National Pears Helene Day | March 15
(Last Updated On: March 8, 2023)


On March 15th, National Pears Hélène Day celebrates a food holiday about the delicious, smooth French dessert combining warm poached pears, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate sauce.


Pears Hélène is a dessert made from pears poached in sugar syrup and served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and crystallized violets. Around 1864, French Chef Auguste Escoffier created the dessert in honor of the operetta La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach. 

Over time, simpler versions of Pears Hélène have been developed by substituting poached pears with canned pears and the delicate crystallized violets have been replaced with sliced almonds. These modifications have made it easier for more cooks to prepare this must-have dessert. 


  • There are more than 3,000 varieties of pears grown in the world.
  • Washington, Oregon, and Northern California grow more than 95% of the pears sold in the United States.
  • California grows 60% of all Bartlett pears in the United States.
  • Pears ripen best off of the tree.
  • They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C as well as copper, fiber, and potassium.
  • Pears are less allergenic than many other fruits.


  • Prepare a recipe for Pears Hélène.
  • Add it to an elegant evening or part of a simple meal to celebrate the day.
  • We’ve provided a recipe for you to try as well.
  • Share your recipes, too!
  • Use #NationalPearsHeleneDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this dessert holiday. 

Pears FAQ

Q. When are pears in season?
A. Prime pear season is from August to September.

Q. Do pears ripen on the tree?
A. No. Pears are best when they ripen off the tree.

Q. How many calories are in a pear?
A. One medium pear contains approximately 102 calories.

March 15th Celebrated History


Jesse W. Reno of New York City patented an “endless conveyor or elevator” that operated as a ride at Coney Island. His patent no. 470,918 describes an escalator-type machine. The Otis Elevator Company would purchase Reno’s company after the turn of the century.


The first presidential press conference is held in the Oval Office. Just eleven days before, President Woodrow Wilson had been inaugurated and his secretary encouraged him to hold a meeting with the press. An appointment was made and more than 100 reporters fill Wilson’s office. While the location of the presidential press conference may be different, that meeting over 100 years ago kicked off a tradition that still continues today.


Over a weekend in Paris, more than 1,000 American Expeditionary Forces gathered to launch a patriotic veteran service organization. Today the American Legion is comprised of current and former members of the military. The organization makes many contributions in support of youth and veterans including creating the American Legion Baseball program, leadership programs, financial support to the Vietnam Memorial, scholarships, and much more.


The Chords record the first Doo-wop song “Sh-boom.”

March 15th Celebrated Birthdays

Andrew Jackson – 1767

The people elected the durable seventh U.S. president known as “Old Hickory” for being tough in battle to a two-term presidency.

Alice Cunningham Fletcher – 1838

As an anthropologist, Alice Cunningham Fletcher immersed herself in Native American cultures and pioneered ethnological study.

Emil von Behring – 1854

In 1901, the German physiologist received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “for his work on serum therapy, especially its application against diphtheria…” It was the first Nobel Prize for medicine in the history of the award.

Liberty Hyde Bailey – 1858

In 1903, the American horticulturist and botanist co-founded the American Society for Horticultural Science. He was immensely dedicated to rural communities and their cooperative efforts. Many of his influences still exist today in the form of county extension services, 4-H Clubs, and rural services.

Madelyn Pugh – 1921

The American writer is best known for her work on television sitcoms like I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, and Life with Lucy.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg – 1933

In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court of the United States. She served 27 years, often seen as an advocate for women’s rights, until her death in 2020.

Sly Stone – 1944

The pioneer of funk was born Sylvester Stewart and led the band Sly and the Family Stone. Songs like “Dance to the Music” and “Everyday People” brought dancers to their feet.

Notable Mentions

Alan Bean – 1932
Rosabeth Moss Kanter – 1943
Bret Michaels – 1963
Naoko Takeuchi – 1967

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