National Holidays Are a Materialistic Marketing Ploy

Emma Truchan, Features Editor

 Happy National Peanut Butter Day, National Compliment Day, and Beer Can Appreciation Day! According to the National Day Calendar, these are all national holidays that fall on January 24. Finally, the day has come where we can all come together to celebrate peanut butter. This number of nationally observed days is quite common, with at least one kind of observance for every day of the year ( But what’s the point in celebrating things that are so ordinary? The excessive amount of “national days” is a cheap excuse for corporations to promote their products, and waters down the significance of days that should be recognized on this level.

   According to the Congressional Research Service, this practice is supposed to “[recognize]… a specific day, week, or month that commemorates a specific individual, group, or event” ( In theory, this is quite harmless; celebration and commemoration are positive things, not to be berated. Federally recognized holidays such as Veterans Day and Martin Luther King Day honor historically important events, and deserve the national recognition of a true holiday. But with approximately 1,500 “micro-holidays” being observed in a year, the significance of each day is diminished ( With this extreme quantity of “commemorative” days, it’s simply impossible to expect all of these days to have any importance to the average person.

   The number of “National Something Days” we have is indeed excessive. But the sheer number of them is not the primary issue. Most of these days are simply used by big-box companies as public relations strategies. According to the Atlantic, “…many such days are used — or were even specifically invented — to coax people to talk about products and services” ( For example, Cold Stone offers a deal for National Ice Cream Day where “rewards members” can buy one ice cream and get one free ( National Ice Cream Day was born from a 1984 proclamation made by President Ronald Reagan to observe the event with “appropriate ceremonies and activities,” according to the International Dairy Foods Association ( On the same page, the association encourages American consumers to “celebrate” this day by purchasing dairy products.

   This practice is common among many other major companies as well, with deals from Del Taco on National Taco Day, Subway on National Sandwich Day, and Peet’s Coffee on National Coffee Day ( Furthermore, companies utilize the vast reach of social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to reach the masses in acts of shameless self-promotion on these “days of commemoration.” This transforms “micro-holidays” from silly events to celebrate pointless things to mediums for companies to take advantage of consumers more than they already do. Because what else would one do on National Coffee Day than buy a cup of coffee?

    So how is this fair to the average American consumer? Companies simply use “micro-holidays” as an excuse for self-promotion and marketing, exploiting what little enthusiasm Americans have left for them. Junior Aida Soltanian stated that to even the average person, these national days seem like just a way for businesses to promote their products and exploit the celebratory spirit generally associated with holidays.

   The seemingly countless amounts of national days are pointless and their quantity reduces the significance of days that truly hold meaning. Furthermore, these holidays don’t promote genuine celebration, they promote materialistic consumerism.