Eat Outside Day

Eat Outside Day is a holiday that encourages everyone to get out of their house and enjoy their meals outside. This day is observed on August 31st, which is the perfect time for people to head outside and have a picnic or simply eat their meals at a table in their backyard. It’s also a time of the year when summer is on its way out, and people are preparing for the fall and winter months. That makes it a good time to enjoy the waning days of summer, get some fresh air, and enjoy a nice meal or two in the great outdoors.

The History of Eating Outside

Although we don’t really know who invented Eat Outside Day, we do know quite a lot about eating outdoors. After all, for most of history, humans have eaten outside—at least part of the time. But with our discussion of eating outdoors, we’re not going to travel that far back. Instead, we’re going to talk about the pastoral delights that were enjoyed when the picnic was first invented.

The word “picnic” seems to have come from the French root word “piquer,” which means “to pick or peck,” and the word “nique,” which means “nothing whatsoever.” However, that hasn’t been confirmed as the reason the word was constructed. It appears the first time “picnic” was used was in a satirical pamphlet created in 1649 called “Les Charmants effets des barricades, ou l’amitié durable de la Compagnie des Frères Bachiques de Pique-Nique.” The main character is known as Pique-Nique, and he is the hero of the barricades. However, he is also a glutton, and his overeating and overdrinking are in stark contrast to the food shortages caused by the rebellion he is leading.

It’s simply unclear whether the pamphlet invented the term “picnic” or simply made use of a word that was already in circulation. What is known is that during the 18th century, picnics became quite fashionable. They were enjoyed mainly by the aristocracy, but they weren’t enjoyed outdoors. They were usually enjoyed indoors and were very much associated with the salons of the day—salons being places where intellectuals gathered to talk and share stories. The picnic was just another thing enjoyed by the rich and powerful, but that all changed after the French Revolution.

Many aristocrats fled France and went to places such as Austria, Prussia, or America. And some of them fled to England. It was in England that the picnic became closer to our idea of it. Since the aristocrats often didn’t have the money to live the lifestyle they had in France, they had to make changes to their lifestyle if they wanted to enjoy some of the things they previously enjoyed. So the picnic would evolve from the refined activity of intellectuals to a more rowdy activity.

During this time, picnics began to be enjoyed by the middle class and eventually moved outside. It also transformed from being associated with music and dancing to being a simple meal enjoyed outdoors. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Observing Eat Outside Day

Want to enjoy Eat Outside Day? If you do, then head outside and enjoy a simple meal with friends and family members. While you’re enjoying the fun, don’t forget to use the hashtag #EatOutsideDay on your social media accounts to spread the word about this holiday fun.

When is it?
This year (2024)
August 31 Saturday
Next year (2025)
August 31 Sunday
Last year (2023)
August 31 Thursday
Activity & Action, Food & Drinks