February is more than just chocolate, roses, and romance. Even though it's the shortest month of the year, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate in February. If the dark winter days are starting to drag on, try one of these fun excuses for festivities, such as National Homemade Soup Day or National Love Your Pet Day.
Here are 28 reasons to celebrate during the month of February.
Every four years is a leap year! February gets an extra day, the 29th, to give the year 366 days. This helps keep the calendar in sync with the earth's trips around the sun.
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February 1: National Baked Alaska Day
Baked Alaska was first prepared to commemorate the purchase of Alaska in 1867. This old-fashioned favorite combines ice cream, sponge cake, and toasted or flambéed meringue to make a delicious dessert.
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February 2: National Tater Tot Day
Sometimes they're paired with eggs, wrapped in crispy bacon, or smothered in melted nacho toppings. Whether they're homemade or store-bought, tater tots always make one hot and crispy bite. Make your favorite tater tot dish to celebrate National Tater Tot Day.
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February 3: National Carrot Cake Day
Today's the day to eat your cake and veggies together. It's said that carrot cake originated centuries ago when the vegetable was used as a substitute for more expensive sweeteners. Whip up an easy homemade cake or head to your local bakery to celebrate this treat.
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February 4: National Homemade Soup Day
In the depths of winter, National Homemade Soup Day is the perfect holiday for a warming meal. If you're going to take the time to make some homemade soup, double the recipe and freeze half or throw a soup party. Freeze in small containers for individual portions ideal to grab for lunch, or in a big container for the whole family.Continue to 5 of 28 below.
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February 5: World Nutella Day
Nutella, the world's most beloved chocolate spread, was invented during World War II when cocoa was hard to find. In a stroke of genius, Pietro Ferrero, the creator of Nutella, added sugar and hazelnut paste to what little cocoa he had to stretch out the supply. In celebration of World Nutella Day, enjoy it smeared on toast, mixed into pancakes, or incorporated into chocolate desserts.
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February 6: Pay a Compliment Day
We can all use a little extra loving. Boost a friend or loved one's confidence and get a warm, fuzzy feeling yourself by giving them a much-deserved compliment. If you're inspired, write a loved one a love letter packed with compliments. It will turn out to be a cherished gift.
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February 8: Opera Day
Enjoy a bit of culture today. Celebrate Opera Day by listening to opera in any form, from classic to modern rock. You might just develop a new passion for this highly revered art.Continue to 9 of 28 below.
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February 9: National Pizza Day
Maybe you already have a regular pizza night, but today’s the day you definitely should grab a slice in honor of National Pizza Day. Even better, learn how to make your own pizza, including the crust, from scratch. It's easier than you might think, and the extra effort is well worth the taste.
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February 10: Teddy Day
Teddy bears may be popular gifts on Valentine's Day, but they have their own day, too. Find your childhood teddy bear to drum up some nostalgic memories. If you're feeling crafty, you can try sewing your own teddy bear to keep or give as a gift. Or buy yourself or a loved one a new cuddly bear.
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February 11: National Clean Out Your Computer Day
You clean out your refrigerator, closets, and garage. But have you ever really cleaned out your computer? Today's the day reserved for eliminating junk files, cached cookies, and old emails. You'll be better organized, and your computer will run a bit faster.
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February 12: National Plum Pudding Day
While plum pudding is traditionally served on Christmas, it gets a special day to itself in February. Despite its name, the dessert actually contains no plums. Rather it has raisins, which were once called plums in medieval England. If you’ve never tried this dessert before, today’s the day to indulge.Continue to 13 of 28 below.
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February 13: Galentine's Day
Celebrate the special ladies in your life on Galentine's Day by gathering your girlfriends and hitting the town. Send your crew friendship cards, see a movie, enjoy dinner, or host a Galentine's Day party. The goal of this day, which originated on the television show "Parks and Recreation," is to appreciate your female friends.
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February 14: Valentine's Day
Today's the day that celebrates love. Although the holiday has a history of unusual matchmaking and fertility rituals, in modern times the day has evolved into sharing anything that expresses love, including cards, red hearts, flowers, and chocolates. Show your loved ones how much you care for them today (and every day).
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February 15: Susan B. Anthony Day
Celebrate Susan B. Anthony's birthday by learning about this legendary women's rights activist. She was a key player in the suffrage movement of the 1800s. Her contributions to women's rights helped give women the right to vote and build society as we know it today.
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February 16: National Almond Day
Whether you eat them by the handful, piled on top of pastries, ground into homemade almond butter, or even distilled into a decadent liqueur, there's no wrong way to eat almonds. Plus, they're good for your heart and packed with vitamins and minerals. Celebrate this versatile nut today by making an almond-centric recipe.Continue to 17 of 28 below.
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February 17: National Cabbage Day
Although St. Patrick's Day is a month away, use today to experiment with cabbage recipes. With dishes like German sauerkraut, stuffed cabbage, Korean kimchi, and Irish corned beef and cabbage, you'll find a way to enjoy this leafy vegetable. Plus, cabbage is wallet-friendly, packed with nutrients, and healthy for the heart.
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February 18: National Drink Wine Day
What better reason to kick back, relax, and enjoy a glass than National Drink Wine Day? The day is meant to spread awareness of wine and its health benefits. Enjoy your wine with some freshly baked crusty bread and a charcuterie board. Or throw a wine and cheese party, and learn how to be a sommelier for a day.
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February 19: National Chocolate Mint Day
Chocolate mint is a popular flavor of Girl Scout cookies, ice cream, candy, and decadent cocktails. The U.S. National Confectioners Association founded National Chocolate Mint Day to honor the marriage of these two flavors. Enjoy your favorite chocolate and mint recipe today. Or try your hand at growing some mint to use for future recipes.
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February 20: National Love Your Pet Day
Every day seems to be Love Your Pet Day, but today is the official day to give your pet some extra affection. Try your hand at making healthy homemade treats. Go for an extra-long walk with them, or spoil them with some new toys.Continue to 21 of 28 below.
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February 21: National Sticky Bun Day
This tasty treat combines cinnamon and sugar baked into a hot, doughy breakfast roll. It's the perfect warm treat for a cold February morning. Try making homemade sticky buns today, and for a decadent snack top them with frosting and chopped nuts.
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February 22: National Margarita Day
If the winter weather has you feeling down, grab your bar cart and whip up a margarita to remind yourself that summer is only a short time away. Decide whether you want your margarita on the rocks or frozen, and with or without salt. Or try them all!
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February 23: National Banana Bread Day
Save your brown bananas to bake with for National Banana Bread Day. The browner the bananas, the better your bread will be. If you want to pack some more nutrients into your banana bread, seek out recipes where you can add chopped walnuts, blueberries, or shredded zucchini into your batter.
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February 24: National Tortilla Chip Day
Tortilla chips became popular during the 1940s when a Los Angeles deli owner decided to fry misshapen tortillas and sell them as snacks to cut down on the waste. The creation was an immediate hit. Buy some or make some to crunch on for National Tortilla Chip Day. Enjoy them straight out of the bag, dipped into guacamole, or covered in cheese and toppings for a dish of tasty nachos.Continue to 25 of 28 below.
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February 25: National Clam Chowder Day
Whether it's creamy and with a strong hint of salt-pork (New England), or tomato-based and lighter on the calories (Manhattan), a bowl of these briny soups on National Clam Chowder Day helps you keep you warm while celebrating this favorite comfort food.
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February 26: National Pistachio Day
Use National Pistachio Day to learn all about these little shells of goodness that are packed with nutrients. You can get your daily dose of heart-healthy fats, copper and vitamins in several ways. Swap pistachios for pine nuts in pesto. Chop and toss them into your favorite salad. Sprinkle them on top of ice cream or frozen yogurt. Find a pistachio-centric recipe today, and get cooking.
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February 27: National Retro Day
Once upon a time, telephones had dials and roller skates had wheels, TVs had antennae and a paper road map helped you plan your route. Welcome to National Retro Day, where everything old is new again. Celebrate by donning a pair of bell-bottoms and doing the Hustle.
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February 28: National Science Day
We have a lot to thank science for, including medicine, the steam engine, the pasteurization of foods, and the understanding of gravity. Take a few moments today to reflect on how far society has come because of scientific discoveries. It's also the perfect day for a new science toy or that volcano chemistry experiment.
Goldstein, Darra. The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press, 2015