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Listed As A New Word, “Pique-Nique” First Appeared In 1692 France, “Picnic” In English Appeared In 1748

April 23rd is a day for everyone to enjoy a meal outside.  It is National Picnic Day!

  • Listed as a new word, “pique-nique” first appeared in the 1692 edition of Origines de la Langue Françoise de Ménage.
  • From the French for piquenique, picnic means a meal eaten outdoors.
  • No one really knows the origin of the word “picnic”? Some believe it is based on the French verb “piquer” which means to ‘pick’ or ‘peck’, with the rhyming “nique” meaning “thing of little importance”.
  • This meal hearkens back to mid-18th-century al fresco French dining when all you needed was a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, some cheese and fruit and you could have a party under the sky.
  • The word “picnic” was first introduced in English in 1748.
  • Did you know that a “picnic” ham is really not a true ham? It is cut from the upper part of the foreleg of a pig – a true ham is cut from the hind leg.
  • Italy’s favourite picnic day is Easter Monday. It is called “Angel’s Monday” or Pasquetta (“Little Easter”).
  • After an ant has visited your picinc, it lays down a scent as it returns to the nest for the other ants to follow!
  • In the year 2000, a 600-mile-long picnic took place in France to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new millennium.
  • The first table designed specifically for picnics (in a style similar to what we know today) appeared in the late 1800s.
  • The French started the modern fashion for picnics when they opened their royal parks to the public after the revolution of 1789.
  • The 1955 film Picnic, with William Holden and Kim Novak, was nominated for six Oscars and won two for best art direction and best film editing.
  • A fashionable group of Londoners started a Picnic Society in the early 19th century. Their members were expected to share entertainment and refreshments.
  • The concept of a Teddy Bear Picnic probably originated with a version of the 1907 music called Teddy Bears’ Picnic written by American composer John Walter Bratton.
  • One of the first accounts of picnicking comes from tales of Robin Hood. Robin, joined by his Merry Men would informally dine on bread, cheese, and beer under the shelter of the trees.
  • The average person picnics at least three times a year, that’s 94 million picnics per year.
  •  According to research done in 2013 the average family spends £26 ($33.75) per picnic, totaling a cool £2,479,720,000 ($3,219,995,771)
  • The use of the phrase “no picnic” to describe something difficult dates back to 1884.
  • The most popular picnic snack fifty years ago was the humble cheese sandwich. Now, it’s a bag of crisps.
  • The most popular day for picnics in the US is the 4th of July. In Italy it’s Easter Monday. In France, it’s Bastille Day. In the UK, it’s (weather dependent) rapidly becoming National Picnic Week.
  • Fortnum & Mason, the London department store, claims to have invented the Scotch egg in 1738. They still sell them today.
  • The Longest Picnic Table – 322.42 metres long (2nd April 2017 / Réunion)
  • The Longest Picnic Line – 2,277 metres long (15th July 2012 / Canada)
  • The Largest Picnic – 22,232 people (20th June 2009 / Portugal)
  • The Largest Picnic Blanket – 1,760 square metres (April 2008 / Woven In Wales & Laid Out In South Africa)


National Day Calendar


Faith Based Events


Quality Unearthed

National Picnic Week


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