To put it simply, Sweetest Day every October 17, is a day to be sweet by sharing a kind thought, a small gift or a gesture of kindness. It’s a day to give a card with a sweet message to someone you appreciate. Little gifts of candy and other sweets are shared, as well.
Sometimes you just need a sweet, and Valentine ’s Day only comes once a year. What’s a body to do? Well, you celebrate the Sweetest Day of course! Like Valentine’s day, this day is known for its distribution of sweets in heart-shaped boxes, and a recognition of the love of candy.
History of Sweetest Day
On October 8, 1921, Cleveland Confectioners came together to create a new day to celebrate the people’s love of candy and each other. On the first celebration of this day 20,000 boxes of candy were distributed throughout the city, everyone from newsboys, old folks, the poor, and orphans were gifted with delicious treats to help make it the “Sweetest Day” of the year for them.
From there, the idea spread through big cities like New York and Detroit, expanding in popularity and importance as the years went on. In the early years, Sweetest Day was fundamentally a commercial operation. The idea was to try to get as many people to enjoy sweets and associate them with specific times of the year geared towards celebrations. In 1922, for instance, candy manufacturers took the idea of Sweetness Day forward in New York City, hoping to drum up interest in their confectionery products.
Just a few years later, in 1927, the New York Times decreed that there would be a Sweetest Week. A decade later, the same newspaper announced that representatives from the industry were trying to get Sweetest Day to rank alongside other significant events in the calendar, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
Through various promotions, Sweetest Day has gone on to become a popular choice for charity drives, including by organizations like the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, starting as early as October 17, 1940.
For some, the original intention of the manufacturers paid off significantly. Sweetest Day didn’t replace some of the big events in the calendar, but it did become associated with them. Now the vast majority of people think of confectionery alongside popular dates, such as Valentine’s Day. Many cities host their own Sweetest Day, especially if they play host to a candy manufacturer.
At root, though, Sweetest Day isn’t just about consuming as many chocolates as you can. Instead, it is about love. The original developers of the concept took it upon themselves to distribute candy to the neediest in society. And this spirit of giving remains. People traditionally celebrate the day by eating confectionery and sharing it with the people they love to show that they care. Romantic couples often use the event as an excuse to indulge in a little gift-giving.
You should note, however, that Sweetest Day and Valentine’s Day are not the same things. The former is about sharing love with everyone in your life, while the latter is solely about focusing on your romantic partner.
How to celebrate Sweetest Day
The simplest way to celebrate Sweetest Day is to indulge your sweet-tooth and buy your favorite treat. An even better idea is to share it with someone who loves it as much as you do! Bring in a box of treats for your co-workers, or surprise your sweetie with their favorite sugary indulgence.
If you’re feeling truly ambitious, you can coordinate with a local charity to help do a sweets drive to generate money for them. Candy is always a popular item for charity drives, and if you contact the creator of these confectionary delights, you can probably get them at a heavily discounted price for use in charity drives.
Another idea is to send out Sweetest Day cards. Currently, several popular card sellers offer themed cards for the day, allowing you to write messages to people you care about and remind them of the event. You might even want to design and create your own chocolates at home with a unique theme. Making unique and interesting flavors is a lot of fun.
Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to sending candy on Sweetest Day. Other sweet treats are allowed too. Yes, confectioners originally invented the day to promote their commercial chocolates and sweets. But it has since become a different animal, with regular people sharing anything that might be considered sweet. Cupcakes, cookies, and even pastries are all permitted under the rules. Celebrating Sweetest Day can be a creative experience.
Because the original purpose of Sweetest Day was charitable, you might think about using the day to give something back. In the past, philanthropists wanted to ensure that vulnerable individuals in the local community had enjoyment in their lives. Candy was an expression of that impulse, but it is by no means the only way to do so. For you, Sweetest Day could involve providing food to the needy and vulnerable, or offering money to charities who take care of them in your city.
Finally, you can just buy candy and distribute it like a reverse Halloween, handing out candy to friends, co-workers, and random people on the street to remind them to have the Sweetest Day of the year.
Now, doesn’t that sound like fun?
History of Sweetest Day
Sweetest Day hails from all the way back in 1922 when a dozen of Cleveland’s candy companies banded together to make the day a little sweeter for some of the city’s most vulnerable people. they distributed more than 20,000 boxes of candy to “newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor.”
The idea caught on with movie celebrities during the early days of the talkies. Starlets like Theda Bara, who was known as a “bad girl” of film, was often seen distributing candy to people attending movies or plays as well as giving treats to patients in hospitals.
Eventually, the idea of Sweetest Day as a vehicle for promoting smiles and good vibes took solid root in the country’s mid-section. Areas like Michigan, Indiana and Ohio really fused the meaning of the day with good, old-fashioned mid-western values like honesty and caring for your neighbors.
Sweetest Day is now almost synonymous with Valentine’s Day. Folks give flowers, small gifts, love trinkets and, of course, candy to those they care about most. But Sweetest Day, also has that added emphasis on helping those in need with material gifts as well as giving moral support to those who may not have the easiest lives. Every little bit helps and it’s something to remember on one of our Sweetest Days.