National Talk Like a Pirate Day. National Donut Day. National Avocado Day. National Fruitcake Toss Day. National Napping Day, Pie Day, Puppy Day—where does it end? How do days like these get started? And how do you start a national day for your favorite activity?
True national days require a presidential proclamation or an Act of Congress. Probably not happening if you’re going for “Bead a Bracelet Day” or “Wear Sweats to Class Day.”
But getting a special day on a calendar somewhere and talking it up on social media isn’t really that hard. There are several online calendar-type sites that allow you to fill out an application and some information about the day you want, what you want to call it, and why the calendar site should declare your day on its calendar. The granddaddy of them is Chase’s Calendar of Events. Applying to Chase’s is how the Dull Men’s Club got not one, but two days of the year declared National Fill Our Staplers Day.
Other sites where you can apply for a national day include National Day Calendar and National Day Archives. Chase’s and National Day Archives charge application fees, while the National Day Calendar appears to rely on advertising revenue. If your up for it and want to go for an application for your National Day of Whatever, there’s a few things you should do first:
- Pick a day and check the competition: Which day of the calendar do you want, and why? How many other “National Days” are already claiming that day? If you want attention for an organization, a product, or an activity, go for a less crowded day.
- Decide how you’ll encourage people to recognize it: on National Talk Like A Pirate Day, people go around saying “Arrrrrrrr.” National Donut Day means adding some dough with sugar, sprinkles, or icing to your morning. What should people do to celebrate your day?
- If you get your day, build social media awareness and a website. If you’re serious about getting attention for your day, either for a good cause or just for fun, you’ll want to give people more information about your day and get them talking about it.
- If you succeed in getting media attention, you can submit your day to another site, National Today, if it meets their criteria. Their site is a listing of holidays that many people celebrate globally.
Now that you know how to start a national day, make sure that whatever you want to celebrate, it’s legal, reasonably family friendly, and that you’re prepared for unanticipated Tweetstorms or other blowback. Keep it light and fun, and maybe you’ll get your fifteen minutes of fame out of “National Whatever Day.” Whatever.