International Picnic Day

International Picnic Day is an informal food holiday which falls on June 18.http://www.thenibble.com/fun/more/facts/holidays-june.asp Interested parties, families, organizations, or social clubs celebrate International Picnic Day with picnics, where food is brought from home or a market and eaten at an outdoor location. It is not an official holiday recognized by Congress.

The origin of the concept of a picnic may have been the social banquets held outdoors by wealthy people in medieval times. The earliest picnic gatherings were also probably related to an outdoor feast held after a successful hunt. http://www.thearynews.com/english/newsdetail.asp?nid=28599 In reality, any individual, couple, family, or group who ever enjoyed eating outdoors for any reason was having a “picnic”, whether or not they had a specific word for it at the time.

The origin of the word “picnic” is most likely the French word ‘’piquer’’, which can mean “to pick or peck”. It was probably joined with the rhyming obsolete word ‘’nique’’, meaning trifle, to convey the idea of multiple guests bringing different foods.http://www.takeourword.com/et_n-p.html In this way, all guests can make a meal of “picking” at small or “trifling” amounts of each dish or option, rather than only eating the food they have brought. This suggests that the original use of the word “picnic” may have referred more to the idea of sharing a variety of dishes between people, as with a potluck meal.http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Potluck It is possible that picnics in the past were based more upon this idea, and by often implementing the idea outdoors, the meaning of the word gradually moved towards sharing a meal socially outdoors.http://www.thearynews.com/english/newsdetail.asp?nid=28599

Some offline sources talk about picnics as they occurred in the Victorian era, where it appears that they rose in popularity. There is a theory that this occurred partly as a way to enjoy eating socially, without the restrictive rules of etiquette which applied to indoor social dining occasions. It seems that other factors which may have added to the appeal were viewing outdoor scenery, and holding a gathering in connection with hunting parties.http://www.victoriatravelguide.com/travel/victoria-picnic.html The Victorians also believed there was an association that had been made between good health and fresh air, which may also have led to the picnic's rise in popularity. http://www.fathom.com/course/10701039/session3.html

International Picnic Day History

There is little reputable information available which points to a definite origin for International Picnic Day. On varying dates, depending on the location, celebrations and commemorations relating to the activities of worker’s unions and labor groups are held around the world. Often these celebrations have a connection with picnics.http://www.canadianlabour.ca/news-room/events/labour-day-picnic-fraser-valley http://www.islandnet.com/~cupe951/?q=node/260 http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/australia/picnic-day

A notable example of a time when protest or social change became connected to picnics was after the French Revolution. After the Revolution occurred, the royal parks were opened to the public for the first time. With this change, the royal parks became popular as aesthetically pleasing locations for ordinary citizens to enjoy dining outdoors.http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/pi/picnic.html

The connection is probably also related to the way a large picnic gathering can be used to temporarily occupy significant public territory and capture attention.

It is possible that International Picnic Day has been developed and promoted as a way to create a uniform worldwide picnic celebration. This idea of a day focusing only on the picnic - on simply relaxing and enjoying food outdoors, on one day in all locations - may have been considered preferable by some to picnic holidays scattered on different dates throughout the world, connected to labor movements or social change. It is celebrated wherever people are aware of and interested enough in it to celebrate it.

International Picnic Day Celebration

Celebrating International Picnic Day can be done in many enjoyable ways. If you are looking for a truly large-scale way of celebrating, you could check event and entertainment websites, community noticeboards, and local media for International Picnic Day events that may be held in your area.

Another option is to use local guides or web searches to find picturesque or functional outdoor locations near you, and organize your own event. Websites and resources relating to national parks or nature reserves may be useful in finding suitable locations.

There is also no reason that celebrating International Picnic Day requires a large or complicated event. The day can be enjoyed simply as a family, a small group of friends, a couple, or even an individual.

International Picnic Day lends itself to cold dishes such as salads, sandwiches, canapés, or homemade drinks and desserts. Foods such as crackers, homemade dips, gourmet cheeses and pates, and cold meats can also create delicious options for celebrating International Picnic Day. Many people enjoy combining foods such as these with wine, and perhaps some chocolate or a sweet dish afterward. Remember to designate a non-drinking driver.

Of course, for an easier picnic, simply incorporate store-bought food options or even purchase something fresh to eat outdoors. Keep in mind that celebrating International Picnic Day on its exact day may mean being prepared for unpleasant weather, depending on where you are in the world.

References

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