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Each year on November 17th, National Baklava Day fills the kitchen with a sweet and flaky pastry that’s loved by many. Baklava is a sweet dessert that gives layers of texture and flavor between sheets of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and drizzled with syrup or honey. 

Believed to have originated by the Turkic people in Central Asian nations, Baklava is a dessert in many countries and prepared in several ways. The word “Baklava” first appeared in English in 1650.

If you’ve never tried baklava, there are several varieties. Walnuts, pecans, pistachios, or almonds can be used. The filling can be composed of raisins, dates, prunes and even figs. Most baklava recipes call for cinnamon, cardamom, or cloves – sometimes all three spices. 

Preparing this dessert may be somewhat time-consuming. However, it is a treat worth the work and the wait.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBaklavaDay

Try your hand at this complex dessert. It will be a satisfying achievement for any home cook. We’ve even provided a couple of recipes for you to try. However, if you prefer, frequent your local bakery. They’ll be happy to show you their specials. When you do, give them a shout out. And be sure to share with a friend or two while using #NationalBaklavaDay on social media.

Baklava recipe
Cardamom Fig Baklava

Use #NationalBaklavaDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this delicious food holiday.

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November 17th History


The Sixth United States Congress Convenes in Washington D.C. for the first time. Even though many rooms remain incomplete, substantial progress allowed both the House of Representatives and the Senate to begin their sessions in the Nation’s Capital.


The U.S. Patent Office issues H.N Wadsworth patent No. 18,653 for a new and improved Tooth-Brush.


After more than 10 years of construction, the Suez Canal opens, creating a shipping lane between the Mediterranean and the Red seas.


The U.S. Patent Office issues patent No. 388,850 to George Eastman for his box camera. The inventor also registered the trademark name, Kodak on the same day.


The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League began play at Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park Casino. 

November 17th Birthdays

Grace Abbott – 1878

Abbott dedicated her career to child labor policies and relief programs for immigrants. She headed the Children’s Bureau under President Warren G. Harding and while she saw a constitutional amendment against child labor, the states did not ratify it.

Soichiro Honda – 1906

In 1948, the Japanese engineer founded the Honda Motor Co., Ltd. with Takeo Fujisawa. Their first product is the D-type motorcycle.

Winson Hudson – 1916

An early Civil Rights activist, Anger Winson Gates established the Leake County chapter of the NAACP in Mississippi. For 25 years, she attempted to register to vote. But persistent voter suppression prevented Gates from registering until 1962.

William H. Hastie – 1904

The American attorney and civil rights advocate became the first African American named to the federal magistrate when in 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Hastie to judge of the Federal District Court in the Virgin Islands.

Danny DeVito – 1944

The award-winning actor, producer, and comedian gained his first critical attention in the role of Louie De Palma in the comedy series Taxi. Other credits include Big Fish, Get Shorty, Batman Returns, and Matilda.