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Flag-post Calendar Dates: Too much of a good thing…?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Motivated by the recent alerts for Button Day and Look for circles Day, this week Annie interrogates our modern conduct of creating “honoured” days.

Calendars, planners and diaries today have the possibility to look quite different from their equivalents of 50 years ago, depending on the level of enthusiasm its creator withholds to mark days as “special” and adorn them with semi-transparent, greyed lettering that is.

Of course, there will always be the classic big holidays tattooed on to the pages: Christmas, Easter, bank holidays… You know, the really big stuff. And there always be a splattering of the more forgettable days dedicated to Saints and national tradition that are, for the most part, ignored and largely redundant within 21st century ‘cept maybe for a few fireworks. But potentially, and this is what I want to interrogate, there could be a whole host of other subtitled dates that a globalized contemporary society has ceremonially chosen to dedicate to a host of causes and collectives and curiosities.

I’m talking of contemporary fete days such as Disability Awareness, International Women’s Day, LGBT Equality Day and The International Day of Education. These days are fantastic opportunities to throw cases deserving of our attention into the limelight in an organised and consistent manner, tied as they are to our annual calendars. What’s more, technology’s nudge of calendar reminders, post and photo throwbacks means these hugely positive movements are ever growing as our own sense competitiveness encourages bigger and better targets each year.

But, as is the risk with so much, the initial well-intended custom of devoting a day to a certain social purpose seems to have gotten out of hand.

I must say I’m tentative to criticise any explosion of enthusiasm, but should causes such as World Environment Day and Mental Illness awareness be, on par, with triviality such National Pencil Day, Earmuff Day, Blueberry Muffin Day, and National Peking Duck Day? I promise you these are all real, and there’s more inconsequential days which have likely only been devised by some fanatic with too much time of their hands.

The fact that on paper, quite literally within our calendars and diaries, these causes are all equivalents is sinful.

Obviously, these novelty days don’t really receive the same degree of championing in execution. As far as I’m aware there aren’t annual defend the blueberry muffin rallies or pineapple on pizza hunger strikes, although who knows maybe the tradesmen support group do run annual protests on National Hug a Plumber day and turn out to chain themselves to the fences of their least appreciative and rudest customers.

But then, ultimately, I question the point of these trivial fete days. They are not just a superficial joke when, in their creation, they damage and dishonour the truly important causes for which having a dedicated day can be huge beneficial and a tool for promoting good.

On that point of dishonouring, I’d love it if companies could stop using flagship days as promotional tools for additional profit and instead go deeper and return to the fundamentals of why such days were coined: make pledges and hold themselves accountable. Realistically, I wholly expect to see these progressive directives broadcasted to develop a greater public image but at least then they’d be winning sales honestly from customers wanting to support quality practice.  

We need to stop in our tracks to combat flagship day overkill. To maintain the prestige of worthy days that champion present and pressing causes before it’s too late and they are lost in an unruly crowd. We need these days to never become insubstantial but be rooted, absolutely, in a genuine drive for progression.

The fashion for appointing days is teetering on the edge of cliché. This would harmfully discredit and undermine of gravity of major movements, and it cannot be allowed to happen.

Annie

Nottingham '23

Final year English undergraduate student, University of Nottingham