National Banana Day Date in the current year: April 17, 2024

National Banana Day Bananas are one of the world’s most widely consumed fruit for a reason: they are affordable, delicious, nutritious, and have a number of health benefits. So it is not surprising that there is a holiday dedicated to them! National Banana Day is celebrated annually on the third Wednesday of April.

Bananas are the edible fruit (technically berries) of several plants in the genus Musa (Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana and their hybrid Musa x paradisiaca). In some countries, sweet and soft bananas that are used for desserts are typically called simply “bananas” or “dessert bananas”, whereas starchy and less sweet varieties used for cooking are called “cooking bananas”, “green bananas” or “plantains”.

Native to Australia and the Indomalayan realm, bananas are cultivated in 135 countries and territories across the tropics and subtropics. According to FAOSTAT of the United Nations, the world’s largest producers of bananas as of 2017 were India and China, whereas the largest exporters were Ecuador and the Philippines.

With more than 1,000 cultivars, bananas are among the most produced, consumed and traded foods in the world. They are a staple crop in many developing countries and provide an important food source between the harvest seasons since they produce fruit all the year round. Bananas also support the economies of some of the least developed and low-income countries, where they are the most important cash crop.

Bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates and vitamin B6, and moderate sauce of dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese. Although bananas have a reputation of containing lots of potassium, their potassium content is actually relatively moderate. Foods that are better sources of potassium include flaxseed, almonds, peanut butter, raw baby spinach, and whole grain oats.

Dessert bananas can be eaten raw, added to batter or dough, deep fried, baked, or steamed. They can also be used to make banana chips, banana flour, and banana preserves. Plantains can be fried, deep-fried, grilled, baked, and added to various stews and curries. In some cuisines, banana flowers are used as a vegetable similarly to artichokes. They can be eaten raw, steamed, or added to fried dishes, curries, and soups.

The origins of National Banana Day are unclear, but don’t let it stop you from celebrating this amazing holiday. You can learn more about the health benefits of bananas, add some sliced bananas to your morning oatmeal or toast, snack on bananas during the day, pack your kids some bananas with their lunch, cook something with bananas (for example, banana cupcakes, banana bread, banana cream pie, banana smoothies, banana split, flambéed bananas, chocolate-covered bananas… there are so many options!), throw a banana-themed party for your friends and family, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalBananaDay and #BananaDay.

National Banana Day should not be confused with another banana-inspired holiday, National Banana Lovers Day. The latter is celebrated annually on August 27.

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National Banana Day, food days, food holidays, unofficial holidays, observances in the US