Steve Woods

World Sauntering Day

In What Day is it? on August 28, 2009 at 12:46 pm
Two gentleman sauntering in the city.

Two gentleman sauntering in the city.

Webster’s English Dictionary labels a saunter as “a leisurely stroll, or walk.”  I like to think of sauntering as a wayward, happy movement, without need for either direction or purpose. You need no reason for where you are heading, or for the pace at which you are going – just make sure it is designed to maximize your enjoyment of the time you spend sauntering.

World Sauntering Day was founded in 1979 by William T. Rabe of Mackinac Island, Detroit, and was one of many publicity stunts Mr. Rabe created as Public Relations Director for the Grand Hotel.  Mr. Rabe wanted people to spend more time enjoying Detroit, a city he was very proud of, and as a reply to the rapidly growing health fad of jogging.  The idea of a Sauntering day took hold quickly, and years later was officially declared on the steps of the very hotel it was founded at. As the years progressed, other countries began to celebrate the holiday, making it “World” in status.

Other unusual holidays promulgated by Mr. Rabe and celebrated on Mackinac Island annually are Snowman Burning Day, to celebrate the end of Winter, and Unicorn Questing Month, wherein people get together and hunt unicorns all around the island.

Sadly, William passed away on April 5, 1992, and to this day, there is no holiday celebrating his birth. While taking a saunter today, and in his memory, ask yourself why you stopped believing in unicorns, take a furtive glance or two amongst the trees, and make a choice to begin searching again…

  1. It is interesting that World Sauntering Day was conceived in Detroit where I dare say sauntering, at least in Flint, would not advocate safety. The whole concept of a saunter is completely obviated in this frenetically paced country. Was it Edna Millay who spoke of love in that one does not love or saunter by being resolute and tied to conventionality but, by simply allowing your gaze to be forward and limpid?

  2. And in both love and sauntering, one cannot enjoy the journey while spending the entire time with hands in pocket, or without first releasing a need to know where the path leads…

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