October 21 is Count Your Buttons Day. As far as made-up holidays go, this one is a head scratcher.
It is unclear what the unknown creators of this unofficial holiday aimed to do. Maybe they wanted people to count the buttons in their button stash or count the number of buttons on their shirt? Or perhaps they hoped that people spent the day counting buttons on the electrical appliances they come across on this day?
Decorative and Practical
Buttons have been part of human fashion since antiquity. Until the 13th century, however, buttons were used mostly for decoration and as jewelry and were made out of sea shells, bones and ivory. Buttons as a way to attach two pieces of fabric together came about in Europe in the 1200s - the first button maker's guild was formed in 1250 in France.
In the late 1800s, buttons became a way to proclaim one's political loyalty - a trend that is still going strong in the United States. The first political button was issued at the inauguration of President George Washington in 1789. Today, buttons with candidates faces and logos are worn by supporters during elections.
How to Celebrate?
Start a button collection. There are many different types of buttons and some vintage buttons are actually priceless.
Count all the buttons in your sewing kit.
Why not celebrate the day by making sweet treats that look like buttons?
Did You Know…
…that Charles Dickens wrote an article in 1852 on the art and science of button making, titled What there is in a button.