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February festivities brighten up a dull month

Elizabeth Schuth  

Editor in Chief

February 19, 2024

The joy and sparkle of Christmas has long faded into the grey stretch of January.  Even the fresh gleam of snow fails to bring a smile, a grim frost has settled in on the souls and spirits of everyone.  Hope is as faint a memory as the sun buried beneath suffocating blankets of grey clouds.  In the midst of it all, we find ourselves in the miraculously shortest month of the year- yet longest feeling February. In order to brighten up the month, here are a few February Holidays!

Groundhog Day: February 2 

February 2 is a date marked by emotion-filled scenes of hundreds of people joined together with one noble purpose to witness the great groundhog clairvoyant: Punxsutawney Phil!  While Phil only has a 39% prediction accuracy this oddball holiday helps the month speed by.  According to Punxsutawney lore, Phil has been alive since 1886 and every summer at the groundhog picnic drinks an elixir of life which grants him seven more years of life. He is also fluent in Groundhogese and has a wife named Phyliss.

Nutella Day: February 5

Our favorite chocolatey spread has its own holiday on February 5.  Nutella originated from Piedmont, Italy in the aftermath of World War two when chocolate was still being rationed.  Baker Pietro Ferreo ran out of his chocolate ration early and in a moment of inspiration mixed sugar and hazelnuts with a trace amount of chocolate to create the first-ever batch of Nutella.  Today Nutella productions use over 25% of all hazelnuts grown.

Teddy Bear Day: February 10 

Teddy bears are a staple of the stuffed animal industry and also world travelers such as one British mascot bear Raymundo who circumnavigated the world trekking over 395,605 miles and another to outer space.  Teddy bears have ranged all sizes including some as small as .29 inches.  When the Titanic sank in 1912 luxury teddy bear company Steiff made 500 specialty teddy bears that were designed to look like they were crying.

Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast: February 18

Ice cream! Ice cream! We all scream for ice cream! Ice cream stood among the virtues of freedom and liberty with founding father Thomas Jefferson writing the first American ice cream recipe.  However ice cream is an international food with New Zealand eating the most annually with Americans close behind eating 5.5 gallons per person every year.  Ice cream is a food close to our hearts as it is the most missed food by astronauts in space. 

Tootsie Roll Day: February 23

Tootsie Rolls, originally invented in 1896, are named for the inventor’s daughter’s nickname and celebrate their birthday on February 23.  Tootsie Rolls have made their mark throughout candy history and on the battlefield as a part of United States World War II ration packets.  According to a Korean War legend, during a battle at Chosin, a Marine ran out of shells and ordered the code word “Tootsie Rolls” to be airdropped.  Suddenly small tootsie roll candies were tumbling from the sky.  Despite initial distress at the misconception Marines were soon able to use the candies to patch bullet holes and get extra energy.  Tootsie rolls remain popular today with more than 64 million pieces made each day.

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