National Day Calendar

National Day Calendar


February 16, 2021 – Fat Tuesday | National Do A Grouch A Favor Day

February 15, 2021

Just Why Is There A Plastic Baby In The King Cake?

Welcome to February 16th, 2021 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate loveable grouches and traditional cakes.

One of the world’s more loveable grouches is Oscar from Sesame Street.  Everyone in the neighborhood does their best to bring Oscar around.  And even though he stays in his stinky “trash can mood,” once in a while we see him have a heart.  Jim Henson based this character on a grumpy waiter he encountered in a restaurant called Oscar’s Salt of The Sea.  Carroll Spinney performed Oscar’s voice based on a cranky New York taxi driver.  We all meet a grouch at some point in life and there’s one trick that works more often than not: doing something nice.  On National Do A Grouch A Favor Day try this method with your favorite grouch. Just don’t let them know which day you are celebrating.

While many foods are synonymous with Mardi Gras, one of the oldest traditions is king cake.  If you’ve ever tried a king cake, you know that there’s a prize baked inside. A tiny plastic baby. This odd custom began as a way to choose the king or queen of Mardi Gras celebrations. For years, the item baked into the cake was a crowned king’s head, which symbolized the three kings who had visited the baby Jesus with gifts. However, this became a problem during the French Revolution. The monarchy saw the heads as a thinly veiled threat. And since royalty during this time had become less popular, commoners were all too happy to swap it out with a baby. When king cake made its way to New Orleans, porcelain figures were used, until a baker ran out and needed a replacement.  He found a plastic version and that is the standard to this day. On Fat Tuesday celebrate with your favorite treat and enjoy the last hurrah before Lent. 

I’m Anna Devere and I’m Marlo Anderson.  Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day.