With 365 days in a year, it’s a statistical unavoidability that at least some of them are going to suck. Surprisingly though, even popular holidays aren’t immune from this, which is why we’re able to compile this list of 10 popular days of the year with all together depressing facts behind them. For example did you know that …
10. The founder of Mother’s day hated it
Mother’s Day is what’s known as a floating holiday, in that it isn’t celebrated on a specific calendar date, instead being celebrated on whichever date the 2nd Sunday of May (or the 4th Sunday of Lent in the UK) happens to fall on, primarily because the government thought it’d be funny to constantly change the date to make us all look bad when we forget to send a card. Probably.
In the States, the creation of Mother’s Day is usually credited to one, Anna Jarvis, who created the day as a way of recognizing the critical role mothers play in a person’s life after her own tragically died. Jarvis campaigned tirelessly to have the day officially recognized as a holiday, but immediately decided that this was a terrible idea as soon as Corporate America realized they could use the holiday to guilt Americans into buying a bunch of flowers and a soppy greeting card every year. Speaking of which, Jarvis specifically singled out greetings cards as the thing she hated most about the holiday’s commercialization, once being quoted as saying about them:
“A printed card means nothing except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world.”
In the end, Jarvis spent the last few years of her life actively campaigning against the holiday she created. Jarvis eventually died penniless and alone while others made billions exploiting the memory of her dead mother to shill useless crap.
Hey, we warned you that this was going to be a depressing article.
9. The founder of Father’s day wanted to sell out from day one
Now you’d think given that the founder of Mother’s Day spent the last few years of her life campaigning against the holiday and generally being perpetually angry at the cynical exploitation of its original idea, the founder of Father’s Day would have been wary about commercializing the holiday. For anyone who did think that, you were like, SUPER WRONG.
Although the day was founded with the best possible intentions – celebrating the role of fathers who were traditionally overlooked by the media – the founder, Sonora Smart Dodd openly invited big business to back her campaign to help get it nationally recognized from day one. Dodd encouraged makers of things like pipes, neck ties and whiskey to promote the idea of Father’s Day, citing the profits they’d stand to make if the holiday became official as the primary reason they should totally help her. Dodd’s reasoning was that with the backing of big business, the holiday would be more likely to become a real thing, ignoring the G.I Joe characters in a sun window near her head telling her that big tobacco was evil.
Weirdly, the public resisted the idea of Father’s Day for many years explicitly because they saw it, quite accurately, as a cynical cash grab with the overall ulterior motive of making money. But big business kept pushing to have the holiday recognized under the guise of “celebrating men” and the government eventually relented and declared the 3rd Sunday of June Father’s Day, because hey, if women got their day, why didn’t men?
Speaking of which…
8. Most people search for “International Men’s day” on International Women’s Day
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a day on which people are encouraged to celebrate and show appreciation for women and raise awareness of the issues that affect them. It’s a day with a noble goal that has been celebrated for over a century, long before women were afforded such basic rights as the ability to vote or play Yu-Gi-Oh.
The day also, rather unusually, coincides with the day on which searches on Google and Tweets about “International Men’s Day” peak, because apparently some men just can’t let women have anything. Why is this depressing you ask? Well many of the Tweets on this day every year are from angry men smugly asking why there’s no International Men’s Day, seemingly oblivious to the fact that there actually is an International Men’s Day that is celebrated every year on November 19th. In other words, a day literally dedicated to celebrating men and raising awareness of men’s issues and rights is ignored en-masse every single year by tens of thousands of men who can only muster up the effort to give a carp about it 8 months early and only then because they don’t like the idea of women having a day about them. The real sad part is that 8 months later when it actually is International Men’s Day, the number of people tweeting about it is noticeably less than on International Women’s Day because angry white men ruin everything, even things created specifically for them.
Thankfully, there are people out there who have dedicated themselves to correcting men complaining about International Women’s Day and bemoaning feminism in the most hilarious way possible, with passive aggressive tweets.
7. January 1st is the most popular birthday, of people from war torn countries
For many people, January 1st is the day on which we nurse a monstrous hangover while fighting the urge to not punch everyone we hear saying “Hey, I haven’t seen you since last year!” For a disproportionately high amount of refugees though, it’s also their birthday.
Far from being proof that people in third world countries really like getting their bone on 9 months before New Year’s Day, the explanation for why so many refugees share the same birthday is all together less fun. In short, many refugees, particularly those born in rural areas of third world countries, often don’t have a birth certificate when they arrive in America, most of the time only having a rough idea of their age. As a result, when refugees are being processed and assigned the relevant identification to start living the American dream, many are asked to simply guess when their birthday is. Like a kid viewing an age restricted video, many refugees opt to simply choose January 1st and scroll down to an age that feels right, rather than go through the hassle of trying to figured out their actual age which could take days, weeks or even months depending on individual circumstances. This leads to a rather surreal moment for many refugee families when they all find themselves celebrating their birthday on the exact same day, meaning along with the day now being synonymous with people with literally nothing to their name fleeing horrific, inhuman conditions, it’s also now synonymous with kids having to share their birthday with their siblings, which is just awful.
6. Valentine’s day is the day that Saint Valentine died.
For most people Valentines Day (February 14th) is a day dedicated to celebrating our love for our significant other, unless you’re one of those guys who tries to argue that you don’t need a day to show how much you care about your girlfriend or wife, in which case, enjoy being single on that day for the rest of your life.
For the Saint Valentine though, you know, the guy the date is supposed to commemorate, it marks the anniversary of the day he was brutally executed by being beaten to death with clubs in 278 A.D. While we’re not saying that Saint Valentine wasn’t a romantic dude because he was executed for defying the orders of Emperor Claudius II by marrying young lovers in secret, which is adorable and should probably be made in an anime or something (that’s how most media is consumed now, right), we’re just saying that they probably could have picked a better day to celebrate his memory and what he stood for than what was probably the worst day of his life.
5. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is usually the first to be cancelled
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated every year around January 15th (MLK’s actual birthday), or on the 3rd Monday of January each year so that we get a three day weekend on which to contemplate his life and work and then get drunk, just like King would have wanted.
Despite being a nationally recognized, federal holiday, MLK Day is one of the least widely observed by businesses, with only a third of employers allowing employees to have the day off work. In addition to this, schools frequently ignore the holiday and often fail to even recognize the day or educate students about its importance or the civil rights movement in general. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by civil rights proponents who’ve wryly noted that for some mysterious reason: “It always seems like Martin Luther King Day is the first one they are willing to give up.”
Which sucks because we all know the real poser holiday is Labor Day.
4. December 16th is the worst day of the year to have a birthday
Statistically speaking, December 16th is going to be the birthday of at least a few people reading this and although the day isn’t a nationally observed holiday, we’re guessing that it’s important to you. Or at least we hope it is because apparently, nobody else cares about it. Including us. Especially us.
In a study of 2,000 people with birthdays on every day of the year, those whose birthday fell on December 16th reported that they received less presents and found it harder to get people to come to their parties. While these results are by no means conclusive, we’re guessing it’s probably not a good sign that a quarter of people born around this date report being “unhappy” on their birthday because friends kept forgetting it. For any curious refugees reading this, apparently people born in the summer months report having the happiest birthdays.
3. Thanksgiving is the worst day to travel
It’s fairly common knowledge that the holidays are the worst times to travel because there are more cars on the road, the risk of ice is much higher and people care significantly less about their own safety because the sweet embrace of death is preferable to another argument about Hilary Clinton with their racist uncle.
But it’s actually much worse than most people realize. For example, the day before Thanksgiving is known colloquially as “Black Wednesday,” not because it offers amazing sales, but because it’s one of the biggest days of the year for binge drinking, which in turn makes it the day on which drink driving is most prevalent. The day is also considered the worst for flying and public transport, meaning virtually all forms of travel are significantly worse and markedly more dangerous around this time of year. In other words, you should probably just call your family via Skype and spend the rest of Thanksgiving day watching Netflix this year. You know, for your own safety.
2. Christmas day most popular day for men to propose, not the one women would like
According to figured gleaned from Facebook’s millions of users, the Christmas period is the most popular time of year for couples to get engaged, with Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve being the days on which most partners popped the question and committed to no longer being two people who have sex, but being a team with their own theme music and stuff. Unsurprisingly, Valentine’s Day is also a popular day to get engaged, though not nearly as popular as Christmas so suck it, Valentine’s Day, we guess?
But here’s the thing, multiple surveys asking tens of thousands of women when they’d want their partner to propose have found that Christmas isn’t the day they’d choose. A third of women reported that they’d prefer the cliché of simply being proposed to on the less popular Valentine’s Day while a further fifth reported that they’d want their future sidekick to put some effort into it and propose on the anniversary of when they met. This contrasts sharply with surveys of men, which show that, as usual, we’re just so wrong about everything and that we think Christmas is the perfect time to propose with Valentine’s Day being largely ignored. The lesson here obviously being that we should always hedge our bets and propose on the day where it’s easiest to buy small stuffed bears with love hearts on them.
1. There are two days that are supposed to be the most depressing of the year
As we noted in the introduction to this article, given that there are 365 days in a year, at least a few of them are going to suck more ass than a mosquito in a donkey sanctuary and we expect one of them to be the worst. According to statisticians though, we need to round the figure up though because there are apparently two dates on the calendar that are the worst.
Depending on which source you consult, the worst day of the year is either the 28th of December or the 16th of January (or the third Monday of January), both for essentially the same reason: They fall at a time of the year that you’re statistically most likely to have no money and probably feel kind of fat. In regards to January 16th, this has been calculated as the day on which most people break their New Year’s Resolution and feel the effect of withdrawal from all the chocolate and junk food we consumed over the Christmas period.
Although the science behind the calculations for both of these dates has been criticized as being little more than pseudoscience, is it just us that’s a little freaked out by the fact that one of the supposedly most depressing days of the year falls on MLK Day, the holiday we just mentioned 66% of businesses don’t let their employees take off?