What Is Sweetest Day? 6 Fun Facts About The Obscure Holiday

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what is sweetest day
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It's literally sweet.

We all look forward to celebrating those obscure holidays, whether it’s Nutella Day, Grilled Cheese Day, or No Pants Day. And don’t forget about National Wine Day and National Best Friends Day, two of the best holidays for having fun and spending time with your closest friends.

But there’s another holiday that’s completely underrated. Yes, you can have sweets any other day of the year, but this one fuels our sweet tooth. We’re talking about none other than Sweetest Day.


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What is Sweetest Day? One thing is for sure: it’s a great rival to Valentine’s Day! Before you celebrate this year on October 20th, here are a few things you should know about this holiday, where it began, and how people celebrate it today.

1. It originated in the Midwest.

Before the Great Depression, in 1922, a candy company employee named Herbert Birch Kingston gave away candy to people he felt were forgotten, such as the underprivileged and orphans. Everyone deserves some appreciation, right? Thanks to Kingston, Sweetest Day is now celebrated on the third Saturday in October.

2. Some claim it was a ploy created by candy companies.

via GIPHY

According to a October 1921 article published in a local Ohio newspaper, The Plain Dealer, “Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners, who distributed 19,500 boxes of candy to newsboys, homeless people, orphans and others who had fallen on hard times in Cleveland. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee was assisted in the distribution of candy by some of the biggest movie stars of the day including Theda Bara and Anne Pennington.”

It should also be noted that the American Greeting Card Company is based in Ohio and made Sweetest Day cards in the 1930s. Hallmark also started making Sweetest Day cards in the 1960s, making us question the real motivation behind this holiday.


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3. The origins have been disputed.

A 2010 article in The Atlantic claimed that Sweetest Day was originally “Candy Day” and started in 1916. Kingston was actually an advertiser and started the holiday with the sole purpose of selling candy. Well, as long as we get to eat candy, right?

4. It’s much different than Valentine’s Day.

Where Valentine’s Day is when you give gifts to your sweetheart, Sweetest Day is a holiday to celebrate everyone in your life who is close to you. You can do this by giving candy, of course, but also cards, chocolate, or flowers.

5. It’s mainly celebrated in the Midwest.

via GIPHY

Only 11 states celebrate the holiday, but parts of upstate New York and Pennsylvania are known to take part. Hopefully, it will spread across the entire nation! We’re sure dentists would appreciate it.

6. Ohio buys the most Sweetest Day gifts.

Shocking, right? Since the holiday was created in Ohio it’s no wonder that their cards and sweets sales are higher than the other states that celebrate.


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Samantha Maffucci is an associate editor for YourTango. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.

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