Monday is National Raspberries N’ Cream Day. Tuesday is National Frozen Custard Day, and Wednesday is National Rice Pudding Day. In fact, if you look at NationalDayCalendar.com, you’ll see that pretty much every day of the year celebrates some kind of food.
These “holidays” are seemingly popular, often trending on Twitter, and featured prominently in the media. They also give people a chance to indulge in something they might not eat normally, like National Onion Ring Day. They also offer a chance for companies and restaurants to promote their products.
But where did these uniquely American “holidays” come from?
A huge chunk of these days are purely the invention of an Alabama food writer named John-Bryan Hopkins, who told Time magazine that when his food popular site, Foodimentary.com launched in 2006, there were only 175 “holidays.”
“I filled in the rest,” he told the magazine.
Moreover, he said he regularly cancels the days and creates new ones.
They’re just like my little children,” Hopkins told Time. “I might wake up a little groggy one morning and decide that I don’t like what’s being celebrated that day. So I make it a new one.”
Some of his favorites include National Oreo Cookie Day (March 6), which he changed from National Frozen Food Day, and National Tater Tot Day (February 2).
Don’t see a day for your favorite food? Don’t fret. National Day Calendar, which lists all the various food and non-food related “holidays,” used to let anyone create their own day–for a price. However, the website says because of an overwhelming number of requests, it now is only accepting applications from businesses and other organizations.
If you’re discouraged that all of these national food holidays are fake, take heart. Many of them are rooted in history.
For example, National Beer Day (April 7), marks the end of the 1920 to 1933 prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. National Doughnut Day (June 1) was started by the Salvation Army charity in 1938 to commemorate women who served soldiers doughnuts during World War 1.
While popular for the most part, not everyone is a fan of these holidays.
“I get that some people might be excited by, say, National Doughnut Day. But you really can have a doughnut any day you want!” wrote Bethany Jean Clement, a food writer for the Seattle Times newspaper. “And as part of the food media, seeing the National This or That Food Day machine crank up over and over doesn’t make me want to tweet about anything at all.”
But Tavi Juarez, also of Foodimentary, thinks national food holidays are here to stay.
“In my humble opinion, I believe that food holidays will continue to grow in popularity online because there’s a lot of negativity out there,” she told the Seattle Times. “Why not choose to celebrate food instead?”