July National Days
If you’ve got kids, then the summer holidays are nearly upon you but there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. Love Parks Week will get everyone outside, whatever the weather & National Day of the Cowboy is a great excuse to dress up & make some sheriff badges from cardboard & silver foil. Get crafty with National Marine Week (visit our Under the Sea theme) & get cooking with National Cheesecake Day.
National Ice Cream Month – USA
1 Canada Day
A national holiday in Canada to celebrate the birth of the nation. On this day in 1867, three colonies were united under the British North America Act (later the Constitution Act). They formed a single country with four provinces under the British Empire.
1 International Reggae Day
An annual festival held in Kingston, Jamaica to celebrate reggae music. Reggae began life in Jamaica in the 1960s & was made popular by singer,Bob Marley. It combines lots of different styles of music including rhythm & blues, jazz, calypso, mento, ska & rocksteady. Unlike most music genres, the backbeat rhythm emphasises the offbeat & the bass guitar is the dominant instrument. Sit back with a dish of jerk chicken & fried plantain & listen to some reggae.
2 World UFO Day
A day to celebrate the existence of UFO’s and extra terrestrial life. Get together with friends & make it as serious or fun as you like. Talk about the possibility of extraterrestrial life, watch alien or UFO movies or watch the sky & see if you can see any strange objects flying around. Visit the World UFO Day website for more ideas.
An annual 2 week tennis tournament at the home of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. It started in 1877 & is the oldest tournament in the world. It is also the only major tennis competition played on grass & is one of four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year around the world. Strawberries & cream are served to spectators & have become a tradition – if an expensive one!
4 Independence Day (USA)
Celebrating the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776 from Great Britain. It is a national holiday & celebrated by parades, picnics, barbeques & fireworks. Many politicians appear at public events on this day to praise the nation’s heritage, history & people.
6 International Kissing Day
It can be an absentminded air kiss, an affectionate kiss on the cheek or a passionate one on the lips. Each kiss symbolizes something different. The idea behind International Kissing Day is that many people may have forgotten the simple pleasures associated with kissing for kissing’s sake, as opposed to kissing as a mere social formality or prelude to other activities. Kissing can be an enjoyable experience in and of itself. It is an expression and experience of intimacy. Start & end the day with a kiss for your loved one (& some in the middle too). Just make sure it’s not absentminded!
7 National Chocolate Day
Some people celebrate this day on 7th July & some on 28th October (or both!). Personally, I think it’s too warm (well, hopefully) to celebrate in July & needs to be a comforting autumn treat. Move away from your favourite & try some different brands, countries & cocoa percentages. Why not hold a chocolate tasting session with friends?
10 Teddy Bear Picnic Day
Find your favourite teddy, grab a blanket & a picnic & find a quiet spot to enjoy yourselves. Or invite some friends along too! Teddy Bears traditionally like picnics in the woods but I’m sure they’d enjoy an open glade or garden just as much.
11 World Population Day
A United Nation’s day observed annually to raise awareness of population issues & the importance of addressing them & finding solutions. This includes family planning, health, gender equality & education. This helps to reduce poverty & stabilize population growth, creating healthier & more prosperous families, communities & a better world.
14 Bastille Day (La Fete Nationale)
An annual celebration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris on 14 July 1789 & the start of the French Revolution. July 14th is a national holiday in France celebrating the Revolution. It is sometimes known as Bastille Day after, what many people consider to be, the main event of the French Revolution.
The Bastille was a castle in the working class district of St Antoine to the east of Paris, which was used as a prison under the command of the Marquis de Launay. After months of rumours & civil unrest, members of the Third Estate took affairs into their own hands & on July 14th 1789, stormed the Bastille. After 4 hours of fighting, de Launay surrendered on the promise of his safe conduct. He & some of his officers were taken to the Town Hall, murdered & their heads mounted on poles & paraded through the streets. The revolution had begun.
14-23 Love Parks Week
An annual event started in 2006 by the charity GreenSpace to raise awareness of the importance of parks & green spaces. The campaign was taken over by Keep Britain Tidy in 2013 & is now run year-round. Some local parks, however, will continue to promote projects during this week so look out for events near you.
15 National Cherry Day
To raise awareness of British cherries. 85% of cherry orchards in Britain have disappeared in the last 50 years due to foreign imports taking over in the supermarkets. The old varieties are smaller & less fleshy than their overseas cousins but the flavour is much more intense. Cherries make a great snack, being low in calories & high in antioxidants (disease busting molecules). They contain melatonin which helps you to get a good nights sleeps & may even slow the signs of ageing. British cherries are at their best between July & August so give them a try on National Cherry Day.
16 National Ice Cream Day (USA)
An annual event to celebrate the popular iced dessert. Ice cream is made from egg yolks, sugar & cream which are cooked to form a custard. This can then be flavoured using fruits or sweets before being frozen. Ice creams from takeaway vendors are usually sold in wafer cones for easy eating although paper cups & spoons are also an option. Toppings such as sauces, nuts or flakes can also be added.
16 F1 British Grand Prix
Final day of one of the Formula One motor racing World Championships. The British Grand prix was started in 1926 by Henry Segrave after he won the French Grand Prix in 1923 & the San Sebastian Grand Prix the following year. The first two events were held at Brooklands in Surrey but moved to their present site at Silverstone in 1948, after the war. Gather some British snacks & drinks & sit back & watch the excitement.
16 Disability Awareness Day
An annual disability exhibition held in Warrington. There are over 250 exhibitors from voluntary, statutory, private and business organisations. Between them they have hundreds of ideas for independent living supported by a fun packed day out for all the family. Visitors can explore the many marquees that create the show ground & visit the 250 exhibitors promoting independent living. They can also enjoy the Sports Zone, Arts Marquee and Family Entertainments. DAD offers something for everyone and a fun day out for the whole family.
16-23 British Open Golf
Held this year at Royal Troon, Scotland. The British Open is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf & the only one not held in the USA. It was first held in 1860 with 8 professionals playing & over 36 holes. The following year amateurs were also allowed to compete. Today the tournament is held over a 72 hole course but with the leading 70 golfers playing the final 36 holes.
17 Ocean Day (Japan)
A national holiday celebrated on the 3rd Monday in July & designated in 1941, although not a national holiday until 1996. The day marks the anniversary of the safe return of the Meiji Emperor from his tour of the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions by ship. It also recognises the importance of the sea to this island nation & gives thanks for the gifts received from it.
22 National Day of the Cowboy (USA)
Started in 2005 & held on the 4th Saturday in July to preserve pioneer heritage & cowboy culture. Host a Wild West party, dress up & swagger around like John Wayne or curl up on the sofa with a black & white western.
22-6 Aug National Marine Week
Celebrate the UK’s amazing sea animals & plants. Spend some time discovering all the wonderful things the seashore has to offer; explore rock pools or look out for seals. If you can’t get to the seaside, get crafty at home with sand sculptures on a tray or ideas from our Under the Sea party theme. The event is run by The Wildlife Trust who are organising loads of marine based activities so check out their website to find what’s happening near you.
24 Tequila Day
A day to celebrate this alcoholic beverage made from the blue agave plant in Mexico. It is a variation of the local tipple mescal but can only be made in a limited area around the city of Tequila – hence the name! Drink neat with citrus fruit & salt in the traditional manner or mix in a cocktail for a less lethal version.
24-30 National Parks Week
Celebrating the UK’s 15 National Parks. These protected areas of mountains, meadows, moorlands. woods & wetlands are for everyone & are where people live, work and shape the countryside. Each one has an organisation that looks after the landscape and wildlife and helps people enjoy and learn about the area. Make the most of these amazing open spaces & visit for a peaceful stroll, yomp or take part in one of the specially organised events.
28 World Hepatitis Day
Run by the World Health Organisation & World Hepatitis Alliance to raise awareness. Hepatitis is a virus which causes inflammation of the liver & there are 5 types, A,B, C, D & E. Around 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C & every year 1.4 million people die from the virus, yet all of these deaths could be prevented. With better awareness & understanding of how we can prevent hepatitis, this disease can be eliminated & 4,000 lives a day saved.
28 National Milk Chocolate Day
One of several chocolate related days throughout the year. Milk chocolate is one of the most popular types of chocolate available as it is less bitter than it’s dark counterpart. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any of the (small) health benefits of dark chocolate & is really just a mass of sugar but hey, you’re allowed a treat now & then so pick your favourite bar & enjoy!
29 International Tiger Day
Founded in 2010 to raise public awareness as to the real threat of extinction that wild tigers face & promote the need for tiger conservation. Numbers have dropped by 97000 in the last 100 years mainly due to hunting & the destruction of their habitat. Some species such as the Bali & Javan tigers have already become extinct. Throw a Tiger Party & help raise awareness & vital funds for tiger conservation projects.
30 International Day of Friendship
A United Nations observance to encourage friendship between diverse backgrounds & cultures in an effort to inspire peace & build bridges between communities & countries. The day aims to encourage governments, organisations and community groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that promote solidarity, respect & mutual understanding, especially among young people, as future leaders.
30 National Cheesecake Day
To bake or not to bake? That’s your dilemma for this day! Cheesecake is thought to have originated in Greece & was made from cheese, honey & flour baked together. The Romans came across it as they went a conquering & spread the recipe around Europe. Each country adapted it slightly & over time eggs & sugar were added. European immigrants brought the recipe over to America & after 1875, when cream cheese started being sold, it became a staple ingredient in the American version. The New York Cheesecake is unadorned, however, these days it is not unusual to find additional ingredients such as fruit, nuts & sauces stirred in or on top of a cheesecake & also a biscuit base.
A no-cook version can be made by beating sugar, cream & cream cheese or ricotta together & spreading over a biscuit base. This gives a much creamier dessert.
30 Hungarian Grand Prix
Held just outside the city of Budapest. This Formula One motor race takes place on an awkward & narrow circuit, the Hungaroring, which provides a challenge for the drivers, especially in the summer heat. The 10th race out of 19 of the F1 season.
31 National Mutt Day (USA)
Celebrated on both July 31st and December 2nd, National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed breed dogs. The day was created in 2005 by Celebrity Pet Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige. The aim is to raise awareness of the plight of mixed breed dogs in shelters around the nation, desperately waiting for new homes. If you are unable to provide a suitable home for a dog, think about a donation (monetary or supplies) to a local shelter. They are also after volunteers to walk dogs regularly.