Celebrate

Themed holidays occur everyday, but many do not know how they first started

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Photo courtesy PhotosForClass via Rafeal-Castillo

In an effort to draw in customers and celebrate National Pancake Day, IHOP handed out free stacks of pancakes. Many restaurants have a reoccurring reputation of celebrating food centered holidays.

Sabrina Richards, Staff Writer

Pick a day. Any day. Tuesday, April 26. Hug an Australian Day. Richter Scale Day. Help a Horse Day. Pretzel Day. On any given day of the year, multiple food items, animals, objects and more stir up celebrations as society praises the day, even though they may not know why or how the day formed and the point behind it.

A familiar term for everyday celebrations includes “National Burrito Day,” or “International Guide Dog Day.” True national holidays can only include days that America observes as a whole and have been declared official by Congress. Actual holidays include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial or Labor Day, and other celebrations of that sort.

Sixth grader, Hallie Kong loves to celebrate the famous “National Puppy Day,” although the government does not recognize this day as having any legal importance. Pet and Home Lifestyle Expert, Colleen Paige, decided to form this day out of her love of animals.

Besides Congress, Presidents have the power to recognize any day and grant it significance. For example, President Harry S. Truman recognized “National Day of Prayer,” one of the few real “national” days, in 1952.

Math and science teacher, Mr. Kenton Kirkpatrick, voiced his opinion on the point of unofficial holidays.

“People probably saw a need for them to recognize certain groups or certain organizations that maybe were not recognized on a normal day or normal holiday, and they needed to have a voice, so (America) needed to talk about them and share them,” said Kirkpatrick.

America can accuse many societies, companies, and chains around the country guilty of devising a fake day to use as an advertisement and profit of their own product.

Founded by the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Barbershop Quartet Day on April 11 formed simply because singers wanted to keep singing, and still have a paying job.

In addition, countless modern restaurants such as Einstein Bros. Bagels and IHOP use unofficial days to give away a food of the day, in an effort to draw in more customers.

“I am not a fan of companies that create artificial days for such profit. Holidays should be done to celebrate each other or the things in (people’s) lives, without profit,” Kirkpatrick said.

As companies increasingly choose to use celebration days as a marketing tool, society grows more and more into the trend and buying knee deep into it.

As a growing number of customers run into stores and restaurants to celebrate whatever the day may represent, America’s economy receives support, while people’s wallets empty quite quickly.

According to “Money Magazine” and “Time Magazine,” “America’s Premier Eventologist, Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, creates days like “National Splurge Day” and others because of all the tiresome traditions of exchanging presents and visiting relatives during actual holidays. If she declares a day, America believes her, and recognizes the day. Some people have that effect due to the power of social media.

“(People) probably see them on social media and stuff, and (they) probably follow that from the things (they) go on,” said seventh grader Kim Vu.

Another calendar planner, John-Bryan Hopkins, put his love of food to work by creating hundreds of food holidays. He can announce a day, and take them away, simply by changing it on his website, foodimentary.com.

An urgent need of awareness for a cause or disease can also serve as a foundation of an unofficial day. One of the most well-known “fake” days of April, Dolphin Day, focuses the sole purpose on the worldwide need to save dolphins. Earth Day has the same intention of broadening people’s knowledge of how to create a clean and thriving Earth.

“I like those days (of awareness) because it helps people understand that we need to take care of our planet and world,” said seventh grader Adelaide Rau.

Finally, a few days formed simply as history unfolded. Many who do not know the exact history of everyday recognition days would guess this as the number one reason of their creation.

“I think people just kind of made them up in history, and they just stuck,” said seventh grader, Ava Ballagh.

For example, on April 19, America celebrates Bicycle Day; created when Dr. Albert Hofmann took a 250 mcg dose of Lysergic acid diethylamide, a medical drug he had discovered three days earlier. He decided to ride his bike home the night he took the dose, and from that night on, America chose to recognize Bicycle Day.

Seventh grader Hannah Propst questioned this day and said, “What do you do? Ride a bicycle around town?”

In the month of April alone, one hundred and thirty unofficial holidays are celebrated. A thirty day month contains three times the amount of holidays than days; holidays play a large role on Americans.

To view a paper version of this story, please see the attached PDF.