Confusion over... Pancakes?


(Originally posted February 28, 2012)

Confusion over pancakes? That’s right.  Today IHOP announced that February 28, 2012 was National Pancake Day.  However, upon doing a quick online search, one discovers that September 26, 2012 is this year’s annual pancake celebration. British and Canadian citizens celebrate Pancake Tuesday the day before Ash Wednesday, where mothers pile high their children’s plates with pancakes before the start of Lent.  So, what gives?

The breakfast chain has marked today as the day to serve up a free short stack of pancakes in order to raise money for the Children’s Network.  In lieu of a check, IHOP is encouraging their customers to leave a voluntary donation for the charity. Since 2006, the company holiday has raised nearly $8 million for a variety of charities.

In our household, we celebrated certain holidays: birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas… but never Pancake Day, National Sundae Day, Pencil Day or National Men Make Dinner Day (this is November 1, by the way, so mark your calendars, ladies!).  What determines a holiday versus a celebration or observance?

There are Federal Holidays, during which the Federal Government is closed and many offices follow suit.  They are religious/traditional holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, or days on which we remember key figures from history, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., President George Washington and Veterans Day.   These are considered holidays by most Americans.

Then we have observances, celebrations and events.  In order for an obscure holiday to gain traction and garner a listing on websites, it must have a legitimate website devoted to the celebration (not Facebook or a blog), be substantiated by facts or data and be listed in Chase’s, a publication my McGraw Hill Publishing, for which you must apply.

March brings Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month, Spiritual Wellness Month, National Sleep Awareness Month and my birthday.  And according to my records, one’s birthday is celebrated for 30 days.  Let the good times roll!