Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwiches

January 15th is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day. It would be un-American not to have some! Photo courtesy Buttercream Blondie.



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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.



March 2005

Last Updated February 2019

Food Fun / More Food Fun

American Food Holidays by Month

Index Of Food Holidays By Month


Head to the month you like, and discover 30+ food holidays!






Remember when you were a kid, and your mom brought home supermarket magazines that had meal plans for every day of the month? Well, we could print up meal plans just like—based on the day’s national food holiday. There’s a food honored just about every day of the year.


The real bonanza here is of course, not meal plans—but that you never again have to throw “just another party” or have friends over for an ordinary dinner. Just organize your evening or event around the official food that is being feted per order of the president of the United States (more about that below). Even on something as seemingly uninteresting as National Zucchini Day (August 8th), that means fun zucchini accents everywhere: zucchini crudités, a zucchini spear in the Bloody Mary instead of celery, julienned zucchini in the salad, zucchini lasagna, fried zucchini...even zucchini cake (like carrot cake) for dessert.

So pick a month from the list above, and start planning.


How Special Observance Days Are Determined


The President of the United States has the authority to declare a commemorative event or day by proclamation. Fewer than 150 are granted in an average year across all categories. While you may think the president has more important things to do, you may have noticed that while President Jed Bartlet was solving world crises on “The West Wing,” he was also being asked to sign proclamations to authorize National Pomegranate Month and such.


Petitions are introduced by constituents, trade associations or public relations firms to honor industries, events, professions, hobbies, etc. The Senate issue commemorative resolutions which do not have the force of law.


Some state legislatures and governors proclaim special observance days, as do mayors of cities, which is why there can be a National Chocolate Day and a National Chocolate Month, as well as two National Guacamole Days—authorized at different levels of government.


After any observance day has been authorized, it is up to the petitioner to promote it to the public.


Roast Turkey

Why limit a turkey feast to November and December? June is National Turkey Month (photo courtesy iGourmet). Check out the history of turkey.


Chase’s Calendar Of Events, published by McGraw Hill, is an official compendium of holidays worldwide. You can also apply to Chase’s for an official “event day,” and if they accept your holiday, they will publish it in their calendar.

Here’s more about it.



Question: Why Are Some Holidays Listed With More Than One Date?

The answer is that every government body—local, state, national—has the right to declare holidays.

As a result, before the Internet there could be, theoretically, a Brownie Day declared by the City of Chicago, the State of Massachusetts, and the federal government—all petitioned by trade associations, companies, their PR firms, or individuals in the brownie business—without necessarily being aware of the other brownie days.

In the case of March 25th, for example, Pecan Day is a Virginia-declared holiday that commemorates George Washington's planting of a pecan tree at Mount Vernon on that day in 1775.


The April 14th holiday was initiated by the National Pecan Shellers trade association, as was April, National Pecan Month. Both of these were approved by Congress. In retrospect, the Virginia holiday should have been called Virginia Pecan Day.

However, the Internet has muddled the distinctions. The rules for everything, including truth and accuracy, have gone out the window.  People can say whatever they wish.

Thus, in 2011, two bloggers declared February 5th to be Worldwide Nutella Day, the first instance we know of  individuals using the Internet to declare holidays.

The floodgates were opened: Anyone can now declare anything online. Regulations can’t be maintained.


Other times, holidays make perfect sense. October 31st, Halloween, is National Candy Apple Day (photo Fotolia).



In fact, one individual has turned holiday declarations into a money maker. For a fee, he will declare any holiday you like, send out a mass press release, list it on their website of holidays, and give you a certificate stating that that date is National Fill In The Blank Day.

Is this good or bad? Well, it is what it is, with all attendant pluses and minuses.

In 2011, two bloggers declared February 5th to be World Nutella Day

Read more at:
In 2011, two bloggers declared February 5th to be World Nutella Day

Read more at:


While THE NIBBLE’s holiday calendar used to have only the government-declared holidays, we had to buckle into pressure to give space to the unofficial ones.

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