As I hope you are aware, Friday, June 3 was National Donut Day. It’s a day to eat donuts, but National Donut Day was originally established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. The holiday is traditionally celebrated on the first Friday of June.
Almost every single day of the year is set aside to officially commemorate a food or food product, but most of them don’t have the history behind them that National Donut Day does. Gingersnap Cookie Day, Raspberry Cake Day, Lasagna Day, Fresh Spinach Day – they just haven’t picked up the national traction that donut day has, helped no doubt by people like us who do public relations for the big donut brands, and the added impact of an actual creation story.
How did Vanilla Ice Cream earn it’s own day? It’s pretty bland- does it deserve a day? Can any random food have a day, or do they have to show some outstanding qualities? Are there background checks involved before they are honored? Do foods ever share days? Are sweet holidays more prevalent than vegetable holidays? Do we really need an Eat Beans Day AND a Beans ‘N Franks Day? (They’re only 10 days apart, too.) The real story of how they are chosen is more bureaucratic than imaginative.
According to The Nibble: the President of the United States has the authority to declare a commemorative event or day by proclamation. Fewer than 150 are granted in an average year across all categories. While you may think the president has more important things to do, you may have noticed that while President Bartlet was solving world crises on “The West Wing,” he was also being asked to sign proclamations to authorize National Pomegranate Month and such. Petitions are introduced by constituents, trade associations or public relations firms to honor industries, events, professions, hobbies, etc. The Senate issue commemorative resolutions which do not have the force of law. Some state legislatures and governors proclaim special observance days, as do mayors of cities, which is why there can be a National Chocolate Day and a National Chocolate Month, as well as two National Guacamole Days—authorized at different levels of government. After the observance day has been authorized, it is up to the petitioner to promote it to the public. Read more at: http://www.thenibble.com/fun/more/facts/food-holidays.asp
They’re obviously fun for those of us in PR and marketing to promote, and social media content creators seems to especially enjoys a reason to write silly stories designed to send people to eat Brussel sprouts or corny dogs. So, if you represent a food product that isn’t already on the list, get busy and make that happen!
Lisa Faulkner-Dunne handles publicity for Dunkin’ Donuts for Dallas / Fort Worth. She thinks that National Donut Day is superior to all other food holidays.