Just for Fun: A Basket Full Of Flavoursome Facts To Celebrate Picnic Week!
This week is National Picnic Week and we’re celebrating with some tasty treats about the history of the picnic. Plus, find out how Stikins ® name labels can help you keep your picnic organised this summer.
Hungry To Know More About Picnics? We’ve Got A Feast Of Facts For You!
Summer is the perfect time for a picnic (if the weather is on your side). To whet your appetite, we’ve put together some of our favourite facts about the history of the humble picnic.
The origin of picnic (both the word and the meal) is probably French. In the 17th century, the French word “pique-nique” described a fashionable social event where each guest contributed to the meal. They were often part of salon life; rich patrons would host gatherings of writers, thinkers, artists, and friends in their homes so ideas could be exchanged. Pique-niques could also feature music and dancing, making them more like balls than a modern picnic. Following the French revolution (1789-1799), many French aristocrats moved to London, bringing the pique-nique with them. From 1801-1850, the “Pic Nic Society” held lavish events in rented rooms.
By the Victorian era, picnics began to move outside. Picnicking became an aspirational activity for the emerging middle classes. The late 1800s saw the sale of the very first picnic tables. By the mid-19th century, working classes began picnicking. When new modes of transport (like trains, bikes, and cars) arrived in the early-20th century, the whole population was able to travel into the countryside and picnics were firmly established as outdoor meals.
22,232 people attended the largest ever picnic (2009, Lisbon), while 33,573 bears (and their owners) attended the largest ever Teddy Bears’ picnic (1995, Dublin Zoo). The largest picnic blanket measures 1,760 m² and was made at the Melin Tregwynt Mill in Wales. It was laid out for the first time in Durban, South Africa (2008). The longest picnic table (2019, Memphis, USA) measured 407.27m.
Picnics are popular around the world:
- France held an “incredible picnic” to celebrate the Millennium. It stretched 625 miles from Dunkirk (north coast) to Prats de Mollo (Spanish border).
- In Australia’s Northern Territory, International Picnic Day is an official public holiday that falls on the first Monday of August.
- In Japan, hanami (flower viewing) is a traditional custom of enjoying the brief beauty of flowers. It usually involves gathering under cherry trees (or sometimes plum trees). During the cherry blossom season (end of March to early May) people gather beneath the trees with picnics.
- Turkey has hundreds of piknik yeri (public picnic grounds). Turkish picnics often last all day with cushions, rugs, and even spare furniture used to create comfortable picnicking spots.
- In Greece, the first day of Great Lent is known as “Clean Monday”. It is a tradition to head into the countryside to fly kites with many groups taking picnics with them. Picnics feature fasting foods, such as shellfish and a special bread called lagana.
- In a number of cultures, friends and families gather together for graveside picnics to remember their loved ones. In the UK, the practice was commonplace during the Victorian era. Around the world, the practice is part of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations in Mexico and Double Ninth Festival celebrations in Asia.
How Stikins ® Name Labels Can Help You Pack The Perfect Picnic This Summer
Our name labels are a brilliant way to label food and drink containers. Our unique adhesive holds firmly to lunch boxes, water bottles, and containers of all shapes and sizes. Labelled items are safe to put in the dishwasher and the microwave, which is perfect if you need something to warm you up when the British weather refuses to co-operate.
You can personalise your labels to make sure there are no arguments about whose food is whose! Alternatively, you can simply keep all of your picnic kit organised – from containers to cutlery. You can also safely mark containers according to dietary requirements and use your labels as allergy warnings or medical alerts. For example, you can clearly mark items belonging to someone with a food allergy to make sure they get their own food (and make sure it doesn’t come into contact with other foodstuffs).
We recommend using our two line option if you’d like to include allergy or medical information. You can then divide your information over the two lines to keep it clear. For example, one line could display an individual’s name while the other displays their allergy. Alternatively, one line could display a message while the other displays an emergency contact number.
Please note: if you need to include a lot of information, we can print three lines of text. This option is only available by phone and may take longer to print as a bespoke item.
You can order online at any time or by phone during office hours (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday). Our last print run is at 3pm, which means we despatch all orders on the same or next working day. We use Royal Mail's first class service for delivery and most items arrive in a few days.