Already knew? The April 23, we celebrate the International Nose Picking Day – sometimes just: National Nose Picking Day. For some it is certainly one of the most unusual occasions in the calendar of curious holidays from around the world, for others, it is certainly a disgusting affair. Reason enough to shed some light on the story behind this day of action with the following lines.
What is nose picking anyway?
Let us start with a definitional approximation. Nose picking is the general term used to describe the insertion of a finger into the nose or a nostril in order to remove dried-on nasal secretions (medical term: bark, colloquially: booger) or foreign bodies from the nose.
In contrast to blowing your nose on your handkerchief, public nostrils are considered unsanitary and socially frowned upon in many Western countries and large parts of Far Eastern culture. It is not for nothing that an old proverb with a view of boogers says: The nose is the little man’s derrick.
Much more disgusting and in the present context even more socially outlawed is so-called mucophagy (derived from the Greek mukos (dt. Mucus) and phagein (dt Conditional, because from a medical point of view, a large part of our nasal secretions (including all dirt particles) ends up in the throat via the nasopharynx and is (automatically) swallowed. But it is a bit disgusting.;)
Nasal picking from a medical perspective – is popping dangerous?
From a medical point of view, occasional nose picking is by no means dangerous, but rather normal. In short, nasal picking carries only a very low medical risk, but can also lead to injuries to the nasal septum, which in the worst case can cause nosebleeds.
In addition, some doctors warn that frequent nose picking can also lead to an increased risk of infection, as there are a large number of pathogens on the fingertip. However, this has to be put into perspective insofar as a healthy adult has significantly more germs on the nasal mucous membrane than on the hands or fingers (see also the article on International Hand Hygiene Day or World Hand Hygiene Day (English Save Lives: Clean Your Hands) on 5th of May).
Nose picking looks a little different in terms of an obsessive-compulsive mental disorder. According to the WHO classification ICD-10, this is a pathological behavior that is counted as rhinotillexomania among the disease values (see also the list of further links below).
Who started International Nose Picking Day?
As with so many other occasions from the calendar of the curious world days, unfortunately also in the case of International Nose Picking Day that hardly anything seems to be known about its origins or backgrounds. Although most of the popular websites and online calendars list this international Popeln action day for April 23, there is no concrete information about a possible initiator or the exact year of foundation.
To make matters worse, the available sources apparently do not agree on whether Nose Picking Day is an international or a US American, i.e. national holiday for nasal drills (see also the list of related links below).
Why does International Nose Poplar Day fall on April 23rd?
The previously outlined ambiguity then, unfortunately, continues with a view to the chosen therefore. Because why the unknown initiators chose April 23 as the date for the International Nose Poplar Day does not seem to be justified or rather belongs to the category of calendar arbitrariness.
Whether there is a substantive connection to the German Beer Day, also celebrated on April 23, the International Day of the English Language, the US Talk like Shakespeare Day and the Take a chance day or National Cherry Cheesecake day or World Book and Copyright day, I could not find out in the course of research for the present article.