New Year’s Day parkrun events have been a fixture in the parkrun global calendar for many years now and are loved by parkrunners the world over. It remains the one day of the year when it is possible to bag two events on the same day thanks to the advent of the NYDD – the New Year’s Day Double. parkrun events are given the option of altering their start times so that it’s possible for participants (and volunteers) to potentially attend a later event nearby.
However, did you know that each parkrun country is also allowed to nominate a second special event each year, in addition to New Year’s Day? The first such of these was on 25th December 2004 at Bushy Park parkrun – where it all began – in London, UK. Christmas Day at Bushy Park parkrun remains a firm favourite in the area, with the most recent Christmas Day event attracting an incredible 2,011 participants – an increase of some 1,985 from 14 years previously!
Since then several countries have followed suit and hold their own Christmas Day events – notably Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa.
Many countries, however, have their second nominated special event on other days which are special to them. Finland and Norway hold extra events on Christmas Eve whereas Poland marks the day after Christmas with an extra parkrun.
Keeping with the festive theme, parkrun Russia helps celebrate the Russian Orthodox Christmas Day which typically falls on or close to January 7th – the date marking the birth of Jesus within the Julian calendar – which predates the more commonly used Gregorian version.
In Singapore, the extra event day is not on a fixed date each year because it is held at the beginning of the Chinese New Year. The date, of course, moves each year as it is always at the beginning of the lunar new year. In 2020 it will be on January 25th but the year later it will fall on February 12th.
Our friends in America recently held numerous extra events on their nominated day which is of course Thanksgiving.
Sweden and Canada both hold extra parkrun events on their national days. Sweden’s National Day is on the 6th June every year – a day celebrated since 1983 – to mark the election of King Gustav Vasa that laid the foundation of Sweden as an independent state. Canada meanwhile will be marking Canada Day on July 1st. For our non-Canadian readers, this marks the anniversary of the effective date of the Constitution Act of 1867 which effectively created the modern state of Canada.
The most recent event that is commemorated by a national holiday, as well as an extra parkrun day, would be German Unity Day. On October 3rd, 1990 the reunification of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was completed.
Extra events are always optional for event teams to organize so please do check the special events page of each country before making plans to attend! Canadian event teams have begun declaring their intentions for January 1st 2020 and you can check their current status at https://www.parkrun.ca/special-events/
Be sure to observe the stated start times as many will not be at the usual 9am!
Happy New Year from everyone at parkrun Canada
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