Originally written on June 18, 2021 – updated 2023
It’s often claimed that life is no picnic – but today it is!
International Picnic Day is a chance to eat out in the open air with friends or family.
Placed (conveniently) on this day, in the middle of June, for many people this means that the weather should be fine and the sun shining (at least in the northern hemisphere).
But even if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate, an inside picnic can be a great substitute. Just spread a blanket out somewhere and enjoy a simple meal!
So get your picnic basket ready and get started celebrating International Picnic Day!
Picnics have been a staple of most cultures for years and, believe it or not, their popularity can be traced directly to the French Revolution. Our definitions of a picnic might be different, but it’s a great way to bring people together for an enjoyable day.
The word “picnic” itself probably gets its origins from the French language, more precisely from the word “pique-nique”. It is believed that this type of informal outdoor meal became a popular pastime in France in the mid-1800s when it was possible again to get out into the country’s royal parks.
Since then, it has become a lovely activity that has spread all over the world.
As fans of Jane Austen novels will know, 19th-century picnics in England became elaborate social occasions, with menus featuring a wide range of cold meats and pies that took days to prepare. Throughout the early 1800s, an official Picnic Society met regularly near the Pantheon in London.
When the cherry blossoms bloom for a short time across Japan, citizens flock to parks to enjoy the fleeting smells and sights.
But picnics are a also a Christmas tradition!
In Argentina and other places in the Southern Hemisphere, people use the warm-weathered Christmas time to enjoy picnics while, in Greece, picnics pair with religion.
When Greek people begin celebrating Lent, they often gather in parks to eat traditional foods and fly kites as a group tradition.
Over the years, picnics have sometimes come to represent the gathering of the common people in political protest. One of the more famous of these was the Pan-European Picnic that took place in the summer of 1989 at the border of Austria and Hungary as part of many protests against communism that year that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain.
More recently, in 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records made note of the record for the largest picnic in the world. It took place with more than 20,000 people in Lisbon, Portugal.
In 2018, 55% of young Americans said having a picnic was their favorite warm-weather activity.
Today’s picnics might be a bit more easy, sometimes just with a few pieces of bread and cheese thrown into a paper bag and eaten on a park bench.
But International Picnic Day is celebrated in many countries–a simple opportunity to enjoy the beauty of eating outside!
How to celebrate?
Have a picnic!
There’s no easier way to celebrate International Picnic Day than to just have a picnic! Grab a group of close friends and some grub, and you’re well on your way to a great time.
You can also plan some games with something as simple as a frisbee or as elaborate as a scavenger hunt. It’s easy to create lasting memories at any picnic!
And why not to find a new park?
What better excuse to explore your city than in search of the perfect picnic place? Chances are there are hidden parks all over your surrounding area that you haven’t had the chance to explore…
Images from web – Google Research