Tag Archives: February Holidays

National Cream Cheese Brownie Day

creamcheesebrowniesFebruary 10 is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day! Regular brownies are already a delicious chocolate baked confection loved by many, but the addition of the somewhat savory and tangy cream cheese takes the popular dessert to an even more delectable level.

Desserts going by the name “brownie” have been around since the 1800s, but brownies as we enjoy them today can be traced back to 1906. The cake-like treat made its debut in 1906 in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. This first recipe, however, was much less sweet than brownie recipes that exist today as it only called for two squares of baking chocolate. As our sweet tooth has evolved over the years, so has the brownie, going from just a simple semi-sweet chocolate cake to elaborate chocolate confections loaded with extras. Popular additions include nuts, caramel, peanut butter, peppermint, fruit, and that extra something that makes this day so special – cream cheese.

Cream cheese is a very soft and mild cheese that is often known for its more savory qualities, but it is often used in other desserts. It is most often used in cheesecake, but when added to brownies, it gives the dessert an extra tart taste and makes the texture slightly more squishy. In addition to giving regular brownies another complementary flavor, when swirled in with brownie mix, it makes the treats have an attractive “marble” pattern.

To celebrate this sweet holiday, try out some of these various cream cheese brownie recipes!

Sources: Bubblenews, Punchbowl, Examiner.com

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Toothache Day

February 9 is Toothache Day – ouch! Toothaches are a sharp pain in the mouth, often centered around the tooth or gums. Why would anyone want to celebrate that?

The origin of this day is speculated to correspond with the day the Hershey Corporation was founded. Hershey is the largest producer of chocolate in North America, so the origin of this day coinciding with Hershey’s beginnings in 1894 makes sense. February 9 is also known as St. Apollonia Day. In 249 A.D., Apollonia, who was a Deaconess in Alexandria in Egypt, was attacked by a mob who knocked out her teeth. The Egyptian government had given the group permission to burn anyone who would not give up their Christianity. Refusing, Apollonia threw herself into the fire and took her own life. She was then made the Patron Saint of dentistry and toothaches.

Toothaches can be caused by any number of things, but the most common are cavities, wisdom teeth coming in, gum disease, a cracked tooth, infected dental pulp, jaw disease, or tooth root exposure. They can also be caused by more serious things such as heart problems like angina or a myocardial infarction, causing a referred pain in your mouth.

To celebrate Toothache Day, educate yourself on what you can do to keep yourself from going through this pain. Here are just a few ways:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day.
  • Flossing regularly.
  • Use mouthwash.
  • Eating foods that are beneficial to tooth health and consuming water with fluoride added.
  • Staying away from detrimental foods like those high in sugars.
  • Do not smoke.

Sources: Examiner.com, Holiday Insights, Gone-ta-pott

 

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National Frozen Yogurt Day

February 6 is National Frozen Yogurt Day! Frozen yogurt, or “FroYo” as it is often shortened to, is a frozen dessert made out of yogurt and other dairy products. It has a lower amount of fat than its sister dessert, ice cream, because it is made with milk instead of cream. It is also known for being slightly more tart than ice cream and sometimes contains live and active bacteria cultures.

In the 1970s, frozen yogurt was first put on the American market, but consumers found the tart yogurt taste to be unfavorable. It wasn’t until 1981 when the first TCBY opened featuring a sweeter version of the dessert that frozen yogurt’s popularity began to incline. TCBY differed from previous frozen yogurt sellers because they dispensed their yogurt in soft serve form through machines rather than selling it pre-packaged.

By the mid-90s, several other frozen yogurt chains had opened and frozen yogurt had accrued over $300 million in sales. In the late 1990s, however, Americans’ favored diets turned to higher protein and higher fat foods, causing the frozen yogurt trend to fall off as ice cream regained its previous popularity.

As quickly as frozen yogurt went out of style in the ‘90s, it made a resurgence in the mid 2000s with the invention of live probiotic powder-based mixes. This mix made frozen yogurt available in countries outside the United States for the first time. The tart flavors that were unpopular in the ‘70s suddenly began attracting a new crowd of frozen dessert aficionados and new frozen yogurt chains began popping up all over the world.

To celebrate National Frozen Yogurt Day, stop by your favorite FroYo shop – you might even find that some stores have special discounts today on this tasty frozen treat!

Sources: WikipediaExaminer.comPunchbowl

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National Weatherman’s Day

forcesofnatureFebruary 5 is National Weatherman’s Day! The day was created to celebrate meteorologists, the men and women who predict those fickle forces of nature.

National Weatherman’s Day is observed on February 5 to commemorate the birthday of John Jeffries, one of the first people in America to begin observing the weather in a scientific way. Jeffries was born in 1744 and began inspecting weather patterns in 1774. In 1784, he took weather observations in a balloon for the first time over London. On this trip into the sky, he took with him a thermometer, a barometer, and a hygrometer to the height of 9,000 feet.

By the 19th century, observing networks had formed in different countries around the world, teaming up those studying atmospheric science to make more accurate assumptions of weather patterns and how they would effect the Earth. In the later part of the 20th century, the invention of computers revolutionized weather observation, making weather forecasts much more precise.

weathercalendarWhile most people only think of weathermen and women as the people who help us determine how we should dress every day based on their forecasts, their jobs have an invaluable importance. Weather forecasters closely study raw weather data and numerical computer models to give up forecasts and warnings that could save our lives. Firefighters depend on spot forecasts to control wildfires, and emergency officials are able to contain hazardous chemical spills due to forecasters’ reports. The extensive climate records kept by weather services also help architects, engineers, utility companies, and insurance companies properly do their jobs. Technological growth has improved weather warning times drastically over the years, allowing meteorologists to give those who may be in danger enough time to reach safety.

Celebrate today by educating yourself on the science behind meteorological forecasts and observing the weather yourself. Happy Weatherman’s Day!

Sources: National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, Wikipedia, About.com

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Hedgehog Day

hedgehogWhile most people in America know February 2 as Groundhog Day, it is thought to have grown its origins from another woodland critter – the hedgehog. February 2 is also known to some as Hedgehog Day!

Hedgehogs are spiny mammals that have become widely domesticated across the world. Domesticated hedgehogs are mostly docile and friendly creatures, but keep your distance when both wild and tame hedgehogs get frightened or angry. These little guys are covered in quills or spines which are hollow hairs filled with keratin, causing them to be stiff and pointy. As a defense mechanism, hedgehogs will roll into a ball, allowing their quills to stick straight out and harm anyone or anything that tries to touch them.

The origin of Hedgehog Day has two stories behind it. The first dates back thousands of years to ancient Roman times. Just as we celebrate Groundhog Day by waiting to see if the famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and thus predicts the continuation of winter for six more weeks, the Romans had a similar tradition involving one of their native critters, the hedgehog. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, so their tradition varied slightly. If the hedgehog sees his shadow it means there is a clear moon and six more weeks of winter, so he returns to his burrow. Punxsutawney Phil, on the other hand, is observed looking for his shadow during the day. The tradition spread to Germany, and when German immigrants came to America and found no indigenous hedgehogs, they replaced it with the groundhog.

sonic the hedgehogAnother story behind the creation and popularization of Hedgehog Day came about due to one of the most famous hedgehogs in the world – a speedy blue video game character called Sonic. On February 2, 1994, Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog 3 in the United States, and re-popularized the lesser-known Hedgehog Day.

Celebrate today by learning more about hedgehogs, playing your favorite Sonic the Hedgehog game, or maybe even adopting an adorable new hedgehog friend from your local pet store!

Happy Hedgehog Day!

Sources: Sega BlogHedgehog CentralDays of the Year

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Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

OutsetToday is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day! This food holiday is always celebrated on the first Saturday in February, and it encourages everyone to indulge in their favorite ice cream for their first meal of the day!

This holiday came into existence in the ’60s on a dreary day in Rochester, New York. Florence Rappaport, a social worker and mother, created the holiday as a way to cheer up her kids during the boring time between New Year’s and Passover which seemed to move all too slowly and make life seem dull in up-state New York. As her children grew older and went off to college, they began to share and celebrate the holiday with their friends, and pretty soon the holiday gained loyal revelers who began partaking in it every year.

Some celebrate this holiday by enjoying a simple bowl of their favorite ice cream at home, while others (like Rappaport’s son, Joe) transform their homes into unofficial ice cream parlors, featuring ice cream buffets where friends gather to enjoy elaborate ice cream concoctions together. There are even some ice cream parlors and shops that have ice cream specials, and others have been known to donate all their profits from this special day to children’s charities.

However you decide to celebrate, make sure to toss aside those eggs and bacon and make room for your favorite icy cold ice cream treat!

Sources: itzackret.com, Democrat & Chronicle

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National Public Sleeping Day

February 28 is National Public Sleeping Day!

Some people don’t need a holiday to tell them to take a snooze in a public place; you know because you’ve seen them sleeping in the park, on the bus, or somewhere else random. For the rest of us, however, National Public Sleeping Day is a real treat. Get outside your comfort zone and take a quick nap on a park bench, on the train, or (ideally) on the beach.

Did You Know?

Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates such as chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.

Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs), while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is optimal.

The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon.

Sources: WikiHow, ABC

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Louis Vuitton Dies at 70

French businessman, craftsman, designer, and founder of his namesake leather goods brand, Louis Vuitton, died on February 27, 1892.

Louis Vuitton was born in Anchay, France in 1821 into a working class family. Tormented by his stepmother and bored of the mountain life, Vuitton set out for the exciting city of Paris at the tender age of 13. It took him two years to walk the nearly 300 miles from Anchay to Paris, stopping ever so often along the way for shelter and food.

Once he made it to Paris, Louis Vuitton served as an apprentice under successful box maker Monsieur Marechal. Within a few years, Vuitton had made a name for himself as a premier craftsman of boxes and luggage within the Parisian fashion scene.

When the Empress of France commissioned Louis Vuitton, he became exposed to a new elite and royal clientele. Vuitton even created a new luggage trunk that was easier to transport and stack, more water resistant, more durable, and lighter; critics called this trunk the birth of modern luggage.

However, Louis Vuitton’s luggage business came screeching to a halt at the onset of the Franco-Prussian War. Vuitton returned to his shop following the war only to find a ransacked factory, no remaining workers, and the village o f Asnieres in ruins.

With fervent determination, Louis Vuitton devoted his time to making his luggage company bigger and better and set up shop in an affluent section of Paris at the address of 1 Rue Scribe. Vuitton spent the next 20 years molding his luggage business into a luxury brand until his death in 1892. Since then, Louis Vuitton has become one of the most sought after and recognizable luxury brands around the globe.

Sources: Biography, Wikipedia

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National Pistachio Day

February 26 is National Pistachio Day!

Native to the Middle East, the Pistachio Tree produces bunches of fruit whose seeds are the pistachio nut. According to some sources, people have eaten pistachios for over 9,000 years!

Pistachios are antioxidant-rich and are great sources of fiber, copper, manganese, and vitamin B6. Celebrate National Pistachio Day by eating a special dish that contains the nut, or eating them out of the shell salted and roasted.

Here are some great pistachio recipes!

Sources: Wikipedia, Punchbowl

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Renoir’s Birthday

February 25 is French painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s birthday!

Born in 1841 in Limoges, France, Renoir honed in on his artistic skills as a child while working at a porcelain factory where he was recruited to paint designs on fine china. Renoir officially began studying art in Paris in 1862 under Charles Gleyre, where he was introduced to fellow artists Alfred Sisley, Frederic Bazille, and Claude Monet.

In 1864, Renoir began showing his paintings at this Paris Salon. His work was not officially acknowledged until ten years later when six of his paintings were shown at the first Impressionist exhibit in 1874.

After many year of struggling as an artist, Renoir helped mold the Impressionist artistic movement and became one of the most esteemed artists of his time. Posthumously, Renoir’s paintings have become extremely popular; two of them have sold for more than $70 Million.

Check out some of our calendars that feature French Impressionist painter Pierre-August Renoir!

Sources: Wikipedia

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