FEBRUARY 28 – FAT TUESDAY – NATIONAL CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE DAY – NATIONAL PUBLIC SLEEPING DAY – NATIONAL TOOTH FAIRY DAY – NATIONAL FLORAL DESIGN DAY – NATIONAL RARE DISEASE DAY USA – NATIONAL SPAY DAY USA
The last day of Carnival and the day before for Ash Wednesday, Fat Tuesday is the intertwining of a period festivals and feasts that lead to a time of fasting and reflection. Also known as Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras, this enduring celebration has many traditions and deep roots around the world.
Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) dates back to an ancient Roman festival honoring the deities Lupercalia and Saturnalia which took place in mid-February. When Christians arrived in Rome, they incorporated the festival into Lenten preparations.
For centuries, this solemn feast prepared Christians for the season of Lent and used up valuable meat and supplies they would be abstaining from in the days to come. Traditions surrounding the day have changed through the ages. Through time and culture, the practices of Lent and Carnival, Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday have varied and become incorporated into regional customs.
In the United Kingdom, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day. Pancakes are the perfect menu item when the future includes abstaining from fats, eggs and sweets! In Russia, they celebrate the entire week during Shrovetide as Pancake Week.
While the French didn’t originate the medieval feast, they did put their stamp on it. From parades to beignets and colorful masks, the last day of Carnival is full of elaborate costumes and lavish food sure to hold the revelers over through a long fast. During the 16th century, their ancestors celebrated Boeuf Gras (fatted calf) which included a tradition of parading a bull decorated with flowers through the city. The decorated animal is followed through the streets by a retinue of colorfully dressed attendants and bands playing unusual instruments. There was even a Boeuf Gras Society in Mobile, Alabama at one time. (See history below for more information.)
New Orleans holds the crown for Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. While the city is filled with French flavor and style, its culture is an eclectic infusion of many cultures. Colorful King Cake and thick, savory muffuletta sandwiches only suggest the indulgence possible on Fat Tuesday. Regional specialties like Etouffee, Po’boys and jambalya all add to the atmosphere of the day.
For more information, visit the National Day Calendar page for Fat Tuesday.
NATIONAL CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE DAY
A delightfully delicious dessert is observed each year on February 28th as it is National Chocolate Souffle Day.
The word souffle is the past participle of the French verb souffler, which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up” which describes a souffle perfectly. A souffle is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites that are combined with other ingredients to make the dish either a savory main dish or a sweet dessert.
Two essential components make up every souffle.
1. a French creme patisserie base/flavored cream sauce or puree
2. egg whites beaten to a soft peak meringue
A souffle gets its flavor from the base, and the egg whites provide the lift to puff it up. A variety of cheeses, jams, fruits or chocolates can be baked into the base of the souffle. Many souffle bakers like to puncture the top of the souffle after removing it from the oven. Then they pour mouth watering sauces onto it, such as chocolate, vanilla or for a savory flavor cheese and herbs.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Take the challenge of a souffle and try one of these recipes:
Use #ChocolateSouffleDay to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to find the creator of National Chocolate Souffle Day.
NATIONAL PUBLIC SLEEPING DAY
Are you tired? If you are (and it’s February 28), go ahead a take a nap. February 28th is National Public Sleeping Day. It is a day for anyone and everyone to take a nap on a blanket at the beach, at the park, in the movie theater, on a bus, train, or subway or any other public place that may work for you. However, it may not be a good idea to take that nap at your desk during work!
There are different types of naps. The Power Nap is approximately 10 to 20 minutes long and can give a boost of energy to get us through the rest of the day. It also doesn’t leave us drowsy like some longer naps might and will also allow us to fall asleep at a decent time at night.
The Hangover is about 30 minutes long, 10 too many, leaving us loopy and wanting just to stay asleep. We will snap out of it and feel much like we had a Power Nap, but it may take a bit of effort before we feel those benefits.
The Brainiac lasts about 60 minutes and includes the deepest sleep. While we may feel a little grogginess upon waking, much like the Hangover, our ability to recall facts, names and faces, will be improved. This type of nap may be the best nap after a round of studying or before a big test.
The California King lasts about 90 minutes and is typically a full cycle of sleep. It will also include REM or a dream stage. This nap avoids the hangover like the power nap does and improves creative thinking and motor memory, but night time sleep may become elusive.
For more information, visit the National Day Calendar page for National Public Sleeping Day.
NATIONAL TOOTH FAIRY DAY
February 28th is a day to look back on the history of one of dental care’s little helpers and to keep encouraging our children to develop good dental hygiene. It’s National Tooth Fairy Day.
Like some of the fantastic creations who oversee children, the tooth fairy is a relative newcomer to the world of child fantasies.
In the mid-1920s fairies were used for all sorts of health education from bath fairies to fresh air fairies as a way to get kids to remember to eat their vegetables, wash behind their ears and get a good night’s rest. Like toothpaste today that advertises fruity flavors and sparkles to get kids excited to brush their teeth, in 1925 it was probably quite a bit more difficult considering the pastes were mostly peroxide and baking soda. One advertisement was for a Fairy Wand Tooth Whitener. This product promised to brush away cigarette and coffee stains. The ad was aimed at both children and adults, we hope!
Then in 1927, Esther Watkins Arnold printed an eight-page playlet for children called The Tooth Fairy. It was the same year Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “proved” his claim that fairies and gnomes are real and “verified” with pictures of two little girls surrounded by fairies. The world was ripe with imagination and primed to have a tooth fairy about to come collect the lost teeth of little boys and girls and leave a coin or two behind.
For more information, visit the National Day Calendar page for National Tooth Fairy Day.
NATIONAL FLORAL DESIGN DAY
National Floral Design Day is observed annually on February 28th. For thousands of years, floral design has been an important cultural art form. This is the day we celebrate that art form. It may be in a bouquet, painting, in a textile, a garden or floral arrangement.
Floral design is a multi-billion dollar industry that brightens our lives on a daily basis.
From majestic, historic gardens to a bridal bouquet on that special day, floral designers have an eye for color, style and perspective. Floral design can complete a space, complementing existing structures and bringing brightness and color to them.
As with many arts, floral design has traditional roots hearkening back to Egyptian temple offerings to gods. The design changed from era to era, each having distinct customs and traditions.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Keep an eye out for floral designs and use #FloralDesignDay to post on social media.
Floral Design Day was created as a unique way to celebrate a special birthday of Carl Rittner, the founder of the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston over 60 years ago. Mr. Rittner is a pioneer in floral art education. The people at Rittners felt that the idea of a holiday that celebrates floral design as an art form is a wonderful one whose time had come. So they, along with Mr. Rittner, wanted to see Floral Design Day continue to be observed as an event in its own right.
RARE DISEASE DAY USA
Rare Disease Day is observed the last day in February.
A rare disease is defined differently in different parts of the world. In Europe, a rare disease is one that affects fewer than one in 2,000 people while in the United States the standard is 1 in 200,000. While a majority of the conditions are genetic in origin, still others are the result of infections, environmental or degenerative factors.
Often people with rare diseases face a multi-faceted uphill battle; with few suffers, there are fewer voices to bring awareness to their needs for research, medical and financial support or their physical, social and often times mental burdens.
Rare Disease Day brings those voices together to help lift some of those burdens and bring awareness to light.
HOW TO OBSERVE
The goal of Rare Disease Day is to raise awareness among the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and the impact that they have on patients’ lives. Use #RareDiseaseDayUSA to post on social media.
First observed in Europe in 2008, Rare Disease Day was established by Eurordis, (the European Rare Disease Organization). In 2009, NORD was asked by EURORDIS to sponsor Rare Disease Day in the United States. NORD accepted and 2014 celebrates the 6th annual RARE DISEASE DAY USA.
SPAY DAY USA
The last Tuesday in February is the annual observance of Spay Day USA.
Spay Day USA has helped in decreasing the population of stray dogs and cats throughout the United States. Spaying helps reduce the number of unwanted animals.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #SpayDayUSA to post on social media.
This day was created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1994 as a day to bring attention to the pet overpopulation problem in the United States, and also to encourage animal population control by neutering pets.
There are over 1,200 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day with National Day Calendar!
About National Day Calendar
Founded in 2013 in the historic town of Mandan, North Dakota, National Day Calendar began as a kernel of curiosity that exploded into a growing collection of ways to Celebrate. Every Day, founder Marlo Anderson and his team seek out all the daily, weekly and monthly observations and celebrations to keep you up to date and informed. Through daily updates, social media, mobile applications and much more, National Day Calendar helps you #CelebrateEveryDay!