Do you look forward to holidays? If you’re like most people, you certainly do. Whether or not you have a strong connection to the reason for celebrating a holiday, everyone enjoys a day off every now and then.

Holidays are days set aside because they have special meaning to certain people, an entire country or a particular religious group. Some holidays, like Independence Day in the United States, are official government holidays and are observed by giving people the day off from work or school. With their free time, people can spend time with family and friends to celebrate the holiday.  Or, they can simply enjoy some free time to relax and rest.

Other holidays, such as April Fools’ Day, are unofficial. They may not involve any time off from work or school. Even though they’re unofficial, many minor holidays are still very important to certain groups of people.

Holidays often involve special celebrations. On July 4 every year, fireworks displays are a common way of celebrating Independence Day. On April Fools’ Day, you might find yourself the target of a practical joke or a prank.

The word “holiday” came from the Old English word hāligdæg, which referred to special religious days. These “holy days” eventually became “holiday.” However, today “holiday” refers to any type of day — religious or not — set aside to celebrate something special.

Anyone can decide to celebrate anything on any particular day (more about this in just a moment). However, establishing an official national holiday is not an easy task. Sometimes people celebrate a special occasion for years before petitioning a government to recognize their celebration as an official holiday.

For example, Thanksgiving was celebrated for many years informally. Eventually, Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor in Boston, began to write articles and letters to government officials, requesting that Thanksgiving be made an official holiday.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln finally agreed with her. However, an official act of Congress is required to create a national holiday. Thanksgiving wasn’t made an official U.S. holiday until 1941!

Since it takes a lot of effort to get an official national holiday, that’s probably why there aren’t more of them. Plus, too many holidays would make the most important holidays seem less special. We also can’t afford too many days off of work or school or we’d never get anything done!

Nevertheless, just one more holiday couldn’t hurt, could it? That’s why someone — we’re not sure exactly who — created Make Your Own Holiday Day. On this day (usually recognized on March 26), people everywhere are encouraged to make up their own holiday to celebrate anything they want.

Of course, as long as you’re making up your own holiday, you don’t have to celebrate it on March 26. It’s your holiday, so feel free to celebrate it whenever you want. Just make sure your idea for a new holiday hasn’t already been taken. There are a lot of weird and wacky holidays you can find on holiday calendars on the Internet. Here are a few interesting April holidays you may not have known about:

  • Draw a Picture of a Bird Day (April 8th)
  • Blah Blah Blah Day (April 17th)
  • Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day (April 24th)
  • Hug an Australian Day (April 26th)
  • National Hairball Awareness Day (April 30th)

 

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    • We like to make up holidays all the time, Jaquaisa! It’s a cool way to be creative and have FUN with your friends, family and classmates! We think today should be “Wonderopolis Wonder Friends are AWESOME” Day! What do YOU think? :-)

  1. Hey wonderopolis. I like today’s wonder of the day. I am a holiday person and I want more holidays. Oh, and by the way, when are you going to do a wonder on monkeys or apes? You told me you would.

    • Thanks for checking on your idea for a future Wonder about monkeys or apes, Tessa! We’re pretty sure there’s a Wonder coming up soon that you will REALLY like! Thanks for letting us know you liked today’s Wonder, too! :-)

    • Those holidays sound WONDERful, Jesse! What if there was an “eating hot wings while watching Star Wars” holiday? We think that would ROCK, too! :-)

    • We agree, Shundee! Holidays are SUPER fun, and we wish there were LOTS more of them! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis today! :-)

  2. I love holidays!!!!! I really liked today’s wonder, and I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about waterfalls!

    • That’s a really great guess about tomorrow’s Wonder, Audrey! We can’t wait to visit Wonderopolis tomorrow to see if your guess was correct! YOU ROCK! :-)

  3. We came up with a holiday for our whole class! It will be held on the last day of school before Spring Break (Thursday this week!). We are going to have a Read All Day Day. We will get to wear our pajamas, bring a stuffed animal, bring anything from home that we like to read, Miss Green will make us popcorn, and we will have special guests come in and read to us! Thanks for the idea of making a holiday of our own! We loved it!

    • We think your “Read All Day” Day sounds like so much FUN, Miss Green’s Class! We wish we could be there to help you celebrate…we LOVE to read! Thanks for being AMAZING Wonder Friends and sharing your creative holiday idea with us! :-)

  4. Our class loved this Wonder! We came up with our own Holiday as well. In late May, we will have BEACH DAY. We’ll celebrate by wearing beach clothes, bring in beach towels, eat beach snacks and play beach games. We can’t wait! It was interesting to learn how a holiday becomes “official”. Thanks!

    • Let’s hear it for Beach Day, Mrs. Guerin’s 2nd Grade Class! It sounds like it will be LOTS of FUN! We like how you guys came up with your holiday…we LOVE the beach! :-)

  5. I like today’s Wonder, BUT I’m a holiday person. I think tomorrow’s wonder will be about why we have holidays! :)

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about tomorrow’s Wonder, The Flures! We like that you are a “holiday” person! We are big fans of holidays here in Wonderopolis, too! :-)

  6. Dear Wonderopolis,

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about water towers!

    Also, we think there should be a “Computer Day.”

    Sincerely,
    Miss Kirsten’s Kindergarten GT Class

    • We really like the idea of a “Computer Day,” Miss Kirsten’s Kindergarten GT Class! We also think your idea about tomorrow’s Wonder is COOL! We hope you are right…we think it would be AWESOME to learn about water towers! :-)

  7. THEN Y’ALL SHOULD MAKE MORE HOLIDAYS SO I COULD GET OUT OF SCHOOL MORE OFTEN, AND I LOVE THE COLOR PURPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • We appreciate you sharing your enthusiastic view of holidays and the color purple, E.B.! Thanks so much for hanging out in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  8. There are not enough places to put this holiday and I didn’t like this wonder. I want tomorrow’s wonder to be about why kids have school.

    • We’re super sorry you didn’t care for today’s Wonder about holidays, Mrs. Wilbanks! We hope you’ll visit Wonderopolis again tomorrow and join us in some more learning fun! :-)

  9. Holidays are days set aside because they have special meaning to certain people, an entire country or a particular religious group. Some holidays, like Independence Day in the United States, are official government holidays and are observed by giving people the day off from work or school. With their free time, people can spend time with family and friends to celebrate the holiday. Or, they can simply enjoy some free time to relax and rest.

    • Thanks for sharing the part of today’s Wonder that you liked best, Youngfreedom! We appreciate your comment! :-)

  10. I think this wonder of the day is so cool. I’ve always wondered that wonder. I love this website. This website is so cool.

    • We think YOU are COOL for visiting Wonderopolis today, Cassidy! Thanks so much for letting us know you WONDERed about today’s Wonder! :-)

    • We WONDER that too, Kevin! We’ll all have to check back tomorrow morning for another AWESOMELY FUN Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  11. Hi Wonderopolis!!!! This is very intresting! I’m still wondering about the chupacabras. I keep watching videos on You Tube about them but they don’t prove if they are real. So anyways, I think tomorrow’s Wonderopolis is about chupacabras. :)

    • It’s really GREAT that you are WONDERing about chupacabras and trying to find out fun facts about them, Grace! WONDERing leads to learning, and learning makes us smarter! Way to go! :-)

    • We think a future Wonder of the Day® about Legos would be AWESOME, Terry! Thanks so much for suggesting it! :-)

  12. dear wonderopolis,
    cool wonder! I have no idea why there aren’t more holidays. I think tomorrow’s wonder is about the stars.
    XOXOXOXOXO,
    Paige ;)

  13. Hey, Wonderopolis!
    I’m one of those people who LOVE holidays! I’m SO happy to hear that there are more!:-) Plus, I LOVE your website! I want to celebrate ice cream Sunday day with my friend Francesca in the summer!
    From,
    Puppystars8

    • We bet you and Francesca will have a WONDERful Ice Cream Sunday Day celebration this summer, Puppystars8! Thank you for sharing this super positive comment with everyone in Wonderopolis today! :-)

  14. Hello, today I wondered about Why Aren’t There More Holidays? Well, I know that it can let you relax and that you can spend time with your family. But I did not know that there is almost a holiday every week! I also learned that the word HAILGDAEG means special religious days. I have learned a lot from wonderopolis!:)

    • We’re so glad you have learned a lot of cool new things by exploring Wonderopolis, Team Unger 18! Thanks for visiting this Wonder and for leaving us this comment to let us know you were here! :-)

  15. Hey guys!
    I am a huge fan of your Wonder of the Days lately!
    I guess there aren’t many holidays because stuff didn’t happen on that day that was forever remembered. And you can’t really make up a holiday, well you may start a tradition in your town but it would be a lot of work to make a holiday that the whole country celebrated!
    And why do countries celebrate different holidays?

    • Hello, Kayla! Thanks for letting us know you are such a huge fan of the Wonders of the Day…it makes us SUPER happy to hear that! Different countries celebrate different holidays for different reasons (whew, that’s a lot of “differents”)! It could be to celebrate of hero or historical event from that specific country, or it could be because of a special cultural celebration…there are LOTS of reasons! :-)

  16. Hi again!
    I love so much that you guys actually get to answer back to our comments. Some websites the computer does it like it kind of does something like “fill in the blank” but you guys actually do it for real! I find that TOTALLY awesome! Thanks you guys so much! You truly are WONDERful!
    -Kayla :)

    • What a SUPER nice comment, Kayla! We appreciate all the awesome things you said…we think YOU are a WONDERful Wonder Friend! :-)

    • We’re so glad to hear it, John! We think a Video Game Day sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for being such a super Wonder Friend and leaving us GREAT comments on so many Wonders today! :-)

    • Hi, Ruth! We’re super sorry you aren’t able to see the video for this Wonder! Are you visiting Wonderopolis at school? If so, it might help you to know that some schools and school districts place an internet “block” on videos from certain websites because they are trying to protect their students. You might want to check with your teacher to ask if he or she might be able to get the block removed so you and your classmates can see all the videos on Wonderopolis. :-)

  17. Hi Wonderopolis,
    Thanks for sharing your awesome WONDER today. I didn’t know that April Fool’s Day isn’t an official holiday. I also didn’t know that the word “holiday” came from an old English word “HAILGDAEG”. I thought it was just a word that someone made up one day and people always used it. It’s interesting that Thanksgiving only became an official holiday in 1863, because of Sarah Hale. Why are there so many silly holidays like, Talk Like A Pirate Day?
    Thanks Wonderopolis ;-)

    • We think sometimes those silly holidays are the most FUN, Team McNeil 2! Thank YOU for sharing your AWESOME comment about this Wonder of the Day®! We appreciate you! :-)

    • Hi, Megan! Different countries do celebrate some different holidays. Some might celebrate independence day for their individual country or have days that honor historical figures from that specific country. With all the countries around the world, and all the different things to celebrate, there are a LOT of holidays each year! :-)

  18. Hello again Wonderopolis!

    I learned some about this topic although I know some about this topic.
    Well here’s what I learned, vocabulary: petitioning, facts that, there is a make your own holiday, day. The word “holiday” originated from the word hāligdæg, or holy days. Thanksgiving wasn’t a holiday until 1941. April Fool’s day was never a official holiday (I thought it was untll now).

    Team McNeil #4

    • Those are GREAT facts about holidays, Team McNeil #4! Thanks for sharing them with us today! The new vocabulary words you learned by exploring this WONDER are AWESOME, too! We think it’s great that you already knew a bit about holidays, but you chose to learn even MORE about them in Wonderopolis! :-)

    • Hey there, Tyler, great question! Perhaps you have a favorite event that you enjoy celebrating or you want to make up a cool new thing to celebrate! It might not be a national celebration, but you can start with your family, then your school, your friends and maybe even your neighbors! Soon enough, your community will celebrate your holiday! :)

    • Hi ALexis! Thanks for WONDERing with us! We’re so happy you’re WONDERing with us! How are you enjoying the holiday of Christmas so far? :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Why aren’t there more holidays?
  • Where did the word “holiday” come from?
  • What holiday would you like to create?

Wonder Gallery

Try It Out

Ready to make your own holiday? Why not? The residents of Wonderopolis believe there should indeed be more holidays.

Making your own holiday is really easy. In fact, there are only two steps. First, decide what you want to celebrate. Then, celebrate by getting other people to do it with you. That’s it!

So what will your made-up holiday be? Do you have a special hobby that you’d like other people to know more about? Is there a certain animal that you think deserves more attention? Perhaps there’s a particular type of behavior you’d like to see more of.

All of these are good ways to get a new holiday started. With your help, we could soon be celebrating Underwater Basket Weaving Day, Wallabies Are Wonderful Day or even Say “Ahoy!” to Everyone You Meet Day!

When you’ve decided upon a new holiday, won’t you share it with your Wonder Friends? Post a quick note about your new holiday on Facebook, so that your Wonder Friends can join in the fun celebration!

 

Still Wondering

In ReadWriteThink’s Introducing Basic Media Literacy Education Skills with Greeting Cards lesson, children analyze holiday elements and create their own holiday/event cards.

 

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Wonder What’s Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is really tall and full of water. What could it be?

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