National Nothing Day is an annual anti-holiday observed on January 16. True to its name, the purpose of this day is to do absolutely nothing. Not even celebrate the holiday! It comes right after a period that is heavy with holidays and celebrations, so it aims to give Americans a break from all that hustle and bustle.
However, every one-in-seven January 16's Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on the same day as National Nothing Day, which effectively negates the purpose of the holiday.
Sadly, National Nothing Day is not an official public holiday, which means that businesses and schools remain open.
National Nothing Day was created in 1972 by San Francisco Examiner journalist Harold Pullman Coffin. Coffin founded this non-holiday as he was growing tired of the number of groups claiming a day for themselves in the calendar, and he wanted to give people a whole National day where they are able to just sit down and not worry about honoring or celebrating anything.
The day has been observed every year since 1973 when it was added to Chase's Calendar of Events. It has never passed through congress, so it is not a public holiday. National Nothing Day is sponsored by the National Nothing Foundation, an organization that was also founded by Coffin.
The concept of doing nothing causes many people to philosophize about whether the act of doing nothing is actually doing something, and whether it is even possible to do nothing. In fact, this has caused such a debate, that National Nothing Day encouraged the Canadian Realist Society to create THABS, or There Has Always Been Something Day, and they argue that if there was ever truly nothing, there would never have been something, and so we would never be able to celebrate Nothing Day.
As you can see, National Nothing Day actually ends up making people think about life and the meaning of things.
However, many people feel guilty or lazy if they take a day off to do nothing, so this holiday gives everyone the perfect opportunity to take a breather and relax, guilt-free. This is the true meaning of this day, it doesn't have to be a brain-teaser, just a nice day to put our feet up.
How to Celebrate National Nothing Day (Without Actually Celebrating It)
The best way to spend this day is, obviously, by doing absolutely nothing. This can mean different things for different people. You just have to find what doing nothing means for you.
You can spend the day sleeping in bed and catching up on those lost hours of sleep. You can take a day off from doing any work and just sit around reading or watching tv. Or you can choose to not do any of your chores on this day, leave your laundry for one more day, order some take out instead of cooking dinner. It's your choice. The main point to remember on National Nothing Day is that, after months filled with important holidays, gatherings, and celebrations, on this day you don't have to celebrate anything.