Article related image

How do you start a new holiday?

New "holidays" are made all the time. One day you'll be watching the news and find out that it's National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (January 27 for anyone who wants to celebrate). If you have an idea for a celebration or even a more somber event, you can craft your very own official holiday. Here's how.

Follow the DJ

Celebratory group of people cheering and throwing confetti in the air
Credit: G-Stock Studio/ Shutterstock

Pennsylvania radio jockey Thomas Roy has created and trademarked over 90 holidays. He originally started making them as a joke for his listeners. Once he realized how easy it is to make them official, he started submitting them for national observation.

Roy’s first official holiday is called Northern Hemisphere Hoodie-Hoo Day, which was designed to fight cabin fever in the winter. On February 20, everyone is supposed to go outside, preferably somewhere public, and wave their hands in the air while shouting “Hoodie-Hoo.”

Support a business or cause

Adult and child hands holding a pink ribbon, signifying breast cancer awareness
Credit: SewCream/ Shutterstock

You can also support a business or important cause. Unlike National Get Funky Day (October 5), Small Business Saturday is a well-known holiday designed to support local businesses that takes place on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The holiday was invented by American Express and became so successful that it has even been adopted in the UK.

If there’s a cause you believe needs some extra attention, creating a holiday can be an effective way to push the issue into the public eye. There are dozens of national holidays designed around raising awareness.

Build a following

People on iPads and laptops sitting at table
Credit: Pressmaster/ Shutterstock

While many of these holidays can be ridiculous, there are some standards. The holiday has to have some sort of following in order to be legitimized. The easiest way to start building a following is to create a website for your holiday. Go into detail about the holiday, why it’s important, and, most importantly, how to celebrate it. Having a website is required to submit a holiday for national recognition.

Getting others to celebrate your holiday is always a good way to get a tradition started. You never know where your holiday might end up. A few years after Thomas Roy invented Eat What You Want Day (May 11), Entenmann’s bakery actually paid him to use the holiday in a marketing campaign and helped to enforce its legitimacy.

Submit your holiday

Up close view of monthly calendar with blue pushpin marking a day
Credit: Tama2u/ Shutterstock

Once you have your idea and a decent following of loyal celebrators, you can officially submit your holiday for national observation. There are a few websites that accept submissions, but the most popular choice is Chase’s Calendar of Events. Just follow the submission guidelines and your holiday will be considered. All applications need to be in by April if you want to celebrate officially in the next calendar year.

A few months after your submission, you’ll receive an email about whether or not your holiday was accepted to the official calendar. After that, pay attention to the calendar and enjoy what you’ve accomplished.

Celebrate anyway

Group of people celebrating, standing in a circle and lighting sparklers at night
Credit: simona pilolla 2/ Shutterstock

If you submit your holiday and get approved, congratulations! You made a national holiday. If your holiday idea gets rejected, the only thing to do is to observe Sorry Charlie Day (April 6) and enjoy your holiday anyway. Even if it’s not nationally recognized, it’s important to you, and starting a fun tradition with your family and friends doesn’t require official status.

You Might Be Interested In