Where the World Gathers to Celebrate Every Day






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January 31st honors everything backward with National Backward Day. The day provides an opportunity to reverse our ways, our direction or simply our shirt.  Dessert for breakfast, perhaps? There are many ways to celebrate this fun day, so just let your imagination be your guide.
This day is very popular with school-aged kids, but there is no age limit on who can participate in all of the backward fun. So EVERYONE, let’s have some fun!! 

FUN FACT:  Leonardo da Vinci wrote backward. Not only did the artist and inventor write from right to left, but he also wrote his letters backward.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBackwardDay

After polling several National Day Calendar staff members, we opaquely have an idea on how to celebrate this day.

  • Go out the back door
  • Have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner.
  • Instead of coming unglued when you’re upset, get glued.
  • Add coffee to your milk.
  • Add ice cream to your chocolate.
  • Do your work in reverse order.
  • Say, “Goodbye,” instead of “Hello,” when answering the phone.
  • Twiddle your pinkies, not your thumbs.
  • Wear your sweatshirt backward.
  • Write your name backward.
  • Write an entire sentence backward.
  • Run the bases in baseball backward.
  • Watch a movie backward.
  • Read a book starting with the last page.
  • Play a record backward.

Do things backward and use #NationalBackwardDay to post on social media.


We’ve looked up, down, and all around for the creator of this day. Now, we’re going to retrace our steps, backward.



Each year on January 31st, National Hot Chocolate Day warms up people across the country by celebrating the timeless cold-weather beverage.

Hot chocolate is a warm beverage made with ground chocolate, heated milk or water, and sugar. In America, we often use the terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa interchangeably. However, the two beverages are different.

Cocoa vs Hot Chocolate 

We make hot cocoa with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. We’re able to do this thanks to a process developed by father and son chemists. For the thicker, more flavorful beverage, we make hot chocolate from ground chocolate containing cocoa butter. It is also called drinking chocolate. Hot chocolate has also been around longer than hot cocoa. In the early 1800s, Casparus van Houten Sr. developed a process to separate the cocoa solids from the butter. His son, Coenraad Johannes made those fats more soluble in water. Together their processes made cocoa powder possible.

But before then, everyone drank hot chocolate. This thicker, creamier beverage often offered medicinal benefits for stomach ailments during the 19th century. In fact, long before the beverage’s popularity in Victorian times, it served in ceremonial culture. 

However, humans have been drinking chocolate for a long time. The Mayans likely created the first chocolate beverage 2000 years ago. The Aztecs also included a cocoa beverage as an essential part of their culture by 1400 AD. When Europeans began exploring Central and South America, explorers brought chocolate and the beverage back with them to Europe from Mexico.

Make it and Benefit

Hot chocolate can be enjoyed in a variety of combinations, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. Sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of peppermint makes the chocolate extra special. In the United States, many people enjoy an instant form of hot chocolate. It is made with hot water or milk and a packet containing mostly cocoa powder, sugar, and dry milk.

There are health benefits to drinking hot chocolate. Cocoa contains significant amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. Studies have shown the flavonoids in chocolate may have a positive effect on arterial health and memory.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHotChocolateDay

Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. You can make it with dark or milk chocolate. While you’re at it, try experimenting, too. Add some cinnamon or other flavors to your chocolate. Of course, inviting a friend to join you is essential to the celebration, too. Try adding these toppings.

  • Whipped cream
  • Marshmallows
  • Sprinkles
  • Candied fruit

Take a photo and use #NationalHotChocolateDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this chocolatey beverage holiday.



Always observed on January 31st, Inspire Your Heart With Art Day encourages us to ponder how art affects our hearts. Art is valued and appreciated for all sorts of reasons. 

Click play and listen to the 2-minute episode on why we celebrate Inspire Your Heart With Art Day. Featuring the founder of National Day Calendar, Marlo Anderson.

Of the broad spectrum of art created in the world, the pieces that move us to tears or cause us to burst out into joyous laughter remain with us for a lifetime. Whether we are touched by music or see into an artist’s soul through their work, art has the power to change us, to inspire our hearts.

The day encourages us to explore the many genres of art and let it inspire us.

HOW TO OBSERVE #InspireYourHeartWithArtDay

Since art comes in so many forms, the number of ways to celebrate are countless. We provide only a snapshot of the ways to participate. We hope it inspires you to celebrate the day in a way that puts art in your heart.

  • Visit an art gallery.
  • Attend a live theatre performance
  • Read a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Attend a ballet performance
  • Start your masterpiece.
  • Teach someone how to play an instrument.
  • Attend an art lecture.
  • Explore a new technique.
  • See an inspirational film.
  • Share your art with others.

 Use #InspireYourHeartWithArtDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this national art celebration. 

On Deck for February 1, 2021

January 31st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History


The Social Security Administration issues the first Social Security check in the amount of $22.54 to Ida May Fuller.


Chicago’s NBC affiliate WNBQ begins broadcasting the first television soap opera. These Are My Children aired for 15 minutes a day, five days a week until 1949.


NASA launches Mercury 2 on a suborbital mission with a chimpanzee on board. The chimp, named Ham, survives the 16-minute 39-second flight.


The Misfits directed by John Huston and starring Clark Gable, Monroe, and Montgomery Clift premiers in Reno, Nevada. The intense love story was the last completed film for both Gable and Monroe.


Don Williams became the first African American to start and win a Super Bowl. Playing for the Washington Redskins, he led Washington to a 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.

Recipe of the Day

Baked Pears Recipe
Prep:  10 minutes
Cook:  1 hour
Total Prep:  1 hour 10 minutes
Servings:  6


6 Pears
1 cup sugar
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°

Peel pears

Slice in half and core

Place on baking sheet

In a small bowl, combine sugar, lemon and orange rind and juices

Pour over pears

Dot with butter

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Bake for 1 hour

January 31st Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays

Zane Grey – 1872

The popular author wrote about the American frontier and was one of the first widely-read western novelists. He wrote over 80 books, but some of his most popular were Riders of the Purple Sage, The Last Trail, and The Lone Star Ranger.

Ella Cara Deloria – 1889

The Dakota Sioux educator dedicated much of her career to recording and translating the dialects, texts, myths, and ethnography of the Sioux culture and languages. She also wrote several books including Iron Hawk, Speaking of Indians, and Waterlily which was published posthumously.

Don Hutson – 1913

The professional football player played 11 years as a receiver with the Green Bay Packers.

Jackie Robinson -1919

In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played 10 seasons with the MLB.

Norman Mailer – 1923

The prolific award-winning writer was known for his novels, plays, and films. He won two Pulitzer Prizes and the National Book Award.

Honorable Mentions

Freya Stark – 1893
Norm Prescott – 1927
Ernie Banks – 1931
Nolan Ryan – 1947
Dov Charney – 1969

About National Day Calendar

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.

There’s a celebration for everyone. While National Road Trip Day satisfies the itch to wander, many pet days let us share our love of animals. National 3-D Day and National Astronaut Day honor the advancement of technology, too. Every food day you can imagine (National Avocado Day, for example), will keep you celebrating, also!

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Our Ambassador Program is another way #CelebrateEveryDay®! Whether you become an ambassador or follow one of the savvy ambassadors, their fun videos and posts will keep you prepared for every holiday.