Contrary to popular belief, February isn't all chocolate, roses and romance! And even though February is the shortest month of the year, there are still plenty of reasons to celebrate. Think: holidays like Tater Tot Day, Fat Tuesday, and Drink Wine Day (yes, really!).
If the dark, winter days are really becoming a drag, try one of these 28 wacky and wonderful excuses to celebrate during February.
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February 1 - National Baked Alaska Day
Did you know Baked Alaska was first prepared to commemorate the purchase of Alaska back in 1867? This old-fashioned favorite combines ice cream, sponge cake, and browned meringue to make the ultimate–and perhaps, most historical–dessert.
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February 2 - Tater Tot Day
Sometimes they're paired with eggs, sometimes they're wrapped in crispy bacon and sometimes they're smothered in melty nacho toppings. But one thing is always for certain: Whether they're homemade or store-bought, hot, crispy tater tots are always delicious.
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February 3 - Ice Cream for Breakfast Day
You've heard it time and time again: Adults can eat ice cream for breakfast anytime they want. So, why not actually do it today? Pile it high in a bowl, blend it into a shake or whip up an old fashioned banana split (at least you'll get some nutrients that way). Our advice: Smash a scoop of your favorite ice cream between two freshly toasted waffles, so it's a little more like breakfast and a lot like a delicious ice cream sandwich. You'll thank us later.
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February 4 - Game Day
Some people are in it for the sports, some are in it for the halftime show, and some are in it for the commercials. If you're like us, you're in it for the food! There are few events that warrant hours and hours of overindulging in hearty chili and cornbread, nachos, chicken wings, pigs-in-a-blanket, and of course, beer. So, enjoy it while it lasts! Oh, and don't forget to rank your top three favorite commercials.Continue to 5 of 28 below.
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February 5 - World Nutella Day
Nutella, the world's most beloved, chocolatey spread, was invented during World War II when cocoa was hard to come by. 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. Although cocoa is easy to find today, Nutella remains one of the world's most popular spreads–whether it's smeared on toast, folded up in crepes, or incorporated into chocolatey desserts.
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February 6 - Pay a Compliment Day
With everything happening in the world today, we could 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. Just remember: Boundaries.
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February 8 - Fat Thursday
You've probably heard of Fat Tuesday (hi, it's the official start to Mardi Gras), but have you heard of Fat Thursday? It's a traditional Catholic feast celebrated on the last Thursday before Lent. Why? Lent is a time of self-sacrifice and fasting. Translation: It's the last opportunity to absolutely stuff yourself with your favorite foods and drinks before Easter, a whopping 52 days later.Continue to 9 of 28 below.
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February 9 - National Bagel Day
There's nothing like noshing on the perfect bagel: Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside and totally stuffed to the brim with your favorite fixings. If you're lucky enough to live near a New York-style deli, get there immediately and order your favorite bagel or bagel sandwich. If not, why not try making your own bagels at home?
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February 10 - Teddy Day
Grab your old teddy bear from the junk closet–or read up on former American President Theodore Roosevelt if you don't have an old teddy–because today is Teddy Day! Really want to celebrate? Dust off the old the sewing machine and try creating your own cuddly teddy with one of these free teddy bear patterns (or try crochet, too!).
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February 11 - Get Out Your Guitar Day
Today's the day to make your rock and roll dreams come true... kind of. Put on your favorite rock album, grab your air guitar and start wailing! Just be careful not to overdo it with the head banging–you don't want to hurt your neck. Alternately, if you can actually play guitar, spend a few minutes strumming your favorite tunes.
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February 12 - Clean Out Your Computer Day
You clean out your refrigerator. You clean our your closets. You clean out the garage. But have you ever really cleaned out your computer? Get rid of all those junk files, cached cookies, and old emails to get organized and help your computer run a little bit faster, and to feel like a tech-savvy Marie Kondo, of course.Continue to 13 of 28 below.
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February 13 - Mardi Gras
Laissez les bon temps rouler! Translation: Let the good times roll! The history of Mardi Gras goes way back to 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII made it an official holiday. But why did a pope deem a massive party an official holiday? People needed something to enjoy when the weather was cold and they were giving up their bad habits for Lent. Since then, Mardi Gras celebrations have only gotten bigger and better.
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February 14 - Valentine's Day
If you're in a relationship, today's the day to indulge in delicious pasta, drink lots of red wine and watch a romantic movie. If you're single, today's the day to indulge in pasta (or homemade pizza), drink a bottle of red wine by yourself and watch a horror movie. You can even invite your gals over if you're in need of company. Either way, both kinds of celebrations sound like a great night to us!
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February 15 - Susan B. Anthony Day
Take some time today to talk to your children–both boys and girls!–about Susan B. Anthony, social reformer and women's rights activist. Not only was she a key player in the suffrage movement of the mid- to late-1800s, but she was also staunchly anti-slavery and anti-racism. Her contributions to social reform and women's rights helped build society as we know it today.
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February 16 - National Almond Day
Did you know almonds actually grow in tree blossoms? Whether you eat them by the handful, piled on top of pastries, mashed into delicious, homemade almond butter, or even distilled into a decadent liqueur, there's no wrong way to eat almonds. Especially since they're good for your heart and packed with vitamins and minerals!Continue to 17 of 28 below.
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February 17 - National Cabbage Day
How will you celebrate National Cabbage Day? Skip the recipe from your old Cabbage Soup Diet guidebook and nosh on some international fare instead–from German sauerkraut, to Korean kimchi, to Irish corn beef and cabbage. You may want to watch just how much cabbage you eat, though–it can cause, ahem, digestive distress. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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February 18 - Drink Wine Day
What better reason to kick back, relax, and enjoy a glass of vino than Drink Wine Day? Enjoy your wine with some crusty bread and a packed charcuterie board for a very Parisian kind of day. The beret is totally optional.
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If you have a pet, you know every day is Love Your Pet Day. But today, why not really shower your pet with the affection she deserves? Here are some pet-friendly desserts you can whip up to show your devotion:
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- Dogs can safely enjoy plain vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, frozen bananas, or peanut butter. You can also try blending plain yogurt with bananas and peanut butter, then freezing to make doggie ice cream!
- Cats can safely enjoy homemade or store-bought kitty treats. You can find lots of... recipes online–even ones with catnip as a main ingredient!
- Birds can safely enjoy fresh fruit like bananas and orange wedges. They also like peanut butter or toasted pumpkin seeds.
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February 21 - National Sticky Bun Day
What's better than cinnamon and sugar? Cinnamon and sugar blended and baked into a hot, doughy breakfast roll. Top your sticky buns with simple, homemade frosting or chopped walnuts (or both!) to make 'em even more decadent!
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February 22 - National Margarita Day
If the cold, winter weather has you feeling down, whisk yourself away on a beach vacation to Mexico–at least in your mind–with a delicious margarita. After you decide whether you want your margarita on the rocks or frozen and with or without salt, only one question remains: Are you going to drink it with a big plate of nachos or quesadillas?
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February 23 - National Banana Bread Day
When life hands you browned bananas, make banana bread! The more brown your bananas, the better your bread will be. If you want to pack some more nutrients into your banana bread, try blending ingredients like chopped walnuts, blueberries or even shredded zucchini into your batter!
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February 24 - Open That Bottle Night
If you've been holding off on drinking that swanky bottle of wine, imported liquor, or hard-to-find craft beer, today's the day to drink it! If you really want to enjoy your beverage's flavor, be sure to drink it from the right wine, cocktail, or beer glass; it makes a bigger difference than you may think.Continue to 25 of 28 below.
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February 25 - Let's All Eat Right Day
Easier said than done, right? After a month of overindulging on Game Day, Fat Tuesday, and Valentine's Day, why not try to eat clean for an entire day? Load up your plate with plenty of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and good sources of fat–like olive oil, avocado or nuts–for a day of nutritious, balanced meals. Be sure to avoid added sugars and trans or saturated fats–they can be diet busters if eaten in excess!
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February 26 - National Pistachio Day
Almonds and walnuts get all the attention! Pistachios, those little clamshells of salted goodness, are actually packed with nutrients–and easier to use in recipes than you might think. Get your daily dose of heart-healthy fats, copper, and vitamin B-6 by:
- Swapping pistachios for pine nuts in pesto. Trust us–it's delicious!
- Chopping and tossing them on your daily salad. Even better? Put them on top of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.
- Baking them into breads, muffins, or cakes.
- Blending them... into homemade hummus or guacamole.
- Bonus! Try this pistachio fudge.
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February 27 - World Spay Day
Spaying (female) and neutering (male) pets can be a controversial topic. But most vets agree: It's the best way to prevent pet overpopulation and protect your pet from certain kinds of cancer that affect the reproductive organs. Ultimately, it's up to the pet owner to decide whether or not their pet is spayed or neutered, but it's important to have all the facts before making a final decision.
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February 28 - National Science Day
We have a lot to thank science for: From penicillin, to the steam engine, to pasteurization of foods, to the discovery (and understanding) of gravity, to the chemical reactions in your favorite cocktails. Take a few moments today to reflect on how far mankind has come, thanks to scientific discovery. You can instill a love for science in your kids by trying a fun, easy science experiment at home, too!