By The Roaring Girls Co-Artistic Director, recently back from the future, Lizi.
If you’ve ever been intrigued by a google doodle, or taken an interest what’s printed on your calendar, you’ll be aware that almost every cause you can think of has been assigned a celebration day.
From World Nutella Day (5th February) to National Wiggle Your Toes Day (6th August), you can find a day to celebrate pretty much anything you want. I’m personally intrigued by Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (27th January), National Badger Day (6th October), and Yorkshire Pudding Day (13th October).
If you’re a fan of certain TV shows or films, maybe you’ve celebrated your female friendships on Galentine’s Day (13th Feb) or Star Wars Day (4th May), or maybe you celebrate anniversaries of special events in your life, or have your own traditions with friends or family.
Many of these days are intended to raise awareness of issues, or raise money for charities, and many more exist to promote certain products. The final category is the “WTF” days – which seem to have no logic or reason behind them. This category includes If Pets Had Thumbs Day, which disappointingly just seems to be a day to just ponder this question for no discernible reason.
But perhaps, following a year when all norms have flown out the window days like Ice Cream for Breakfast Day- a day when you should eat, unsurprisingly, ice cream for breakfast- aren’t as weird or exciting as they once were, because who cares what time it is in lockdown? Eat what you want…! Though if you do want to celebrate with a scoop or two, the day is celebrated on the first Saturday in February – that’s the 6th next year.
Other special days celebrating things that some of us have had a bit too much of in 2020 include National Work from Home Day (14th May), Homemade Bread Day (17th November), Take a Walk in the Park Day (30th March), and even International Panic Day (18th June).
But, given that 2020 has been an unusual year for us all, and brought many changes to the way we live our lives, and the ways in which we can connect to each other and celebrate, I have some proposals for celebrations that we should all agree to implement in the upcoming year:
Make Friends at the Pub Day
For many people the reopening of pubs following the first lockdown was a major event. Though I was more cautious than many people I saw (drunkenly spilling out of bars as though nothing had changed), it was nice to venture out and sit with friends, catching up over a pint or two. While obviously it’s possible to meet new people at the pub, sat a few metres apart while eating your substantial meal, time spent isolated from social connection means I, like a lot of people, am more interested in reconnecting with friends than meeting new people. While I think that it’ll be a very long time before we’re all able to be, and comfortable being, elbow to elbow with people at the bar or sat at the next table, there is a lost joy in turning to the drinkers next to you, sharing laugher and beer, and becoming best mates with people you never learn the name of, and then never seeing them again.
Visit a Care Home Day
Most care homes and nursing homes have been closed to visitors, or at least restricted visitors, since March. Obliviously these restrictions are in place to protect the most vulnerable people, and care workers have worked incredibly hard to help and support residents and their families. But with so many people cut off from their families, and unable to leave or go out under these conditions, we have isolated people who were already isolated and, in many cases, lonely. I’m sure there are many people with family in such a situation who cannot wait to visit, and I think that the celebration of human connection is absolutely worthy.
Stop Tweeting Covid Conspiracies Day
One of the terrifying things we’ve all witnessed this year has been a willingness to disregard science, and spread theories ranging from the bizarre to the dangerous. It would be marvellous if, by some miracle, in the new year everyone stopped sharing this misinformation. Yeah, I know, it’s pretty damn unlikely.
Have Sex with a Stranger Day
While many people haven’t deleted Tinder from their phones, the official guidelines have been that, during lockdown, you can only have sex with your partner if they live in your household, or are part of your bubble. Advice from the Terrence Higgins Trust was to avoid kidding, wear a mask, and avoid doing anything face-to-face, and that you “best sexual partner is yourself”. I remember laughing at the news that Canadian officials had recommended the use of glory-holes over the summer. While perhaps proposing a specific day to do it might be a little irresponsible, I do think that many people will be looking forward to being able to connect to new people and start relationships, without having to wear masks – unless you’re into that.
Cough in Public and Not Make a Big Deal Out of it Day
Okay, so this one might be quite a way off. I’ve definitely found myself needing to cough, or clear my throat, while out in a shop or similar public place. And I’ve definitely found myself turning to friends and joking about not being ill when something happens. I’m hopeful that with continued work to supress the virus, and the rolling out of the vaccines, that we will find ourselves in a place where wearing masks are not the norm, and that people won’t feel anxious or uncomfortable around someone who coughs or sneezes in public.
While the suggestion of these celebration days is ridiculous, I do truly believe that we need to celebrate connection and community on ways we haven’t before – because we’d taken the ability to spend time with each other, to embrace each other, for granted. I do believe that, eventually, we will find ourselves in a place that feels more normal, but I do hope that we don’t forget to celebrate that. And ultimately, if any thing or anyone deserves recognition and celebration, it is the frontline workers and healthcare system. I do believe that a day of recognition for the NHS and the people who power it would be something that is supported but, like weekly applause on the doorstep, we should be voting for and advocating for the NHS instead.
Oh, and if you’re looking for something to celebrate, the day this blog is posted – 8th December 2020, appears to be Brownie Day (yum), Lard Day (yuck), and Pretend To Be A Time Traveller Day (what a coincidence, as I did write this in February 2022).