The third Saturday of October is celebrated as the Sweetest Day to show love and appreciation to the people who matter to you the most. It is also the perfect day to do some charity work or help out people in need.
Sweetest day is observed mainly in the Midwest, the Northeast, and Florida. On this day, people share gifts and cute gestures with their near and dear ones.
Initially, the day was intended to be a holiday where women treated their male partners to candy. Still, in recent years Sweetest Day has become more generalized, and everyone is invited to do something kind for others.
Sweetest Day is an observance and not a public holiday, which means that schools and businesses remain open.
The Origins of Sweetest Day
Sweetest Day originates from a different holiday called Candy Day. Candy Day was founded in 1916 by the National Confectioners' Association, which wanted Americans to shop for sweet treats in local bakeries, candy shops, and drugstores.
The day was to be commemorated on the second Saturday of October, and candy store owners around the country advertised their sweet treats in newspapers, designating Candy Day as "the Sweetest Day of the Year".
Just as the holiday was becoming popular, the United States joined the First World War in 1918, and with that, sugar became scarce and luxurious, so the holiday stopped being celebrated.
The holiday returned in 1921, now officially called the Sweetest Day, but as a day where people would give to others, especially those in most need.
Confectioners in Michigan, together with the Red Cross, distributed thousands of candy boxes to those who were most vulnerable, to make their day a little sweeter. Since then, this day has been an opportunity for people to share sweet gestures, and be nice to everyone around them.
The holiday took hold in states like Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, because it suits the mid-western tradition of caring for others and being nice to neighbors.
In the Midwest, Sweetest Day is still a day when women are supposed to treat their male partners to candy and other romantic gestures.
The Sweet Truth of Americans
Americans are renowned for their sweet tooth. According to research, 53.6% of men (20yrs or older) have at least one sugar-sweetened drink a day. Women (yrs or older) drink slightly less, but still, 45.1% have at least one sugar-sweetened drink per day.
One-quarter of Americans admit to having a piece of candy every day. However, Utah has the sweetest tooth of all the states, eating more than double the national average.
According to surveys, it is the number one favored gift on Valentine's Day, and over 90% of Americans agree that they will share candy or chocolate over Christmas.
So, it's clear that Americans do love that sweet food. However, Sweetest Day is not just about candy.
What to do on Sweetest Day
This day is all about treating those you care about with something sweet, be it candy or a nice gesture.
You can follow the day's tradition and buy candy, such as chocolates or love hearts, for those who are most important to you. However, join the sweetness with a good deed and bake something sweet for your sweethearts. Everyone loves a homemade treat, and you will surely surprise people and make them feel appreciated.
While baking something for your friends, family, or partner, you could remember those who are less fortunate. Perhaps you could contact a charity or shelter to find out whether they would also appreciate some baked goods!
If baking is not your strength, you can celebrate Sweetest Day by doing good deeds and nice things for the people you love. Visit them, take them out to lunch, call them, and tell them you love them... Sweetest Day is all about making other people's day sweeter.