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 Bagel Day or National Love Your Pet Day.
Here are 28 reasons to celebrate during the month of February.
Every four years, February gets a 29th day for leap year to keep the calendar in sync with the astronomical or seasonal year.
01 of 28
Feb. 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 browned meringue to make a delicious dessert. Try it for yourself today while you learn more about the history of Alaska.
02 of 28
03 of 28
04 of 28
Feb. 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 soup 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.
05 of 28
Feb. 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, folded up in crepes, or incorporated into chocolate desserts.
06 of 28
Feb. 6: Pay a Compliment Day
We can all use a little extra love. 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 that's packed with compliments. It might turn out to be a cherished gift.
07 of 28
08 of 28
Feb. 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.
09 of 28
Feb. 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.
10 of 28
Feb. 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.
11 of 28
Feb. 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.
12 of 28
Feb. 12: National Plum Pudding Day
While plum pudding is traditionally served on Christmas, it gets a special day to itself in February. In spite of its name, the dessert actually contains no plums. Rather it has raisins, which were called plums in medieval England. If you’ve never tried this dessert before, today’s the day to do it.Continue to 13 of 28 below.
13 of 28
Feb. 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.
14 of 28
Feb. 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).
15 of 28
Feb. 15: Susan B. Anthony Day
Celebrate Susan B. Anthony's birthday by learning about this social reformer and women's rights activist. She was a key player in the suffrage movement of the 1800s and also staunchly anti-slavery and anti-racism. Her contributions to social reform and women's rights helped build society as we know it today.
16 of 28
Feb. 16: National Almond Day
Whether you eat them by the handful, piled on top of pastries, mashed into homemade almond butter, or even distilled into a decadent liqueur, there's no wrong way to eat almonds. Plus, almonds are good for your heart and packed with vitamins and minerals. So celebrate this versatile nut today by making an almond-centric recipe.Continue to 17 of 28 below.
17 of 28
Feb. 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.
18 of 28
Feb. 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.
19 of 28
Feb. 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.
20 of 28
Feb. 20: National Love Your Pet Day
Every day seems to be Love Your Pet Day. But today is the day to give your pet some extra affection. Try your hand at making homemade pet treats. Go for an extra long walk with your pet. Or spoil them with some new toys.Continue to 21 of 28 below.
21 of 28
22 of 28
Feb. 22: National Margarita Day
If the cold 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.
23 of 28
Feb. 23: National Banana Bread Day
Keep 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, add ingredients like chopped walnuts, blueberries, or shredded zucchini into your batter.
24 of 28
Feb. 24: National Tortilla Chip Day
Tortilla chips became popular in the 1940s when a deli owner in Los Angeles 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.
25 of 28
Feb. 25: World Spay Day* (fourth Tuesday)
World Spay Day spreads awareness of how to prevent the overpopulation of unwanted animals in already crowded shelters. Spaying protects animals from certain kinds of cancers that affect the reproductive organs. And it cuts down on feral cat colonies. Use today to learn more about pet overpopulation and ways you can help animal rescue groups.
26 of 28
Feb. 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 salad. Drizzle them on top of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. Find a pistachio-centric recipe today, and get cooking.
27 of 28
28 of 28
Feb. 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.
* Denotes that date changes each year
Goldstein, Darra. The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press, 2015