National Bean Day (Dry Bean Day) Date in the current year: January 6, 2024

National Bean Day (Dry Bean Day) National Bean Day, also known as Dry Bean Day, is observed annually on January 6. It celebrates all the different kinds of beans that are a staple food in many cultures because of their high protein content.

The term bean can have several meanings depending on the context. In the broadest sense, it refers to the seeds of any plant in the legume family that includes about 19,000 species. However, FAO defines (dry) beans as plants of the genus Phaseolus that is native to the Americas, as well as several species in the genus Vigna. They are the kidney bean (a variety of the common bean), the lima bean, the mung bean, the black gram, the runner bean, the tepary bean, the moth bean, the rice bean, and the azuki bean.

In addition, some seeds that resemble “true” beans are referred to as beans as well: castor beans, cocoa beans, coffee beans, vanilla beans, etc. Although they are not beans from a botanical or culinary point of view, the name has stuck.

Beans and other grain legumes are valued for their high content of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and dietary minerals. Due to their high nutritional value, they are a staple food in many parts of the world, especially in regions where people have little access to meat and dairy products due to economical or other reasons.

Protein-rich legumes are used as a key ingredient in vegetarian and vegan diary and meat substitutes. Besides, they have a low glycemic index and contain no cholesterol or gluten; this makes beans an essential food item for people with gluten intolerance, diabetes, and some other health conditions. In additional to their nutritional value, beans and other legumes are good for the environment because they capture atmospheric nitrogen and thus make soils more fertile for future crops.

Americans love their food days, so it is not surprising that they have a holiday dedicated to beans. It is known by two names: Dry Bean Day and National Bean Day. Dry Bean Day is apparently dedicated to beans in the narrow sense of the word, i.e. members of the American genus Phaseolus, while National Bean Day seems to be more inclusive. Anyway, since the origins of the holiday are unclear, you’re free to decide how to celebrate it.

There are many ways to celebrate National Bean Day. You can learn more about the health benefits and nutritional value of different kinds of beans, cook your favorite bean recipe or try a new one, try beans that you have never tried before, create a DIY bean art using dry beans of different sizes, shapes and colors, or plant some beans. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media using the hashtags #NationalBeanDay, #BeanDay and #DryBeanDay.

National Bean Day should not be confused with National Eat Beans Day (or National Eat Your Beans Day), which is celebrated on July 3. In addition, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization has established World Pulses Day that celebrates all legumes that are harvested for dry grains: beans, chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, soybeans, and more.

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National Bean Day, Dry Bean Day, unofficial holidays, food days, observances in the United States