FEBRUARY 14, 2019 | VALENTINE’S DAY | NATIONAL ORGAN DONOR DAY | NATIONAL FERRIS WHEEL DAY | NATIONAL CREAM-FILLED CHOCOLATES DAY
Valentine’s Day began as St. Valentine’s Day, a liturgical celebration of one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. February 14th, Valentine’s, Day first became associated with romantic love during the High Middle Ages as the tradition of courtly love was then flourishing. During 18th century England, this day evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending Valentine cards.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Get something special for your Valentine and use #ValentinesDay to post on social media.
Credit is traditionally given to Pope Gelasius for declaring February 14 as Saint Valentine’s Day around the year 496 to separate the church from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia, an ancient pagan fertility festival which occurred on February 15th.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY
Observed each year on February 14th, National Donor Day (also known as National Organ Donor Day) is a day to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved. In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
Give the gift of Life.
National Donor Day focuses on five different types of donations: Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.
HOW TO OBSERVE
NATIONAL FERRIS WHEEL DAY
February 14th is the annual observance of National Ferris Wheel Day. This unofficial national holiday is held on this day to honor the birth of the inventor of the Ferris Wheel, George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.
Preparations for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition began in earnest in 1891. Director of works for the fair, Daniel H. Burnham, laid out the challenge: create a centerpiece to the show that will rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Erected the year before, the Eiffel Tower was quickly becoming a world attraction. Ideas were tossed about, plans presented and plans rejected.
George Washington Gale Ferris was inspired. He contemplated several ideas, but it wasn’t until one evening in a Chicago chophouse that he struck on an idea that could fit the challenge. After sketching out the design on napkins, he proceeded to develop his plans.
When presented with the concept Burnham balked, doubting it could safely carry people to such heights. Ferris persisted. Spending $25,000 of his own money, he paid for safety studies, obtained $600,000 more from investors, hired engineers and built the 250-foot diameter wheel and hoisted it up between 140-foot twin towers.
It was a colossal success at 26 stories tall and making a whopping $726,805.50. In 1893, that was a hefty profit for the fair.
Despite the wheel’s success, Ferris struggled after the fair. Lawsuits over who owed who bankrupt him. His wife left him. Then in 1896, a few short years after the fair, he died at the age of 37 of typhoid fever.
The original wheel suffered a similar fate. In 1906, it was destroyed with dynamite for scrap metal. The idea has lived on, and wheels continue to be enjoyed around the world.
WHEELS AROUND THE WORLD
Tianjin Eye Ferris Wheel in Tianjin, China, is built over a bridge spanning the Hai River.
The London Eye overlooks the Thames River in London.
The ever classic Wonder Wheel of Coney Island in New York City was built by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company from 1918-1920.
Take your breath away looking over Niagara Falls from a seat on the Niagara Skywheel in Canada.
HOW TO OBSERVE
If you are near a Ferris Wheel, catch a lift up to the top and enjoy the view. Use #NationalFerrisWheelDay to post on social media.
National Ferris Wheel Day is celebrated to honor the inventor of the Ferris Wheel. However, our research was unable to find the creator of this day.
NATIONAL CREAM-FILLED CHOCOLATES DAY
Chocolate lovers rejoice as February 14th is National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day! On a day when heart-shaped boxes are filled with bite-sized chocolates with ooey, gooey centers, quite a few of these cream-filled goodies will be exchanged and shared on this holiday.
Whether it is milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate filled with marshmallow cream, creme de menthe or coconut cream, there is a variety of choices to fit every chocolate lovers palate.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Have a cream-filled chocolate and use #NationalCreamFilledChocolates to post on social media.
Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Cream-filled Chocolates Day.
National Day Calendar™ is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate.
Whether you want to celebrate your favorite mail carrier and flip flops, share your joy for bacon and chocolate cake or enjoy popcorn (our office favorite) on National Popcorn Day, stay in-the-know by signing-up for our e-mail updates, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Don’t find yourself unprepared on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day – join us as we #CelebrateEveryDay!