There are religious holidays. There are Hallmark holidays. And today there's an IHOP holiday.
It's National Pancake Day, which means it is your duty as a citizen of this great nation to stuff yourself full of flapjacks. Big burden, we know. But be brave and do your share.
Unlike many of our other great holidays, National Pancake Day does not commemorate a significant historical event, birth or battle. This one was created by execs from International House of Pancakes seven years ago and its signature feature (and the main reason we're so aware of it) is that it means FREE PANCAKES ALL DAY.
Perhaps that's why IHOP's website is returning an error message right now and reservations (yes, reservations) are suggested today at any of the restaurant's locations.
Everyone through the door by 10 p.m. tonight gets a free short stack -- in exchange the pancake pushers ask that you make a donation to a local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. The Los Angeles Timesreports that National Pancake Day has generated more than $5 million for the charity since the event's inception.
And IHOP comes out ahead in all this as well, since many syrup-stained diners aren't content with a mere short stack. The chain ends up turning a profit because of all the sides of eggs or bacon and orders of OJ and coffee that come hand-in-sticky-hand with all those pancakes.
But if you can't make it out to 'celebrate' in proper fashion (or just called IHOP and were informed there's an hour and-a-half wait) you can still take on your civic responsibility and get down to batter business in your own kitchen.