by Brian Clarey



Groundhog Day

Saturday was Groundhog Day, but unless you’re 9 years old — or, apparently, a TV news producer — you probably don’t care. Groundhog Day is D-list, the holiday equivalent of Frank Stallone or one of the lesser Baldwin brothers, with none of the cachet of Christmas, the pageantry of Halloween or even the commercial activity of Mother’s Day. The best thing about Groundhog Day is that you can almost certainly catch the movie of the same name at some point on TV.

Flag Day

I am not talking smack about the American Flag here. Love the Stars and Bars. Also the troops. But Flag Day is like the Fourth of July’s lame cousin. It commemorates the adoption of the US flag by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777 — kind of a big deal, because we could have ended up with that snake flag. But Flag day as a holiday is bogus: no fireworks, very few parades and we don’t even get the day off work.

President’s Day

Formerly known as Washington’s Birthday, the third Monday in February was designated President’s Day in the 1980s so that Lincoln, whose birthday was Feb. 12, could get in on the action, though it varies some by state. Massachusetts still calls it “Washington’s Birthday,” and Virginia, Washington’s Home state, calls it “George Washington Day.” In Alabama they call it “Washington and Jefferson Day,” though Jefferson’s birthday was in April, because Alabama is full of racist rednecks. They still get the day off, though.

St. Patrick’s Day

Okay, green beer, parades, public intoxication… I can see why you might think this one is a major holiday, but trust me, it was strictly D list until the beer companies got ahold of it. The holiday is a Catholic feast day for a minor saint whose claim to fame was driving all the snakes out of Ireland. I wonder what Sigmund Freud would have to say about that.

Grandparents Day

Nobody said anything when the greeting-card companies invented Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day was a natural, albeit less important, extension of that marketing plan. But Grandparents Day is just silly. Yet it has been a nationally recognized holiday since 1978; it has its own flower, the forgetme-not; and it even has its own song, written in 2004 by Johnny Prill of Chula Vista, Calif. on what sounds like a low-end Casio keyboard. It falls this year on Sept. 8.

Sweetest Day

This holiday, invented by a big candy consortium in Cleveland in order to give “an opportunity to remember the sick, aged and orphaned” by… giving them candy! To be honest, I’ve never heard of this one until today. Is there an E list? It goes down this year on Oct. 19.

Administrative Professionals Day

The holiday formerly known as “Secretaries Day” was invented by the president of the organization formerly known as the “National Secretaries Association” and the president of Dictaphone way back in 1952, when people still knew what a Dictaphone was. It falls this year on April 24, so remember to take the receptionist to lunch.

Columbus Day

I think Christopher Columbus might have been a drunk. He didn’t know where he was going. When he got there, he didn’t know where he was. When he got home, he didn’t know where he had been. And he got a woman to finance the whole thing. That’s an old joke. But we still celebrate Columbus Day — this year it’s on Oct. 14.

Leif Erikson Day

Yes, this is a thing. It’s only fitting, I guess, that if we honor the guy who claimed to have “discovered” a continent in 1492, we also honor his predecessor, who came ashore in a Viking ship 500 years earlier. It falls every year on Oct. 9.

Pi Day

March 14 — also written as 3/14, get it? — was named Pi Day by physicist Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium. It’s celebrated by math junkies who spend the day eating pie and seeing how far out they can recite the number. It is also the day that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sends out its decision letters.