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National Cherry Pie Day

National Cherry Pie Day, also known as Cherry Pie Day, celebrates cherry pie and takes place on February 20, likely because of the strong association between cherries and cherry pie with George Washington, whose birthday is February 22. Throughout the twentieth century, beginning in the 1930s, there were several observances called National Cherry Pie or Cherry Pie Day that were held on or around February 22 that celebrated cherries, George Washington, or both. National Cherry Pie Day sometimes still coincides with Presidents' Day or Washington's Birthday, which is held on the third Monday in February. Since around 2001, all National Cherry Pie observances have been on February 20. It is unclear what caused the permanent shift to this date. February also is National Cherry Month.

According to lore, the first cherry pie was either made by or presented to Queen Elizabeth I in the sixteenth century. Cherry pie is one of the most popular pies—not far behind apple and pumpkin in popularity. It has both a bottom and top pie crust, the top often being decorated in fancy pasty patterns. Inside is a cherry filling, of course, and sour cherries, like Morello and Montmorency, are often used. This allows the baker to control the sweetness of the pie with sugar and other ingredients, instead of relying on the cherries to determine the sweetness. Cherry pie is often served with whipped cream or ice cream. Besides being eaten on National Cherry Pie Day, cherry pie is often eaten on Canada Day and Independence Day, which take place near the cherry harvest season.

How to Observe National Cherry Pie Day

  • Look for specials on cherry pie at restaurants and other businesses, which are known to have them today.
  • Pick up a cherry pie at a bakery.
  • Have a slice of cherry pie at a café. Consider enjoying it with a scoop of ice cream (à la mode)!
  • Bake a cherry pie. Consider bringing it to a neighbor or donating it to someone in need!

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