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Remember the summers when we put on a bathing suit before breakfast and spent all day riding around on a banana seat bicycle with a towel around our necks and flip flops on our feet? Life was so simple then. The whole day revolved around the swimming pool schedule and trips to the corner store to get a sip sack.
The carefree days of youth may be behind us now, but what adult doesn’t like to toss aside the grown-up shoes when summer comes along? Sliding our feet into a pair of flip flops brings back all the wonderful memories of our youth. And it just feels so much better to have our feet open to the warm summer breezes and the golden sunlight!
June 16 marks National Flip Flop Day in 2017. So get out your summer footwear, and have some fun!
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Flip Flop Trivia
- Flip flops are a modern version of y-strap sandals that have been worn for thousands of years
- The first such sandals were worn in Egypt 6,000 years ago
- Similar sandals were made in Africa, Mexico, China, and ancient Greece and Rome
- The name “flip flop” is a form of onomatopoeia: it echoes the sound made when we walk in the shoes
- This style of footwear became popular after WWII when soldiers returned to the West with a similar Japanese sandal, called a zori
- In the late 1950s, type of flip flop was trademarked under the name jandals (a portmanteau of “Japanese sandals”)
- The flip flop we know today became popular in the 1960s
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Flip Flops Around the World
Every part of the world has different names for flip flops. Here are just a few:
- thongs in Australia
- plakkies or slops in South Africa
- smagul (from the word “smuggled”) in some parts of the Philippines
- hawai chappal in India and Pakistan
- chinelos in Brazil
- infradito in Italy
- vietnamki (from the name of the country) in Russia and Ukraine
National Flip Flop Day is celebrated on the third Friday of June each year. The holiday was started by Tropical Smoothie Cafe and kicks off the fundraising for a special summer camp that caters to children with a serious illness. Learn more about Camp Sunshine in the video below.