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2022-06-25 01:37:39 By : Ms. Pressure Gauge

Happy Superman Day! Oh, and happy National Red Rose Day.

Also, happy International Falafel Day and while we’re at it happy National Peanut Butter Cookie Day too.

If none of the above take your fancy never fear: Monday is both International Axe Throwing Day and National Sewing Machine Day and also kicks off Meet a Mate Week.

And if all of this is making you exhausted unfortunately there’s some bad news: National Sleep Day was on March 18. Sorry.

READ MORE: * Superman #1 comic sold for $3.8 million at auction * Recipe: Green Pea Falafel with Loaded Hummus * New roses of 2022

Although New Zealand’s official public holidays never seem to come fast enough, spanning the gaps in between are myriad days of celebration. Love teddy bears? Then October 28 is the day for you.

But while this might all look like just a bit of harmless fun, one expert says the mish-mash of pastimes and products claiming a place in our calendars are there for one thing only: our cash.

Brandon Wilcox says we’re not imagining it; there definitely is a day for everything and most have been created by shadowy corporate forces compelling us to spend.

The Evolve Marketing managing director says clever marketing is behind the majority of these days and points to Hallmark’s Valentine's Day as the ultimate example.

“You can guarantee that behind International Superman Day will be DC in some guise. World Chocolate Day? Somewhere lurking is Cadbury, Hershey or Nestle.”

When it comes to Clark Kent’s alter ego, Wilcox is bang on the money. Superman Day was started by DC Comics in 2013, two days before the release of the feature film Man of Steel. Back then, fans received a limited edition comic from book stores, something Wilson says is a typical marketing ploy of big companies.

“Independent retailers are often at the forefront of these celebratory days but lurking in the background is the market leader. When something happens that increases consumption across the board they get the biggest chunk.”

These things then take on a life of their own, he says, with retailers featuring special days to increase sales and manufacturers promoting events but at the core is marketing: “Pure capitalism at its finest.”

So are Kiwis falling for it? Yeah, nah.

Sharon Johnstone owns Wellington’s Creative Show Off Costume Hire and says nobody seems to want to dress up as the Man of Steel on any day, let alone this Sunday.

She currently has three Superman costumes in stock as well as a pretty solid theory about why they’re still on the shelves.

“Maybe it’s because he wears his undies on the outside of his pants.”

Although Johnstone has created a chest piece for would-be Supermen to wear instead of the onesies that pose a challenge for mere mortals on a night out, it’s more modern heroes like The Hulk that are in demand.

“Guys would rather dress up like Thor, it’s the undies thing, I’m sure of it.”

Superman Day might be a no-go for NZers, but Ali Dia is keen for International Falafel Day to take hold.

One of four brothers who own and run Wellington’s Alamir Bakery, Dia says the product absolutely deserves its very own day.

“It’s a food that’s been eaten for thousands of years; it’s traditional, healthy and delicious.”

While he’s well aware of International Falafel Day, it doesn’t seem to hold much sway with customers - as his business found out last year when it tried to promote the event: “Nobody seemed to care much.”

Despite that, the Middle Eastern staple has grown in popularity with NZers during the past 30 years, now commanding its own section in supermarkets. Dia’s family eats it at least once a week, and he’s got a tip for anyone partaking this Sunday.

“Fry it, eat a piece on its own then stick it in a wrap or salad with tahini sauce and heaps of mint. Just make sure it's from Alamir.”

Hayden Foulds admits he didn’t know about National Red Rose Day until he googled it after receiving an interview request from this writer.

“I think it's something that’s coming from America, most of these things do.”

The NZ Rose Society president says that even if NZers wanted to celebrate the day it’d be difficult as our roses aren’t currently blooming. Garden centres are just starting to stock up on bushes though, and it’s a great time to plant.

Fould says he’d be a keen supporter of a national day here; everyone loves roses and the red flowers are the ultimate expression of love.

“We’d just have to do it in mid to late November when they’re actually flowering.”

But while NZers appear to be resisting many of this Sunday’s consumer offerings, other days have become a part of the national psyche and are driven by much more altruistic motives.

Cure Kids CEO Frances Benge says that when NZers buy red noses every year they're directly funding research programmes to improve and save the lives of Aotearoa’s children.

“Red Nose Day is our biggest day of the year. We rely on it to bring in as much income as possible to fund the granting round for the following year.”

Beginning in 1989, the day and its original catchy song ‘You make the whole world smile’ were quickly adopted by NZers and although the charity has recently swapped foam noses for more environmentally friendly biodegradable and virtual proboscises, the event is still firmly embedded in NZ hearts.

The fundraiser usually brings in about $1 million for the charity though Covid hampered last year’s effort,which only bought in $675k.

“We are absolutely reliant on it; it would leave a big hole in our fundraising if we didn’t have it.”

And while we wait to don red noses on July 29, nestled among the myriad things we’re urged to buy on Sunday is a very important reason to celebrate the day.

June 12 marks the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision that abolished laws banning interracial marriage in the US.

The day takes its name from Mildred and Richard Loving, who were arrested in 1958 for being a married interracial couple living in Virginia. They pleaded guilty to charges of "cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth", and avoided jail time by leaving the state and agreeing not to return for 25 years.

The couple’s lawyers eventually argued laws against interracial marriage came from slavery laws, were intended to oppress black people and were based on white supremacy.

The pair won their case on June 12, 1976 and the court’s ruling also quashed the laws still in place in 16 states. The date is now marked around the world as a day to fight racism, increase awareness and celebrate diversity.