Until recently, occasions tended to be confined to religious festivals, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and weddings, but with the advent of social media and fan forums, thousands of newer occasions – from Star Wars Day to Ed Balls Day – have started to develop their own history and heritage.
So-called ‘newcasions’ in May alone number in the hundreds according to analysis by Clintons, the leading national card and gift retailer. Celebratory months, weeks and days commemorated in May include Drum Month, Golf Month, International Audit Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, National Smile Month, National Vinegar Month, World Tuna Day, Paranormal Day, Star Wars Day, International Respect for Chickens Day, Revenge of the Fifth (Star Wars Sith), World Naked Gardening Day, World Laughter Day, Root Canal Appreciation Day, World Belly Dance Day, Crouton Day and Houmous Day.
This expansion in commemorative and celebratory days driven by social media is leading to changes in the offering at Clintons. Now a fixture in the sci fi fans’ calendar for its punning association with Star Wars, has led to an expanded range of Star Wars merchandise on sale at Clintons.
Nicola Miller, head of cards at Clintons, said:“Traditional occasions are always extremely popular, and our Christmas card range alone extends to more than 1,000 different cards. What we’re also seeing, though, is strong sales in blank cards, matched with higher levels of browsing time in the blank cards section as customers look for an appropriate card. We’re closely monitoring hashtags on Twitter to get a sense of the moments and offbeat occasions that people are choosing to celebrate. It makes perfect sense for us to think about the possibility of cards and gifts to reflect this enthusiasm and that’s why, as a trial, we are ramping up our stocks of Star Wars merchandise in anticipation of May the Fourth.