CLEVELAND – It might be a greeting card holiday and one that’s only recognized in the Midwest, but the third Saturday of October is Sweetest Day.
While often considered a romantic holiday, like a second Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day was started as a way to remember those who feel forgotten.
In 1922, an employee at a Cleveland candy store, Birch Kingston, decided to share some sweets with orphans and elderly confined to their homes, Hallmark said. After that, other Cleveland candy makers followed suit, handing out thousands of boxes of candy to area charities. American Greetings said they called it “The Sweet Day of the Year.”
According to Hallmark, movie stars started in the celebrations during the 1930s, by passing out treats to paper boys, hospital patients and theater-goers in Cleveland.
Even after decades of bringing people cheer, the holiday is mostly observed in the states around the Great Lakes, like Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.
A survey by American Greetings found that 44 percent of people believe Sweetest Day was thought-up by card companies to mimic Valentine’s Day.