The 19th of April is Garlic Day. Don’t worry about your breath today; no one will notice because everyone else will be eating it too — apparently.
It’s a day to work garlic somehow into what you are making. You may even wish to make a classic garlic dish such as Caesar Salad (so called because Caesar caught a whiff of Brutus’ breath after dinner and said, “et tu, Brute?”)
Now, there is some dissension over when exactly Garlic Day should be observed.
Competing dates include 27th December, 17th April and 23rd April.
Some insist that it is indeed today — the 19th, with the following day, the 20th, being Garlic Breath Day.
On the 25th of July every year, in the town of Vitoria in the Basque region of Spain, a festival is held called “Blusa” (meaning “smock”, referring to the special shirt that young men wear on the day.) Many also just call it Garlic Day, however, because the activities centre around buying strands of garlic and wearing them on your neck.
Numerous farming communities hold a Garlic Day in the fall, to celebrate their harvests.
“Garlic Day: La Plata, Argentina. The Buenos Aires provincial government Friday set aside a budget item of $1,450 for proper celebration of National Garlic Day. Festivities will take place at the town of Medanos at a date yet to be fixed, it was announced.”  United Press. Zanesville, Ohio: The Times Recorder. Saturday, 18 May 1968. Page 6-A.
New York State garlic growers started celebrating a Garlic Day in the fall of 1986. The first few years were held at Rose in Wayne Country; by 1990 it was being held at the Oneida County Farm & Home Center. By the autumn of 1997, there were co-events with local restaurateurs:
“Garlic Day: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Held by Dinosaur Bar-B-Q Express in conjunction with the Garlic Institute. Beginning at 9 a.m., local growers offer garlic bulbs, bunches and braids in the Dinosaur parking lot.” The Post Standard, Syracuse, New York. 10 October 1997. Weekend Section, Page 4.
The earliest print mention CooksInfo has been able to find of an April Garlic Day occurred in August 2000 in Edmonton, Alberta in a list of whacky food days:
“April 19 — National Garlic Day.” Warwaruk, Jody. Here’s a holiday to make you feel all sweet and gooey. Edmonton, Alberta: The Edmonton Journal. Wednesday, 30 August 2000. Page G2, col. 6.
Literature & Lore
“‘Doctor,’ said Mr. Richards. Thomas here is a good fellow and all that, but he has been eating garlic and I have told him that if he comes near me we will have a row. Send him out to get some cloves or tuck him in the back of this box, where he won’t annoy any one.’
Mr. Thomas laughed good naturedly and Dr. Prince, with a puzzled expression, said: ‘Most extraordinary thing I ever heard. Here, Thomas, sit down here beside Mrs. Prince. She had garlic for her lunch.’
Dr. Prince gave up his seat by the two young women to Mr. Richards and retired to the back of the box to ponder on the curious freaks of coincidences. He has an acute mind that works logically and he was about ready to draw a deduction that was near the truth when Mr. Richards leaned back and whispered:
‘Say, doctor, this must be garlic day all around. These two girls have been eating garlic. I never knew such an epidemic of the stuff.” Trail of a Garlic Luncheon: Secret Learned by Husband at a Theatre Party. The Doings of Four Bachelors, Two Wives and Two Young Women Revealed. Lincoln, Nebraska: Nebraska State Journal. Monday, 3 February 1902. Morning edition. Page 3.
“We had a dentist friend to supper. There were tender little green onions amongst the radishes and olives. There was onion in the salad. The soup had a whisper, a mere whim, of garlic in it.
The poor fellow! We had to go out and cook him up some scrambled eggs.
‘Dentists,’ he said sadly, ‘can’t eat onions, garlic or any of those scented things. I love them. I look forward to Saturday all week, because Saturday is the only day I can eat ’em.
Saturday is onion day, garlic day.
I daren’t eat them Sunday, because they still cling around to Monday.'” Clark, Gregory. Ever Wish You Were A Dentist? Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Winnipeg Free Press. Friday, 6 November 1953. Page 35.
|↑1||United Press. Zanesville, Ohio: The Times Recorder. Saturday, 18 May 1968. Page 6-A.|
|↑2||The Post Standard, Syracuse, New York. 10 October 1997. Weekend Section, Page 4.|
|↑3||Warwaruk, Jody. Here’s a holiday to make you feel all sweet and gooey. Edmonton, Alberta: The Edmonton Journal. Wednesday, 30 August 2000. Page G2, col. 6.|
|↑4||Trail of a Garlic Luncheon: Secret Learned by Husband at a Theatre Party. The Doings of Four Bachelors, Two Wives and Two Young Women Revealed. Lincoln, Nebraska: Nebraska State Journal. Monday, 3 February 1902. Morning edition. Page 3.|
|↑5||Clark, Gregory. Ever Wish You Were A Dentist? Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Winnipeg Free Press. Friday, 6 November 1953. Page 35.|