National Red Mitten Day is observed in Canada every year on November 21. This holiday is meant to encourage the Canadian spirit in the Olympic games and among Olympic athletes. Canadians extend their support and love for the national Olympic team by wearing red mittens. They observe the “Red Mitten” Program to support Canadian Olympic participants. All sizes of mittens are available from infant to adult, so each Canadian can demonstrate his or her pride in their country’s athletes. Red mittens represent the generosity, pride, and excellence of every Canadian. They also help to keep those fingers nice and toasty!
History of National Red Mitten Day
National Red Mitten Day was initiated in 2017 by the Hudson’s Bay Company (H.B.C.) Foundation, a charity arm of H.B.C. H.B.C. is a top apparel and general merchandise retailer that has grown significantly since the 17th century. The first red mittens were white and red with a maple leaf, Canada’s national symbol. The Olympic success of 2010 in Vancouver led to the formation of this day. During the 2010 games, one of the most popular pieces of apparel the athletes wore was HBC’s red mittens featuring a Canadian maple leaf.
The red mittens were sold at $10 per pair and H.B.C. recorded large profits from the sales. As a result, the company donated one-third of its profits to the Canadian Olympic Committee. Since then, red mittens have been used as a symbol for National Red Mitten Day. H.B.C. later formed the “Red Mitten” Program to back Canadian athletes. The program has been a channel of connecting Canadians to support Olympic participants through philanthropy. For every pair of $15 C.D.N. mittens purchased at Hudson’s Bay or thebay.com, $3.90 C.D.N. goes to supporting Canadian athletes. Money raised from the “Red Mittens” helps provide Canadian Olympians and next-generation athletes with access to high-quality equipment, coaching, sports medicine, nutrition, and other resources that make up a world-class training environment.
H.B.C. has made it easier to purchase the “Red Mittens” by setting up mobile pop-up shops at select locations and having special appearances from Canadian athletes.
National Red Mitten Day timeline
Hudson's Bay Company opens as a popular general merchant retailer.
A winter multi-sport event called Chamonix is held in France.
H.B.C. becomes the official outfit provider for Canadian athletes.
The Canadian Olympics team wears red mittens which later become an iconic sports apparel item.
National Red Mitten Day FAQs
What materials are mittens made of?
Mittens are made from several materials, such as wool, leather, and fur.
Are mittens better than gloves?
Mittens provide more thermal insulation than gloves because they have a smaller surface area exposed to the cold.
Should babies wear mittens?
Some people say that babies need mittens to protect them from scratching themselves, others say that clipping the infants’ fingernails solves the problem.
National Red Mitten Day Activities
Rock those mittens
Wear your red mittens, of course! You can also purchase a pair from H.B.C. outlets or thebay.com for a loved one to help them join the celebration.
Show off your mittens
Take a photo of your mittens and post it on social media. Don't forget to use #NationalRedMittensDay and #RedMittenDay.
Let your friends and family know about this holiday and its purpose. Encourage them to buy red mittens in support of the Olympics athletes.
5 Facts About Mittens
Mittens invented for the kitchen
Earl Mitt, an American baker, invented mittens made of leather and wool in Texas in the 1870s.
In the 1980s, paper was used as an insulating material inside mittens.
A different kind of mittens
Mittens without fingertips are used for delicate work.
Mittens for hunters
Mittens with a flap located in the palm of the mitten allowed hunters to have their fingers free to fire their weapons were invented in the 1930s.
Mittens in geography
The Lower Peninsula of Michigan is nicknamed "The Mitten" because of its shape.
Why We Love National Red Mitten Day
It supports athletes
A part of every sale of red mittens goes toward supporting athletes. The money helps them access resources that aid them in achieving their dreams on a global platform.
National Red Mitten Day is about having fun. We celebrate hard-working athletes in a joyous mood.
National Red Mitten Day unites Canadians as they support the national Olympics team. They bring their resources and good cheer together for the love of sports.
National Red Mitten Day dates