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National Chili Day

National Chili day honors one of America’s favorite dishes–chili, which is also known as chili con carne (chili with meat). There isn’t much known about how the holiday came about, but one story claims Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun in the early 1600s, who never left her convent yet had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians had written down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes after one of her “trips.” This doesn’t sound realistic but no one is around to deny it. Most historians believe the earliest written description of chili came from J.C. Clopper. Chili was created as a way to make the meat last longer. By adding other ingredients poor people were able to make it last.

When is National Chili Day Celebrated?

The fourth Thursday in February. In 2018 it is celebrated on February 23rd, in 2019 it is celebrated on February 28th.

Type of Holiday Chili Day is?

Fun, Food Holiday.

How is National Chili Day Celebrated?

  • Many restaurants will feature chili in various forms – chili dogs, chili cheese fries, on baked potatoes, etc. See how many you can sample.
  • Try a new chili recipe – there are literally hundreds of chili recipes out there. A favorite chili recipe of ours is from the Genius Kitchen.
  • Office and other organizations sometimes host their own chili cook-offs, which are great for fundraising as well.
  • Post pictures on social media of all your chili tastings.


  • Chili also incorporates the culinary traditions of Spanish and Native American cultures, while Texas claims to be the birthplace of this dish.
  • The first written reference to chili appeared in San Antonio in 1828.
  • Some cultures put chili powder in their shoes to keep their feet warm.
  • In 1977, House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature designated chili con carne as the official dish of the state of Texas.
  • There is a legend that Spanish priests called the first chili “the soup of the Devil” because they believed that chili peppers were an aphrodisiac. This probably just increased its appeal!
  • While many food historians agree that chili con carne is an American dish with Mexican roots, Mexicans are said to indignantly deny any association with the dish.

Famous People Birthdays on February 23rd:

  • George Handel – Baroque composer
  • Peter Fonda – Actor
  • Michael Dell – Computer manufacturer
  • Dakota Fanning – Actress
  • W.E.B. DuBois – Civil rights activist/author
  • John Sandford – Novelist
  • Niecy Nash – Actress

Popular Social Media Hashtags:

#chili #nationalchiliday #chiliday

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