Lifestyle

Five random summer holidays for stealing a three-day weekend

Because the time between Memorial and Labor Day feels like an eternity wrapped inside an infinity packed with a ludicrous amount of Styrofoam inside a box of forever, sneaking an extra few vacation days this summer is crucial. Fortunately, beyond our mandated American holidays, there are plenty of international ones that all call for taking fixed Mondays off. Here’s how you make your workplace believe you seriously, deeply care about them.

Canada, Canada Day

July 1st

What It Is: While Canada doesn’t really have an independence day because they never angrily threw tea into a harbor to assert their dominance, they do sort of kinda have a holiday celebrating the formation of their government and the creation of their constitution. Yes, it is super boring, but that doesn't stop them from marking it with awesome BBQs, carnivals, and firework shows. 

How You Fake It: Prep your boss early in the week by staring at your monitor, shaking your head, and muttering, “Man, Quebec is at it again”. Then on the Friday before the holiday, tell everybody you’re grabbing a “two four” (Canadian for a case of beer) and “heading up north” to a "cabin retreat", as is traditional.

New Zealand, The Queen’s Birthday

June 2nd

What It Is: A whimsical little remnant of the British Empire, commonwealth countries (mostly places that were former British colonies) celebrate the birthday of the Queen with a day off. Thanks, the Queen.

How You Fake It: Pretend you’ve got New Zealand (obscure is always better) roots by lamenting your people’s lame flag (it just looks like a bunch of other countries' flags) and loudly proclaiming to your cube mates that the holiday should be renamed Edmund Hillary Day already because, you know, instead of just being born he climbed Mount freakin’ Everest. Your coworkers will be glad you’re out just because of the yelling if nothing else.

Portugal, Dia de Portugal (Portugal Day)

June 10th

What It Is: This day honors the death of Luís de Camões, a Portuguese poet so influential that the Portuguese language is sometimes called “the language of Camões”. Because reciting poetry is nonetheless boring, revelers on this day typically enjoy parades, street fairs, and awesome grub.

How You Fake It: Bake up a batch of pastéis de nata, a delicious egg pastry, and bring it to work explaining, “Oh my bisavó just whipped these up!” Then explain you’ll be taking a day off because you have to perform the Bailarico at the local Dia de Portugal parade. Don’t have one? Congrats! You just founded your town’s first Die de Portugal parade.

"A Family Celebration" painted by Niko Pirosmani in 1907
Credit: RussianAvantGard.com/The Tretyakov Gallery/Wikimedia

Georgia, Independence Day

May 26

What Is It: Georgia, the country so nice it declared independence from Russia twice! First from the Russian Empire in 1918 and, after being reconquered a few short years later, from the USSR in 1991. And both times it was May 26! Hopefully a third independence day isn't in the cards.

How to fake it: For us Yankees, what's unique about this particular holiday is really what's unique about all Georgian holidays -- the Tamada. He's like an MC, toastmaster, and designated party commander-in-chief (like the cool customer above) all in one. Every party occasion calls for one and it's sometimes determined by a vote before the fete begins. Just tell your office you won this year's Tamada election and that refusing the responsibility would mean impeachment and disbarment from your family forever. When everyone looks at you quizzically, deploy smoke bombs and run away very fast.   

Ferragosto Celebration

Italy, Ferragosto

August 15th

What It Is: A holiday that’s as old as the Roman Empire. Originally created by Emperor Augustus Caesar, it was a day off to celebrate the harvest. It later evolved into a cultural occasion for taking a weekend trip.

How You Fake It: As one Italian puts it, “You make bonfires. Some music. Have sex on the beach and pretty much everywhere else”. So not even Italians know why they have this day off, but it’s awesome. Arrive to work in board shorts with your weekend bag packed. Don’t say anything, just show up again Tuesday with an amazing tan, great stories, and everything will be bene.*

*Except for definitely getting fired, which, frankly, will probably happen if you try any of these. Good luck!