Sweetest Day

The Sweetest Day is a holiday celebrated in several parts of the United States, particularly in the Midwest and the Northeastern portion of the country. It is a day on which couples are supposed to give each other candy and perform romantic acts for one another, although it originated as a holiday with more philanthropic roots.

While some people celebrate this holiday faithfully, it is often criticized by others as a holiday that was merely created by the candy industry to increase the sale of candy and other sugary confections. This holiday is traditionally celebrated on the third Saturday in October.

History of The Sweetest Day

The Sweetest Day began in Cleveland, Ohio, during the month of October in 1922. It was started by philanthropist Herbert Birch Kingston as a way to do something nice for the less fortunate.

During this year, he passed out candy and gifts to orphans, the elderly, and the disabled. During the 1930s, movie stars such as Theda Bara and Ann Pennington distributed candy through newspaper boys and to patients in Cleveland hospitals.

Several candy manufacturers attempted to nationalize this holiday in some areas, but it never really caught on nationally. However, it did catch on in several states, including Indiana, parts of Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It is celebrated by some people in Missouri, but not on a widespread basis.

While it was spreading across the country, though, it began to undergo somewhat of a metamorphosis. While originally started as a way to do something nice for the less fortunate, it ended up turning into a holiday in which couples give each other candy and act romantically towards each other.

The Sweetest Day Customs & Celebrations

Giving greeting cards is one way to celebrate this holiday. Hallmark began making The Sweetest Day cards during the 1960s, and now they offer more than 70 different varieties for people to give to their loved ones.

Another way to celebrate this holiday is to give sweets to your spouse or significant other. For those who want to honor the original intent of the holiday, sweets and toys can also be handed out to those in need.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Observance) - 13 states
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 19 Saturday
Next year (2025)
October 18 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 21 Saturday