Yesterday, apparently in certain corners of the world, it was World Tailors Day. This is an annual day observed on February 28 by tailors in several countries. The date is in recognition of the birthday of Sir William Elias Howe. In 1845 he invented the sewing machine by using the lock stitch loop method. In India, it was National Science Day which marks the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928.
Today in the UK, it is St David’s Day. As a result, lots of Welsh people have bought all the leeks in their local Waitrose and are now wandering around with them attached to their clothing, as part of some bizarre ritual which occurs on the yonder side of the Severn Bridge. Apparently this tradition is in remembrance of St David’s guidance during the battle against the Saxons when, supposedly, St David advised Welsh warriors to wear a leek during a battle with the Saxons, so enemies and allies could be distinguished.
Tomorrow, it will be World Book Day. This year, the annual celebration of books has been preceded by much fuss in the news lately concerning the fact that Waterstones are daring to open 3 new book shops but are not branding them with their usual corporate livery. One such bookshop is in the lovely Sussex town of Rye now infamous due to E F Benson’s Mapp and Lucia series of books which are largely set in the fictional town of Tilling. To all intents and purposes, Tilling is in fact mostly, if not entirely, based on Rye in Sussex where Benson himself lived.
Waterstones argue that all three of the shops in question are on small High Streets which do not have an independent book store. Apparently there is a plan to ‘behave like an independent book seller’. The media are, naturally, making a lot of fuss about this – presumably they couldnt think of anything else to report on. The locals in Rye however, who are probably more Tillingite than the characters in Benson’s books, were merely reported as saying “…Waterstones wouldn’t have been able to set up shop if they had stuck a big sign on the front. The whole town would have been up in arms. They would have had their pitchforks out.” That said, in Southwold, where another of these bookshops can be found, a local resident was quoted as saying “To call themselves Southwold Books is a bit naughty.”
Later in the year, Sunday 10 December 2017 to be precise, it will be World Choral Day. The theme for this year is Integration. World Choral day has been celebrated since 1990 and consists of many events, concerts, workshops, festivals and choral seminars all over the world designed to bring people together in song.
All of this got me thinking what other ‘days’ are there? It turns out that in fact that yesterday was also ‘World Toothfairy Day’, today is ‘Pig Day’ and tomorrow is ‘Old Stuff Day’.
I strongly support the notion of World Book Day, because I have seen first hand the inspiration it gives to children. Hopefully the one day will inspire children and adults alike to read more books and take enjoyment and knowledge from them not only tomorrow but every other day of the year. However, I am less convinced about some of the other ‘World’ Days. Nevertheless, I quite like the notion of World Pig Day and will embrace this by having a bacon sandwich for lunch. In honour of our Welsh friends I may even add a leek.