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 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 on the floor and enjoy a simple meal!
So get that picnic basket ready and get started celebrating International Picnic Day.
History of International Picnic Day
The word “picnic” probably gets its origins from the French language, specifically from the word “pique-nique”. It is believed that this type of informal outdoor meal became a popular pastime in France after the French Revolution in the mid-1800s when it was possible again to get out into the country’s royal parks. However, even if it began in France, 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.
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. It was 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.
Today’s picnics might be a bit more casual, sometimes just a few pieces of bread and cheese thrown into a paper bag and eaten on a park bench will suffice. A picnic can be centered around just about anything the participants want it to be, including games and other outdoor activities.
International Picnic Day is celebrated in many countries–a simple opportunity to enjoy the beauty of eating outside!
How to Celebrate International Picnic Day
Those who want to get in on the fun can find plenty of opportunities to celebrate this enjoyable day. Consider these creative ways of celebrating or come up with a list of your own:
Join a Picnic Day Event
Charity events, school picnics and all kinds of other group meals are organized to mark the occasion. Check with a community board or website to see if any picnics are planned locally. Look particularly at local parks or museums that often plan these types of events. If they are having one nearby, join in. If not–go ahead and organize it!
Have a Personal Picnic for Lunch or Dinner
A great way to celebrate International Picnic Day is to bike, walk or hike to a nearby beauty spot, or just take your sandwiches and cold hard-boiled eggs into the garden and enjoy an al fresco lunch. Those who are at work for the day can just take their normal lunch hour to head out to a patch of grass or park nearby.
Other ideas for piling foods into a picnic basket include:
- Sandwiches. Perhaps the perfect picnic food, sandwiches make everything easy. Just pile some meat, cheese, and vegetables on a couple of pieces of bread. Add a few condiments, such as mustard or mayonnaise, and it’s a great start for a picnic.
- Fruit. Most fruits come with their own natural packaging, making them the ideal food for a picnic. Grab some apples, oranges, bananas, or a giant watermelon to enjoy outside.
- Side Dishes. Easy salads, potato chips, or a tray filled with veggies will make a picnic super tasty!