Happy Birthday! Besides being your special day, July 1 is also known for a few other holidays and observances. Or maybe they’re all really in celebration of you!
This day is Canada Day, which commemorates the 1867 uniting of three British colonies called Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single nation under the British Empire called Canada. The celebrations are similar to those in the United States for its own Independence Day, with large public events being held such as concerts, parades, air shows, and fireworks. Or, families and friends may hold their own barbecues and picnics and simply spend a relaxing day together.
Memorial Day is held in the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is an additional observance in memory of the heavy losses of Newfoundland troops on July 1, 1916, in the Battle of the Somme. Red poppies are worn on lapels to commemorate this, as they are on Remembrance Day.
The West African nation of Ghana celebrates Republic Day, after declaring its independence in 1960.
Somalia marks its own independence on this date, after the uniting of Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland in 1960.
The African nations of Burundi and Rwanda also celebrate their independence on this date. Both separated from Belgium in 1962.
Doctors’ Day is a worldwide event to honor the work of doctors everywhere. In India it is celebrated on July 1 because that was both the birthdate (1882) and death date (1962) of an honored physician named Dr. Bidhan Roy.
Singapore began celebrating its own Armed Forces Day with parades and demonstrations in 1969.
International Tartan Day celebrations may be held in the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, and other nations of the British Commonwealth. It marks the 1782 repeal of the Act of Proscription, wherein the English banned the wearing of plaids and the kilt by Scottish Highlanders and tried to force them to dress and behave like proper English folk. That was a spectacular failure, of course, and today the holiday is marked by kilts, bagpipes, parades, and Highland dances and games.
According to some sources July 1 is International Joke Day, intended to make sure people devote a little time to the lighter side of life on this particular day.
International Free Hugs Month begins on the first Saturday in July and so will periodically fall on your birthday. The Free Hugs Campaign was started by an Australian man in 2004, who stood downtown with a sign that said, “Free Hugs.” After his campaign appeared in a music video in 2006 it began to take off, and it’s now become a true worldwide event.
Others who were born under the sign of Cancer, the Crab, just like you:
1818 – Ignaz Semmelweiss, the physician who saved many new mothers’ lives by training other doctors in antisepsis.
1916 – Olivia de Havilland, one of the world’s best loved actresses.
1941 – Twyla Tharp, dancer and choreographer
1952 – Dan Aykroyd, actor, screenwriter, and producer
1961 – Diana, Princess of Wales
So, you can see that you’re in good company. Again, Happy Birthday, and go out and celebrate!