The things the world shares in common are what brings everyone together. One look at the holidays celebrated in countries around the globe shows that people have far more in common than some would think. From Earth Day to April Fool's Day, there are countless celebrations everyone recognizes. Of course, it's the unique holidays that really stand out, and these are some of the most interesting.
Mountain Day (Japan)
Most have never even heard of Japan's Mountain Day, and there's a very good reason for this. As it turns out, it's one of the newest holidays in the world. Starting in 2016, Mountain Day is set to be celebrated every August 11.
Mountain Day was created to urge Japanese citizens to get out and enjoy the country's natural beauty. It's more than that, though, since the goal was to give workers in the country, often subject to long hours and cramped conditions, a moment to break away from their daily monotony.
Chinese New Year (Britain)
It's no surprise that China hosts the Chinese New Year, but it turns out, on February 8, London hosts the biggest festival celebrating the day outside of Asia. There are musical performances, extraordinary shows, fireworks and even feasts throughout the country. It's something special to get a taste of China without leaving the West.
Victoria Day (Canada)
In America, tradition dictates that all U.S. Presidents, both past and present, are honored on a single day in February, appropriately named "Presidents Day." This day was first meant to celebrate George Washington, and as it turns out, Canada's Victoria Day shares essentially the same story.
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, her popular appeal led Canada to declare May 24, the monarch's birthday, a national holiday. Unlike their neighbors to the south, Canada continues to honor the former sovereign by keeping her name attached to the holiday.
Sure, it's currently only seen as a long weekend — it's always celebrated on Monday now — but who doesn't love an extra day away from the office?
Lantern Festival (Taiwan)
Although the political status of Taiwan is still a messy discussion, the island has celebrated the Chinese Lantern Festival since 1990. The holiday focuses on ancient traditions, and this makes sense, considering the unique festival has been around for 2,000 years. Anyone visiting Taiwan on the “fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar,” will see the sky light up with elaborate lanterns and hear firecrackers across the island.
Bonza Bottler Day (Australia)
Australia's Bonza Bottler Day only began back in 1985. It's a monthly celebration that takes place when the day of the month coincides with the month itself (i.e. December 12, May 5, etc.).
The translation of Bonza Bottler is roughly “great something excellent,” and a dancing groundhog was chosen as the mascot. What's being celebrated? Simply being happy and spending time with friends and family. After all, shouldn't that be enough?
Take a Chance Day (America)
Most major U.S. holidays, including Christmas and Memorial Day, have counterparts around the world. But when it comes to Take a Chance Day, America has the market cornered. Every April 23rd, those “in the know” take a chance at something they normally wouldn't do.
This of course doesn't mean jump out of an airplane, unless they really want to, but people can take chances in any area of life. This chance could be in anything from love to education. While it's not a recognized national holiday, it certainly shows off the outgoing nature of many of the former colonists.
There are countless unique holidays around the world, but many people will never get to enjoy them. Fortunately for those lucky enough to experience a land far from home, there's always a few exciting traditions to take part in.