November 12th

National Happy Hour Day -

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Every year on the 12th of November, National Happy Hour Day graces our calendars. This day pays homage to the widely cherished custom of happy hour - a scheduled period where bars and restaurants reduce their prices on drinks and appetizers. National Happy Hour Day not only provides an insight into the history of this beloved practice but it also invites everyone to relax, engage in delightful conversations, indulge in scrumptious nibbles, and raise their glasses to celebrate joyous moments.

As we gear up to commemorate this day, let’s delve into the genesis of happy hour and seek different ways to amplify our happy hour experiences.

History of National Happy Hour Day

The phrase “happy hour” first gained popularity among the U.S. Navy in the early 1900s, with origins tracing back to about 1920. They introduced “Happy Hours,” a set period of entertainment that took place twice a week. This term was initially not associated with drinking or discount beverages whatsoever but instead acted as a scheduled window for the crew’s various entertainments such as music, boxing matches, and movies designed to break the monotony of long voyages at sea.

However, during America’s Prohibition era in the 1920s and 1930s, the term took a turn. Secret bars and speakeasies – illegal establishments selling alcoholic beverages – appropriated “happy hour” to describe a pre-dinner window of time when patrons would convene for a drink. This was typically before they would head to legally compliant restaurants, which refused to serve alcohol.

After Prohibition was lifted, the term further evolved. Today, we know “happy hour” as a designated time, typically in the late afternoon or early evening, when establishments offer discounts on alcoholic drinks. Despite its popularity, the promotion of drinks during happy hours led to such an increase in alcohol consumption in some areas that a few states banned it outright.

National Happy Hour Day Timeline

Origin of Happy Hour

Happy Hour originally pertained to a scheduled time for entertainment and social activities on board U.S. Navy ships.

Prohibition Era

During prohibition, Americans would gather at speakeasies for pre-dinner ‘Happy Hours' but the term was yet to be used widely.

Happy Hour Gains Popularity

With the help of the Saturday Evening Post, which started introducing the concept in its articles, the term became more common.

Happy Hour Legal Restrictions

Due to some misuses related to overconsumption of alcohol, some states in America put some legal restrictions on Happy Hour.

First National Happy Hour Day Celebration

National Happy Hour Day was first celebrated on November 12, 2011..

Annual Celebration of National Happy Hour Day

This day is celebrated to remind everyone to enjoy their favorite alcoholic beverages responsibly and in moderation as they relax and unwind.

Ideas to Celebrate National Happy Hour Day

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Host a Cocktail Mixing Contest

Invite your friends to a cocktail mixing contest. Each participant can create their own unique cocktail. Share the recipes and choose the best cocktail of the evening.

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Support Your Local Bars

Use this day to support your local bars and restaurants. Participate in their happy hour and enjoy the discounts they offer.

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DIY Cocktail Class

Use this day to broaden your cocktail knowledge. Look up recipes and instructional videos online and spend the evening creating and sampling new drinks.

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Happy Hour Picnic

Celebrate outdoors by planning a picnic with carefully crafted cocktails, beers, and wine. Don't forget to prepare some mouthwatering snacks.

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New Drink Exploration

This is the day to break free from the usual drinks you order and try something new. Whether it's a local craft beer or an exotic cocktail, dare yourself to try something new.

6 Interesting Facts About National Happy Hour Day


Prohibition Era

Arguably, Happy Hour became popular during the Prohibition era when people would host 'cocktail hours' at home or at speakeasy bars before dining out at alcohol-free restaurants.


National Day Campaign

National Happy Hour Day encourages partakers to celebrate with their favorite alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks in moderation at bistros, bars, clubs, and restaurants.


Social Event

Happy Hour has evolved into a social gathering time where coworkers and friends meet to share a drink at the end of a workday.


Worldwide Trend

Though its history is deeply rooted in America, Happy Hour is now a common event in pubs, bars, and restaurants all over the world.



Some U.S. states have laws that ban alcohol price discrimination, making Happy Hour technically illegal, but establishments have found creative ways to work around this with food specials or event promotions.


Special Offers

Establishments often celebrate National Happy Hour Day by providing special discounts or creating unique cocktails.

National Happy Hour Day FAQs

Next National Happy Hour Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 November 12th Sunday
2024 November 12th Tuesday
2025 November 12th Wednesday
2026 November 12th Thursday
2027 November 12th Friday
What is the pattern? Every November 12th

National Happy Hour Day Word Search

  • Cocktails
  • Drinks
  • Discounts
  • Cheers
  • Toast
  • Socialize