Sweetest Day 2017 Box of Chocolates
Photo: iStock

You might have never heard of this often-ignored holiday, but after you read this you’re going to want to celebrate Sweetest Day 2017. Put simply: It’s just too sweet of a holiday to ignore.


Sure, plenty of skeptics point to Sweetest Day as one of the prime examples of the card and candy companies creating celebration in order to boost sales — they may be right. But, then again, they’re skeptics. Who doesn’t like getting a card, chocolates or candy, or, heck, even just a heartfelt expression of love and care on a random Saturday? Yeah, we thought so.


So, what is Sweetest Day?

Sweetest Day is largely a Midwestern holiday in the United States, although some areas of the Northeast also mark the occasion. Ten states are widely cited as celebrating the holiday, though prevalence depends on the area of each of the states. Those states are Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Washington. The holiday is also celebrated to some degree in part of both New York and Pennsylvania.


The holiday is known as a day for doing something romantic for the person you love. It’s essentially the Valentine’s Day (if you’re looking at how we celebrate that holiday in modern time) of the fall. Not all celebrations are romantically connected, though. Some who mark the day use it as an occasion to brighten someone else’s day through a small act of kindness, like a kind word or a tiny sweet treat.


When did Sweetest Day start?

Sweetest Day 2017 is far removed from this, but yes, Sweetest Day was in fact started in at least some cities by candy companies. The first celebration of Sweetest Day is said to have happened in Cleveland, Ohio on October 10, 1921. The event was planned by a committee of candy makers, lead by C. C. Hartzell, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s which documented the first Sweetest Day in the city in its October 8, 1922 edition.

But don’t let that color your view of the celebration. After all, small acts of kindness don’t require anything store bought. A handmade card and a freshly baked homemade cookie might just mean more than a store-bought card and some chocolate, anyway.

Who is Sweetest Day for? And, is Sweetest Day for guys?

It’s easy to ask, “Who is Sweetest Day for?” if you’re unfamiliar with the holiday. Like Valentine’s Day, it has a reputation for being a celebration that focuses on men giving their significant others gifts or cards, but that needn’t hold true in practice. If the man in your life would appreciate a sweet sentiment or a tiny treat, they should absolutely be given a small gift in celebration of the holiday as well.

As mentioned above, some regions recognize the holiday as one in which the power of a small act of kindness is recognized. That means there’s no reason to exclude anyone. Grab a bag of snack-sized Halloween candies and hand them out to everyone you know — heck, even strangers — to make everyone’s day a smidge sweeter. The holiday is what you make of it.

When is Sweetest Day this year? What's the date of Sweetest Day 2017?

Sweetest Day 2017 falls on Sunday, October 21, so you have plenty of time to put some thought into your gift giving. The holiday is always celebrated on the third Saturday of October.