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Alascattalo Day

Alascattalo Day honors Alaskan humor and is named for the alascattalo, a fictitious animal that is a cross between a moose and a walrus, that is said to have been bred by miners during the Alaskan Gold Rush around the turn of the twentieth century. The creature is believed to have come about as a response to stupid questions asked by tourists. For instance, some tourists have asked where Alaskan penguins can be found, and Alaskans have jokingly told tourists places to go look for them. Of course, penguins do not live in Alaska. Some have used a similar humor called "absurding" to answer questions. For instance, they have talked to tourists about the alacattalo when there is no such creature.

Writer Steven C. Levi created Alacattalo Day and started the Alacatello Day Parade in Anchorage. The parade takes place on the day, and lasts about four minutes, going down a block-long alley. People who participate in "the longest running shortest parade in American history" wear disguises and step off at three minutes after noon. The day's mythological creature has reached beyond Earth, as a minor planet is named after it.

How to Observe

The best way to celebrate the day is to travel to Alaska, ideally to Anchorage, to participate in the Alascatello Day Parade. If you can't make it to Alaska, you could celebrate the day by reading some jokes about Alaska, or by learning about Alaskan humor, perhaps by reading Alascattalo Tales: A Treasury of Alaskan Humor, which was written by the day's creator. You could read some other books by the same author, read a book about Alaska in general, or watch a film set in Alaska.

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