Some holidays are regional. Sweetest Day is celebrated almost entirely in the Great Lakes region. It’s Valentine’s Day in October, a day invented out of whole cloth by Cleveland candy manufacturers to spur October chocolate sales in an era before Halloween was a festival of cavity-inducing gluttony. Huge amounts of newspaper advertising, candy gifts to newsboys, and a promotional push by the great Theda Bara, Hollywood’s original vamp, failed to break it out of its regional shell; Buffalo and Detroit are among the few areas other than Cleveland where Sweetest Day continues to move heart-shaped boxes off the shelves. Some holidays are pointless; not even the popcorn people admit to knowing who came up with National Popcorn Day. And some are wholly spurious; the purportedly Inuit Festival for the Souls of Dead Whales probably goes over well among String Cheese Incident fans, but bears no relationship to any historically celebrated Native Alaskan holiday. But some, like World Hello Day (link via the similarly bewildered LGM), manage to combine all three qualities. Who are these McCormacks who came up with the idea? Why November 21? Why on earth do they want us to say hello to people, when holidays would ideally celebrate people leaving one another alone? And perhaps they do things differently in Arizona, but even if Esquivel, Seamus Heany, and Olivia de Havilland all say it’s a fine idea, a holiday dedicated to introducing oneself to strangers seems likely to get one killed in, say, New York. Far better than World Hello Day would be Hello World Day, celebrating 32 years of every programming manual’s stock first example. Global diversity could be honored by recognizing our rainbow of programming languages, from Pascal to Brainfuck, and when we were done we could all sing a song, examine some art, and return to our homes without bothering anyone.