. You could then have Star Wars Hour instead of Star Wars Day (May 4th which is also Bird Day, National Candied Orange Peel Day, and Renewal Day). Leading the way on this account is Pi Day (March 14th) which celebrated the number Pi. In the year 2015 there will be a Pi Second on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 (corresponding to the digits of Pi, 3.141592653). This is a step in the right direction as there are about 31,536,000 seconds in a year (depending on how you calculate a year). I think we could then safely fit every conceivable cause into that many seconds.
The third solution, which is the one we have chosen for our own day, it to start using days on the calendar that look like they can occur, but never actually happen. Day Awareness Day is an excellent example of this being that it would almost happen on the calendar this year, being that it is the Thursday following the fifth Tuesday of April, but cannot ever actually happen.
We urge other organizations to follow our example. Stop filling up the calendars of well-meaning people. We need to come up with a better system for people who really need to celebrate Pigs in a Blanket Day (April 24th) but only have 365 days in the year to celebrate in. We at the Day Awareness Day Foundation feel that we can do better. We must do better. Our calender depend on it.
Photo used with permission from Sharon Mollerus