Monday, September 29, 2008

October 18th: The Sweetest Day

When Mr. Pineapple and I first started talking about possible wedding dates our first thought was sometime in October. We were looking at venues more than a year in advance were surprised by how limited the available dates were, especially here in somewhat sleepy western, PA. Our goal date was October 25th, simply because it was a nice simple number. When we decided we to get married at The Rivers Club, October 25th was booked by a bar mitzvah so October 18th became our new future wedding anniversary.

I immediately added "Wedding!!!" to my calendar and discovered that October 18th was noted as "Sweetest Day." I thought "Well, that's cute, but what the heck is Sweetest Day?" So, I turned to the knower of all things, the internet.

So, what is Sweetest Day? Celebrated on the third Saturday of every October, it is pretty much Valentine's Day to celebrate people you just kind of like a lot in addition to those you love. It is described by Retail Confectioners International as an "occasion which offers all of us an opportunity to remember not only the sick, aged and orphaned, but also friends, relatives and associates whose helpfulness and kindness we have enjoyed."

You know how a lot of people say Valentine's Day was just invented by greeting card and candy makers to drum up business? There are two stories that describe the origin of Sweetest Day. One story is that it originated as an act of philanthropy by a candy company employee named Herbert Birch Kingston who wanted to give gifts to the forgotten such as orphans and shut-ins. The other story is that it really was invented by candy makers.

The first mention of The Sweetest Day can be found in the October 8th, 1921 edition of the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer. The paper says that the holiday was planned by a committee of 12 candy makers. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to "newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor."

The Sweetest Day never really caught on like the candy makers had hoped. It is still celebrated by a few cities in the U.S. such as Cleveland, Buffalo, and Detroit. Pittsburgh is nestled amongst these cities, so I was surprised that I had never heard of the holiday before.

The Romantic

Are you sharing your wedding day with another holiday?

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