When every day is a holiday, there’s aways something to celebrate

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(Graphic by Katie Tamosiunas / The DePaulia)

There are already dozens of holidays to remember, whether it’s Mother’s Day (coming up on May 8) or Valentine’s Day. Other days, like National Siblings Day, seems to be celebrated nearly every week in homes all over the world.

Turns out, there are actually hundreds of more days to be celebrated  (and to accidentally forget) that the general population might be unaware of. These holidays, known as “National Days” range anywhere from something as simple as National Pancake Day to something as obscure as National Kitchen Klutzes of America day.

“It’s not that these days suddenly just appeared; they’ve been around for a long time,” DePaul marketing professor Jim Mourey said. “We just now have the different media that can portray these more easily.”

The recent awareness of these days has also led to companies using these days as free advertisement for their products through the use of social media. The appearance of National Days has also helped social media outlets like Facebook receive more attention because people love to talk about their favorite National Days over the internet, whether it’s by posting a status about it or posting a quick photo on Instagram.

“(National Days) help social networks by giving them a carrot to bait the users with,” Mourey said. “It gives them a conversation starter, whereas when a lot of people get on social media they don’t have anything interesting to say or insightful to talk about, maybe a cat picture to post. The new media allows these days to become more apparent and more salient than years ago.”

Cheesie’s, a local Chicago restaurant that offers specialty grilled cheese, is one example of a business banking on National Days. Cheesie’s has been using National Days to attract more customers to their restaurants by offering discounts on their original grilled cheese sandwich on April 12, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. According to their Facebook page, this is the third year that Cheesie’s has offered their special deal.

“I was working in the kitchen (on National Grilled Cheese) Day,” Spencer Evans, an employee of Cheesie’s on Belmont said. “We were slightly busier than usual and I noticed more people ordered the original than usual.”

National Days aren’t making a huge impact in marketing, probably because they are still relatively new. Much of the reason behind the recent public awareness of National Days was the creation of nationdaycalendar.com. The website, which started in 2013, has quickly become the authoritative source of all accredited National Days.

“(I created the website because) I just couldn’t find any real information about the National Days that were out there, and I just kind of had this idea that people wanted to know where these days came from and the history behind them and that type of thing,” Marlo Anderson, creator of the website, said.

Anderson had no idea how big the site would become. Originally he researched the history of each national day by himself as a hobby along with Jill Magnus, who he recruited to help with the writing of the site.

“We were kind of shocked when we had even 1,000 people (visiting) the first month who showed up,” Anderson said. “During the day today if we have less than 10,000 (visitors) we think there’s something wrong with the website, so it has grown a lot.”

Soon after its creation, the website became too much to handle for Anderson and Magnus.  Because of the numerous media requests and submissions for new days, he began working the site full-time and hired 10 more employees to write and research for the site. They soon created their official hashtag #CelebrateEveryDay and created a submission process to streamline their incoming requests.

Not every request submitted to Anderson’s website ends up becoming a National Day by their standards. Of the approximately 18,000 submissions per year the site received last year, only 30 ended joining the original 1,200 celebrated days on the calendar. One such day that has not made the cut yet is April 20, the marijuana holiday.

“We’re not going to put things on our site that are generally considered illegal,” Anderson said. “When (the legality of recreational marijuana) changes, or if it does change sometime in the future, we would put that in. We do recognize the month of April as being National Cannabis Awareness Month (because it is) based on a medical observance of pot.”

Anderson soon realized that companies were using his site to promote their products based on the National Days listed on his site, and he believes it is a good thing for both the promoters as well as the consumers.

“I think it’s kind of fun then that these places actually embrace these National Days,” Anderson said. “It’s also a big selling point. You’d think that on National Donut Day where donut places all around give away a free donut that it’d be a weak sales day for them, but it’s the exact opposite. You come in to pick up your free donut, but you pick up a dozen more to take back to the office and it actually becomes their biggest day of the year. It’s like Christmas for them.”

That would be Dec. 25.

Check out 12 of these strange National Days…

National Religious Freedom Day | Jan. 16

Whether you’re Jewish, Catholic, Scientologist or you believe the universe is a lifeless void with no higher power, be happy for your freedom and express those beliefs. Religious freedom is not found in every country in the world. Wars have been started over the issue, and many become martyrs of their religions for their perseverance in the face of adversity. Take time on Jan. 16 to thank your god, or lack-thereof, for your good fortune.

National Thank A Mailman Day  | Feb. 4

“Hey, you. With the mail. Thanks for bringing my cable bill this month. To hell with e-mail, taking away your jobs! Am I right?” When was the last time you took time to thank your mailman? Perhaps leave a thank you note in your mailbox come Feb. 4 next year. They’ll know what to do with it.

National Weed Appreciation Day | March 28

What? They have this not but not—oh, wait. Regular weeds. It sure was fun picking dandelions as a kid. Weeds have been widely panned by most gardeners, but some weeds are actually helpful. They have been used historically as a source of food and nutrients. Look for the good in weeds on March 28.

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(Photo courtesy of Paul Nasca / WIKIPEDIA)

National Lineman Appreciation Day | April 18

No, not football, although those linemen should be appreciated, too. Linemen from the electric company. Power lines running throughout the city help to power Chicago, and they need upkeep. You have linemen to thank for your phone being fully-charged every morning.

National Life Insurance Day | May 2

Life insurance has helped families grieve the loss of their loved ones for over 200 years. Today we must remember the great things life insurance has to offer. If you were to die today, you would leave your family with an abyss of grief, but your family can rest assured that you won’t be leaving their wallets lighter because of that college debt. Thanks, life insurance!

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(Photo courtesy of NYPHOTOGRAPHIC)

National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day | June 13

Some people just can’t figure out how to make delicious food like the celebrity chefs do without wearing the food rather than eating it. On June 13 remember to cover the blender with a lid and to use a hot pad when taking a burnt pizza out of the oven.

National Talk In An Elevator Day |July 29 

“Which floor are you going to? Eight? Okay. So, read any good books lately?” Take out your headphones for once on July 29 and have a conversation with someone. This day is designed to break that awkward silence on the way back up to your apartment or on the way to class.

National Grab Some Nuts Day | Aug. 3

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Grab Some Nuts Day has a much more innocent connotation. Make a trail mix of your favorite kind of nuts on Aug. 3, and get some protein.

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(Photo courtesy of BLUE DIAMOND GALLERY)

National One-Hit Wonder Day | Sept. 2

This is the day to remember all the great songs that jettisoned artists’ careers, only to crash land when no follow up came. Break out some Vanilla Ice, Chumbawamba and the Baha Men and rock out to their classic tune.

National Get Smart About Credit Day | Oct. 20

Remember, a credit limit is not $2,000 extra that must be spent every month. Make sure to limit what is paid for with credit. College kids already have enough debt as is without the added pressure of credit card debt. Figure it out.

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(Photo courtesy of Zack Middleton / Flickr)

National Pizza With The Works Except Anchovies Day | Nov. 12

“Hey you want to get a pizza with the works?” “Yeah, sure. That sounds good. WAIT, NO ANCHOVIES!” On Nov. 12 remember to eat a pizza with the works but without anchovies.

National Ding-A-Ling Day | Dec. 12

Got the holiday blues? Thinking of that special boy or girl you haven’t talked to in a while? On Dec. 12 call them up and reconnect like so many others do with the people they miss on Ding-A-Ling Day.