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It's National S’mores Day: Why Do We Have So Many Weird Holidays?

Did you know Tuesday was National Lighthouse Day, and this Friday is National S’mores Day when people can celebrate the gooey, chocolatey campfire treat?

While there are only 10 federal holidays in the U.S., there are a number of days, weeks and months that are designated as holidays or sponsored events.

Chase’s Calendar of Events is a reference book chronicling and verifying more than twelve-thousand special events, holidays and historic anniversaries.  Chase’s has been around since 1957 but they weren’t always focused on special events. That task was once the purview of the U.S. government.

Specifically, the responsibility fell to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to publish a pamphlet called “Special Days, Weeks and Months” proclaiming such things as dairy month and national heart week. But the U.S. Government apparently had more important things to tackle, and in 1958 handed this assignment over to Chase’s Calendar of Events. The company makes sure not to call them holidays, instead calling them sponsored events. There's even a set of specific criteria.

But, as you can imagine, not all dates are serious and authoritative. There has to be an element of fun when designating National Ice Cream Day or International Picnic Day. Holly McGuire, senior editor at Chase's, said she and her team also look for that “it” factor among the submissions they receive.

So whether you’re a pirate, landlubber or looking for any old reason to celebrate, chances are there’s a day, week or month in Chase’s Calendar of Events for you.

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Marcus Charleston is an award-winning public radio producer and writer who joined KJZZ in May 2017. He has spent a large part of his career producing daily public affairs programming for the leading public broadcasters in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. His work has also been heard on the BBC, CBC and CBS Radio. In addition to his broadcast work, Charleston is a freelance writer. His articles have appeared in a number of magazines, including Men’s Health, Main Line Today, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Urbanite. A native of central New York, Charleston received his bachelor’s degree in communications/liberal arts and master’s degree in student personnel services from Rowan University in New Jersey. Prior to his career in journalism, he worked in higher education, retail management and factory work. His interests include health and fitness, travel and reading.