International Pipe smoking Day – February 20
If you love clay pipes, or briar pipes, or Meerschaum, or corn cobs, or love all sorts of pipes, February 20th is your day to shine.
The first International Pipe Smoking Day was held in 2008 and is celebrated in at least 30 countries world-wide. It was the brainchild of the International Comité of Pipe Smokers Clubs (CIPC) whose goal is to promote the history and the value of pipe smoking. Here’s what the CIPC had to when they launched the IPSD.
PURPOSE On the special IPSD – once a year- pipe smokers around the world will celebrate the noble art of pipe smoking by using their own piece of art, a pipe made of briar or clay. We will put into practice old traditions of raising our pipes in toast to each other in unison and share a bowl together.
PHILOSOPHY Today’s hectic environment almost dictates that we run on full efficiency, have total involvement in our work, our families and in every aspect of what we do to survive and achieve in a world set at high speed. With ever changing values it is the intent that The International Pipe Smoking Day will allow us to step back and appreciate our rich historical value. For pipe-smokers and pipe-smoking everywhere the day will be emblematic of our shared values, history, traditions and aspirations.
You can read Tom Wolfe’s article on IPSD on the United Pipe Clubs of America website.
This then brings us to the subject of pipes and which one or ones to choose for this auspicious or suspicious event depending on how you regard the use of tobacco. The Comité mentions briar and clay but there are many other materials commonly used for smoking tobacco including corn cobs and Meerschaum and wooden pipes of Rosewood, pear, apple , cherry, and walnut. There are now resin pipes being made. Pipes from stone and antler were fashioned by our native Americans. Then there are water pipes popular in Northern Africa and Middle East. To counter the effects of today’s “hectic environment” many smokers substitute tobacco with even more relaxing herbs sometimes resorting to, and forgive me for even mentioning them, glass pipes, but this is a topic for another decade. So which pipe to pick?
For special occasions Ken likes to puff from one of his numerous clay pipes. The clay pipe nearly always requires the smoker’s undivided attention. Clay is not the kind of stuff you want ground between your bicuspids. Clenching a pipe in your mouth should be reserved for the sturdier stems of acrylic or vulcanite while the more delicate clay deserves better treatment. Set aside the time to relax and reflect this International Pipe Smoking Day whether you choose a clay pipe or another vessel for your favorite tobacco.
And above all ENJOY!