February is an exciting month because there’s so much packed into only 28 (or sometimes 29) days. It’s kind of unfair that Valentine’s Day gets all the attention though, especially when there are so many other cool days that deserve recognition.
Valentine’s Day sucks if you’ve got no one to celebrate it with, but don’t feel too left out! According to the National Day Calendar, February is filled with a bunch of other fun and totally legit national holidays that you probably didn’t know about!
1. February 8: Chinese New Year
New year, new me! OK, it has only been 2016 for a month now, but who says you can’t celebrate the New Year more than once a year? Chinese New Year is a great excuse to order Chinese takeout and gives you a chance to renew those resolutions you already gave up on. 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, so make sure to check your horoscope to see what this year will bring!
2. February 9: National Pizza Day
On the 9th of February, we pay homage to one of our most important national heroes: Pizza. I know what you’re thinking--why didn’t I know about this before? Well now is your chance to make Pizza Day 2016 the best ever. Grab a couple of friends and try out the best pizza joints in town. Or simply order in a few pies and celebrate by scarfing down this cheesy delicacy and wishing you could live every day like it’s Pizza Day.
3. February 11: Make a Friend Day
February 11th is National “Make a Friend” Day, which should definitely be celebrated more! Valentine’s Day emphasizes romance so much that everyone seems to forget about the importance of friendship. This is a great day to be social, talk to someone new, or just take time to reach out to old friends you haven’t spoken to in a while. You can even make it into a "Galentine's Day" and celebrate with your best girlfriends. Valentines are for a day, friends are forever.
4. February 14: National Organ Donor Day
Yes, the 14th may be Valentine’s Day, but let’s remember what this day is really about. If you are a legal organ donor, congratulations: this is your day! Don’t let any of these lovey-dovey couples steal your spotlight! If you don’t have a significant other to give chocolates to, you can always donate blood at your local blood bank. Now that’s a real gift from the heart.
5. February 15: Do A Grouch A Favor Day
Yes, this is a real holiday. I’m not sure who came up with it, but I support it. Everyone knows a grouch, and while they may not be the most pleasant people to be around, you can make their day so much better by doing them a simple favor. Be careful not to call them a grouch to their faces though. Grouches usually don’t respond well to that.
6. February 17: National Random Acts of Kindness Day
Now, this is a holiday that everyone should participate in. Spread kindness on the 17th by doing something nice for a random person, whether it’s paying for their coffee or complimenting their shoes. They’ll feel flattered by your kindness, but you will feel even better knowing you just made someone’s day.
7. February 18: National Drink Wine Day
February 18th is National Drink Wine Day, but this holiday might extend the entire week depending on how your Valentine’s Day goes. How to celebrate? That should be pretty self-explanatory. But since it is a special occasion, this calls for a fancy wine. Like one that comes from a bottle instead of a box.
8. February 20: National Love Your Pet Day
If you are a pet owner like me, you’ll know that every day is Love Your Pet Day. But the 20th is the day to really let your furry friend know how much you love them. Get them a new chew toy, slip them some extra table food, or just cuddle them a little closer. Who needs a Valentine when you have an animal?
9. February 22: National Cook a Sweet Potato Day
This is honestly way more romantic than Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” like cooking someone a sweet potato.
10. February 23: Spa Day
February 23rd is the perfect day to get some much needed “me time.” It’s National Spa Day! Not all of us can get a real spa treatment, but you can still take some time to pamper yourself. Chill out in the tub with a bath bomb, a facemask, and some soothing music playing. You’ll feel so relaxed that you’ll forget your “spa” is really just you and your shower caddy in a communal bathroom.
11. February 26: National Pistachio Day
Pistachios don’t get nearly enough recognition. Take this day to celebrate and bring awareness to this severely underrated nut.
12. February 27: National Polar Bear Day
The 27th is an extremely important holiday, because it celebrates one of the most adorable animals on the planet: the polar bear. Polar bears are severely endangered as their habitats continue to disappear. The best way you can celebrate this day is by helping out our polar bear pals, and donating to an organization like the World Wildlife Fund, which works to save endangered animals.
13. February 28: National Public Sleeping Day
I’m not even sure how or why this became a national holiday, but I am all about it. I participate in Public Sleeping Day activities year round, though not always intentionally. The best way to celebrate this day is by taking a nap in public. If your professor gets upset with you for sleeping in their class, this is the one day you actually have a valid excuse. “But professor, it’s National Public Sleeping Day!”
14. February 29: Rare Disease Day
The 29th of February, better known as Leap Day, only comes once every four years. Fittingly, Rare Disease Day is also observed on this day. I guess rare diseases aren’t the most fun things to celebrate, but even ameloblastoma isn’t as gross as Valentine’s Day.