Gobstopper Day

Gobstoppers are a type of hard candy that’s commonly known as jawbreakers in the U.S. and named after the Everlasting Gobstoppers found in Roald Dahl’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” They range in size from 1 to 3 centimeters across, but there are some novelty ones that can be as large as 7-8 centimeters across.

What some people might not know is that the word “gob” in “gobstopper” is slang for “mouth” in Ireland and the U.K. That means that the word gobstopper literally means a stopper for the mouth. Just something for people to ponder while they’re observing the international holiday Gobstopper Day — a holiday that’s observed annually every September 14th.

The History of Gobstopper Day

During the mid-19th century, the word jawbreaker was introduced into the English language. However, it wasn’t a word to describe candy but was instead used to describe any word that was hard to pronounce. For example, people would say the word “antidisestablishmentarianism” is a “jawbreaker.”

It wouldn’t be used to describe candy until 1908 when Ferrara Pan moved from Italy to the United States and made a candy he called “jawbreakers.” This candy was made using almonds coated in sugar, but the word “jawbreaker” would also become associated with large balls of sugar that are hard for children to eat.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, these candies would become known as “gobstoppers.” Roald Dahl would borrow this slang term and use it to name his fictional candy “Everlasting Gobstoppers” in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which was published in 1964.

In 1976, Nestle would create the candy “Everlasting Gobstoppers” for their brand of candy sold under the Willy Wonka Candy Company brand. The history of Gobstopper Day is a little more elusive than the history of the jawbreaker, however.

No one really knows when this holiday was invented, although we do know that it’s been around for quite some time now. We do know that it comes a day after Roald Dahl Day, a holiday that celebrates his birth on September 13th, 1916. And that’s all that we know about the history of this holiday.

Observing Gobstopper Day

Grabbing a handful of gobstoppers on this day is the perfect way to observe this holiday. Of course, no one will be able to get through one jawbreaker, much less a handful of them on this day, but it’s the thought that counts. Caution should be exercised on this day, however.

As tasty as jawbreakers are, they can break teeth, and the citric acid in them can dissolve tooth enamel. We’re not saying avoid them completely; we’re just saying that candy lovers should exercise caution. And while they’re celebrating this holiday carefully, they can spread the word about it worldwide using the hashtag #GobstopperDay on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
September 14 Saturday
Next year (2025)
September 14 Sunday
Last year (2023)
September 14 Thursday
Food & Drinks