National Bubble Wrap Day? Who Is Making Up These Weird Holidays?

By: Carrie Dennis  | 
woman popping bubble wrap
"Holidays" like National Bubble Wrap day are becoming more common. But who's creating them and how? RealPeopleStudio/Shutterstock

Surely you've logged on to social media and noticed a "day" is trending. Maybe it was National Bubble Wrap Day. Or something better like National Donut Day or National Pi Day. Or maybe it's a day even more bizarre like National Hairball Awareness Day. Who came up with that?

These increasingly prolific (and often silly) promotions fall on every day of the year. So what is up with all of these "national" days?


National Days Are Good for Branding and Trending

Brands like to advertise around national days. For instance, you might see free french fries on National French Fry Day or discounted lattes on National Coffee Day.

And as we already mentioned, some of these days inevitably trend on social media. Star Wars Day— or May 4 — almost always trends around the hashtag #MayThe4thBeWithYou.


But these holidays aren't just about marketing. They also inspire joy, mockery and celebration, too. Who doesn't want to channel their best Jack Sparrow on International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Two maties created it as a joke in 1995, but it still sets off pirate talk all over the globe.

Are National Days Sanctioned Holidays?

As much as we wish National Puppy Day was a sanctioned federal holiday, sadly it's not. It was started by a woman who just wanted to bring awareness to all the homeless dogs in shelters. And none of the other "national days" are official U.S. government holidays either. There are only 11 of those.

Though, we must give credit where credit is due: Ronald Reagan was behind National Ice Cream Day in 1984, which ended up being a boon for the dairy industry.


How Do You Create a "National" Day?

President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan
In 1984, the late President Ronald Reagan, seen here in the late 1960s with Nancy, designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

There are several avenues for creating a holiday that people widely accept and salute. Many websites and books profess to be the original and most authoritative source for national days, including "Chase's Calendar of Events." It was first published in 1957 and collated all the various holidays into one gigantic encyclopedia annually. You can submit your entry on the website.

The National Day Calendar, which just celebrated its 10-year-anniversary Jan. 19, 2023, first started as a blog by Marlo Anderson of Mandan, North Dakota. The team has a form for people to submit suggestions for "a special day that they would like to be recognized annually" on the website. There's a caveat, though. The current backlog is so huge, they're only taking requests from companies and organizations.


In a similar vein, catalogs existing national days and says it's always looking for new holidays that aren't already established. It also will create custom holidays on behalf of companies or organizations via its "calendar-based marketing" packages. But again, there's a catch. These packages aren't free and start at $5,000.

If you don't have a brand to promote (or $5,000!) and you simply have a fun idea that you think will resonate, you can also always petition elected officials to declare a holiday in your interest. That's what Starr Valentino did when he created National Do Something Good for Your Neighbor Day in 2009.

There's nothing to stop you from making up your own holiday. You just have to know how to market it.