The Bottom Line: Quick facts about picnics.
The Full Story:
- According to food historians, the concept of picnics have evolved over time from medieval hunting feasts to Renaissance-era country banquets to Victorian garden parties.
- In the United States, National Picnic Day is held on April 23rd. Meanwhile, the UK celebrates National Picnic Week each year during the (more weather-apropos) third week of June.
- The most popular day for picnics in the United States is the 4th of July holiday. In Italy, it’s Easter Monday, while France sees its most picnickers on Bastille Day.
- In 2000, a 600-mile-long picnic took place from coast to coast in France to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new millennium.
- One of the earliest accounts of picnicking comes from tales of Robin Hood. He and his Merry Men would informally dine on bread, cheese, and ale under the trees.
- In the Victorian era, picnics were very grand affairs and included tables, linens, crystal, chairs, servants, and gourmet fare.
- The picnic basket (or picnic hampers as they were first known) has always been a mainstay. However, today the picnic basket has evolved from its simple woven predecessor to include more tricked-out features such as a wine chiller, separate hot and cold compartments, and a detachable picnic blanket.
- The first picnic table was designed in the late 1800s.
- “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” was written in 1906 by British composer John William Bratton, though its original title was “The Teddy Bear Two Step.” A 1908 instrumental version gave the song its more memorable name and, in 1932, lyrics were added. The perennial favorite has since appeared in numerous iterations, selling millions of copies.
- Picnic as protest: On August 19, 1989, the border gates of East and West Germany were opened for the Pan–European Picnic, held on the Austrian–Hungarian border. The three-hour peaceful demonstration has since been deemed a crucial milestone in the fall of the Iron Curtain and the reunification