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Historical & Current Events dictionary

Sweetest Day

[ swee-tist dey ]

What is Sweetest Day?

Sweetest Day is an informal holiday in celebration of friendship, love, and kindness—and giving candy to loved ones and friends.

It is somewhat similar to—but much less well-known than—Valentine’s Day. The focus of Sweetest Day is broader, extending beyond the romantic relationships that have traditionally been the primary focus of Valentine’s Day.

(Some interpret Sweetest Day as being a day to give sweets and gifts to boyfriends and husbands since they consider Valentine’s Day to be traditionally focused on women as the recipients of such things).

Due to the role of candy manufacturers in the creation, popularization, and promotion of the day (more on that in the next section), it is sometimes criticized as an “artificial” holiday (such holidays are sometimes referred to as Hallmark holidays in reference to the greeting card company Hallmark and its promotion of lesser-known holidays to sell cards).

Sweetest Day is primarily celebrated in the Midwest region of the US, but is also observed in other areas.

When is Sweetest Day?

Sweetest Day is observed each year on the third Saturday in October.

In 2021, Sweetest Day will take place on October 16. In 2022, Sweetest Day will take place on October 15.

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Related words

Hallmark holiday, 🍬 Candy emoji, 💐 Bouquet emoji, Valentine’s Day emoji

Where does Sweetest Day come from?

In 1916, the National Confectioners Association in the US declared that the second Saturday in October would be called Candy Day, and encouraged candy sellers to publicize the idea of buying friends and family candy as a way to promote love and friendship. (The campaign is thought to have been motivated by the decline in candy sales that happened during this season before the popularization of candy and trick-or-treating as major aspects of Halloween.)

In 1921, a publicity campaign was launched in Cleveland that involved distributing candy to children in orphanages and to older women. This event was later linked to a legend about the purported “origin” of the holiday involving a candy company worker named Herbert Birch Kingston who was said to have invented the holiday by distributing candy as an act of kindness. It was around this time that the name was changed to Sweetest Day.

Examples of Sweetest Day

So who decided sweetest day was for the men???
@LittleLexxxxx, September 27, 2021
sweetest day coming up !
@itsadiamond_, September 28, 2021
Despite the fact that Sweetest Day started as a way to hawk candy to the downtrodden, it's now just another Valentine's Day for many people.
Stacy Conradt, Mental Floss, October 20, 2018
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Who uses Sweetest Day?

Did you know … ?

  • Sweetest Day is not limited to candy. People who observe the day often give other sweet treats, such as baked goods.

What are other words used in discussion of Sweetest Day?

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National Native American Heritage Month, NaNoWriMo, ♏ Scorpio emoji, pick six, meme coin

Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of Sweetest Day like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Sweetest Day that will help our users expand their word mastery.