We absolutely adore holidays at Doozy Cards–celebrating, days off school and work, great food–but these days it seems like there’s a holiday everywhere you turn! We’re not talking about just your classic ones like 4th of July or St. Patrick’s Day. We’ve noticed more holidays for seemingly everyday things like National Pizza Day (Feb. 9th), National Chip and Dip Day (Mar. 23rd), and even National Gummi Worm Day (Jul. 15th)! There are even tons of non-food holidays like National Friendship Day (Aug. 2nd) and National Dance Like a Chicken Day (May 14th)!
Don’t get us wrong; we love eating pizza and dancing like a chicken, but where did all of these holidays come from and who decides when and what we celebrate? Is there some magical Wizard of Oz-type person that decides? If so, he or she must really love food and hugs! And let’s say you wanted to start your own special holiday, how would you do that? Well, it turns out there are a few different answers regarding where we get all of these holidays:
1. The Federal Government
This is where the country’s top dogs designate what and when certain holidays are. This can be done by Presidential Executive Order, like when Dwight Eisenhower made May 17th National Walnut Day in 1958 or when Ronald Reagan declared July 9th National Ice Cream Day (and the whole month, too!). While sometimes the President creates these, often they are sponsored by a resolution from the House of Representatives or the Senate.In other cases, certain departments, like the Dept. of Agriculture or Commerce, will sponsor a particular day, week or month for a topic such as Earth Day and Arbor Day in April.
2. State and Local Government – State and local officials, including governors, legislators and mayors, sometimes create commemorative holidays. These can occasionally get confusing if a few states share these holidays but they fall on different days from one state to another. In Hawaii, the states observe a few unique holidays:
3. Industry Associations or Individual Companies
This is how many national holidays get their start, even the government sponsored ones. Businesses in a particular industry get together to decide on a day to promote their product. The notorious, Black Friday was started by American retailers. These basically boil down to PR stunts, and pretty effective ones at that, like National Cookie Day (Dec. 4th), which was started by Blue Chip Cookies in 1987. Free Comic Book Day was also stared by a Comics retailer in Concord, California.
4. Charities and Non-Profits – Even charitable organizations will create and promote special days to support a particular cause or commemorate something. One example is when the Salvation Army (thankfully) created National Donut Day (the first Friday in June) to give free donuts to soldiers during World War I.
5. Individuals – Yes, that’s right, you can create your own holiday too! Many holidays, especially food ones, have been created by people who just decided that they wanted to celebrate something they love. Some of our favorites are National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (first Saturday in Feb.) and National Pie Day (Jan. 23rd). Typically these individually proposed ones spread by word of mouth and eventually get picked up and promoted by a company or industry.
- Star Wars Day is an unofficial holiday created by fans to honor the Star Wars franchise on May 4 for the pun “May the fourth be with you”.
- International Talk Like a Pirate Day was also a holiday created by ab individual as a tongue-in-cheek holiday celebrating Pirate culture.
- Festivus (December 23): made famous on the television show Seinfeld
So, what are you waiting for? Go out and declare your very own holiday in honor of your favorite food. Spread the word on social media, tell your friends and family, let Chase’s Calendar of Events know: they’ve been keeping track and publishing all of the food holidays since 1958, when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave up on it. Then maybe you can get the attention of your mayor or governor, or maybe a company or charity. But don’t forget to check to see if the holiday doesn’t already exist. With so many created, chances are somebody else may have already thought of your favorite.
What national holiday would you create? Let us know in the comments and remember to send a holiday eCard for all of your favorite holidays that already exist.
- Chase’s Calendar of Events: http://www.mhprofessional.com/templates/chases/
- Food days: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_food_days
- Bon Appetit: http://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/holidays/article/national-food-days
- Food Timeline: http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodfaqa.html#nationaldays