February Holidays: 28 Days of Celebrations
As the long month of January finally comes to an end, February is often greeted with celebration. It could be due to the feeling of love building up to St. Valentine’s Day. It may be due to the slightly warmer temperatures and increased sunlight. Whatever the reason for the sense of lightheartedness this month, keep the party going with any or all of theses February holidays.
American Heart Month
While your health is important every day, the month of February is dedicated to raising heart health awareness. The importance of heart health can be traced back to 1621. William Harvey, the physician to King Charles I discovered the intricate workings of the heart and its blood flow. It wasn’t until 1912 when American cardiologist, James Herrick discovered the causes of angina. He is also credited with inventing the term ‘heart attack’. Dr. Herrick’s discoveries kick started heart health research which has ultimately aided in preventing and reducing the effects of cardiac episodes across the world.
Get your heart pumping in honor of American Heart Month with exercise, healthy eating, and reducing stress. Try replacing one meal a week with a heart healthy recipe like Greek chicken pasta or even turkey pot roast. Take care of your heart with a daily walk or new exercise routine. With the abundance of technology available on your phone, there is sure to be an exercise app to help you find and keep a fitness regimen.
National Bake for Family Fun Month
There’s hardly a better way to spread love than by spending time with family. During National Bake for Family Fun Month dust off grandma’s cookbook and find a few formulas you and your family to try.
Baking is a fun way to incorporate learning into an ordinary event. What other activity allows you to lick your fingers while learning to follow directions?
Following directions is key in baking. If an ingredient is added too soon or too late it can be detrimental to the overall product. Even the slightest change in ingredients can ruin a batch. Exact measurements and strict adherence to directions will require your young apprentice to focus on the task. But don’t worry too much, you all will be sweetly rewarded by these efforts.
One of the most favored of the February holidays falls on the 14th; Valentine’s Day. While modern day celebrations focus on love and companionship, the origins of this day have nothing to do with everlasting love.
The sordid history of the day dates back to Christian persecution during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus in 269 A.D. Legends suggest that two different “Saint Valentine’s” were executed when the Emperor discovered they were healing the sick in the name of Christ and performing marriage ceremonies in an effort to spare husbands war. Both men were beheaded on February 14th.
The love connection to the martyrs’ death did not come about until the release of Geoffrey Chaucer’s, “The Canterbury Tales”. In his “Parlement of Foules”, Chaucer attributes the feast of St. Valentinus to the mating of birds.
Soon after, nature-minded Englishmen began sending love notes during the ‘love bird’ season. Loving messages were written on hand-painted cards until the industrialization of ‘greeting cards’ evolved in the 1700’s. Then the chocolate and candy companies followed suit. They created heart shaped sweets with stamped messages and created clever marketing campaigns to spread the love.
Today, millions of dollars are spent on gifts of chocolate, candy, flowers, and more. There are those who refuse to give in to the manifested ‘holiday’ of Valentine’s Day. But the idea of giving and receiving a Valentine’s Day gift ranks high in the minds of most citizens in America, England, Australia, Canada, Argentina, and other South American countries.
Which of the February Holidays will you celebrate next?
February 1st: Give a Kid a Smile Day- Surprise your baby with a trip to the park or join them for lunch at school!
February 2nd: Groundhog Day– Get up early in the morning to see Punxsutawney Phil determine the next six weeks of weather!
February 3rd: National Carrot Cake Day– Grab yourself a cup of milk and enjoy the cream cheesy deliciousness of Carrot Cake.
February 4th: Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day– Pile up your favorite flavors and eat your way to a happier day!
February 5th: World Nutella Day– How many different items will you dip, spread, or dunk this hazelnutty goodness in?
February 6th: National Frozen Yogurt Day– Try new flavors or stick with what you love. Either way, make the best of Frozen Yogurt Day!
February 7th: Fettuccine Alfredo Day– Whip up a batch of Nonna’s special sauce and gather around the table for a delicious dinner!
February 8th: Kite Flying Day– If weather permits, grab a kite and take advantage of the swift winter winds.
February 9th: National Pizza Day– Order from your favorite pizzeria or gather in the kitchen to create your own.
February 10th: Umbrella Day– Grab your umbrella and celebrate its existence.
February 11th: National Make a Friend Day– Sit next to someone new or make casual conversation with someone in line.
February 12th: National Plum Pudding Day– What is Plum Pudding?
February 13th: National Tortellini Day– Oh what a delicious day this will be!
February 14th: Valentine’s Day– Share the love with everyone this day.
February 15th: Susan B. Anthony Day– Celebrate the sacrifice made to create an equal opportunity for women to vote.
February 16th: National Almond Day– Almonds are a great source of protein. Grab a handful as a snack or add them to your favorite salad.
February 17th: Random Act of Kindness Day– Because a little kindness goes a long way.
February 18th: President’s Day- Take a moment to honor the highest office and the brave men who’ve led our Nation.
February 19th: Chocolate Mint Day– The perfect after dinner delight comes in the form of chocolate mint candies. Grab a few and pass them around.
February 20th: National Muffin Day– Bake them for breakfast, share them for lunch, or pass them around the dinner table. Muffins are a perfect anytime treat!
February 21st: National Sticky Bun Day– Get in line early if you want a warm sticky bun. Many bakeries across the country sell out early.
February 22nd: National Walking the Dog Day– Bring your best friend to the pet shop, dog park, or for a quiet walk around the neighborhood.
February 23rd: National Chili Day- Whether you use beer, whiskey, or home-grown flavor to the pot, whip up a batch of your best chili to share.
February 24th: National Tortilla Chip Day– Dip them in salsa, queso, bean dip, or more.
February 25th: National Clam Chowder Day– It doesn’t matter if you like it red or white, a bowl of fresh clam chowder can warm your soul on a winter day.
February 26th: National Pistachio Day– Grind them into paste, chop them up for roasting, or eat them right out of the shell. Pistachios are a tasty treat anyway you serve them.
February 27th: National Polar Bear Day– Discover ways to raise awareness in saving polar bears and the icy seas in which they live.
February 28th: Chocolate Soufflé Day: Put on your apron and gather the best ingredients; a day of decadence is here!