It's October 18th, and along with Jean Claude Van Damme and Martina Navratilova's birthdays, we're excited to announce that it's finally here...International Necktie Day!

Like Christmas, Easter and Mothering Sunday rolled into one, Croatia's biggest tie celebration is back for its 11th year. Started in 2003, 'Cravat Day' is actually a celebration of part of the countries national heritage. Croatia is largely credited for the creation of the tie, which after being spotted by the French on Croatian mercenaries, slowly evolved into today's modern silk ties. Unsurprisingly then, Cravat is a derivate of Croat.

The picture below shows some of the 'celebrations' that take place, including a changing of the guard ceremony in St.Mark's Square, with soldiers wearing some rather lovely red ties. We're quite lucky that it was the ties rather than the hats that caught on!

Maybe not worth the airfare on its own, but you could always take a detour and wish 'The Muscles from Brussels' happy birthday while you're on the continent. If you're looking for a present idea, might we suggest a handmade silk tie?

Picture: Nikola Solic/Reuters

Patrick Dudley-Williams