National Cocoa Day

Celebrate National Cocoa Day this winter to celebrate winter and the holiday season! There’s nothing better than a hot cup of cocoa to warm up winter’s cold temps.

When is National Cocoa Day?

National Cocoa Day takes place on December 13 every year.



Here’s your insider’s guide to all you need to know about cocoa and its national day of recognition.

How to celebrate National Cocoa Day?

Here are some ideas on how to make the most of National Cocoa Day:

  • Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa to feel cozy. Wrap up in a blanket and put on a pair of slippers. A fire in the fireplace will set the mood for the perfect cocoa drink.
  • Gather friends and indulge in a comforting chocolatey drink while sharing recipes.
  • Serve hot cocoa after kids play in the snow, ski, go sledding, skating, or after any winter activities.

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Where does cocoa come from?

Cocoa comes from the cocao tree, which is believed to originate in South America but is now grown worldwide. Beans (or seeds) from the trees are ground into cocoa powder, the main ingredient in hot cocoa.

Video: How to make chocolate in 7 steps

What are the health benefits of cocoa?

Don’t feel too guilty enjoying a cup of hot cocoa; there are several health benefits to cocoa:

  • Cocoa contains antioxidants, which are known to help prevent diseases like cancer.
  • The cocoa bean aids digestion.
  • Cocoa flavonoids are good for healthy arteries.
  • Early users of cocoa in Europe even considered cocoa an aphrodisiac.

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What day is National Cocoa Day this year?

National Cocoa Day falls on December 13 each year.

Hot cocoa recipe

Ingredients: cocoa powder, milk, sugar, chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

How to make: Mix 8 ounces of milk with two heaping tablespoonfuls of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of sugar in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Stir and gently raise the temperature to medium. Stir in a handful of chocolate chips to taste.

Serve immediately in a big mug. Top with marshmallows and shaved chocolate chips. Yum!

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What to add to your cup of cocoa?

  • Whipped cream
  • Candy sprinkles
  • Chopped nuts
  • Marshmallows
  • Cinnamon
  • Candy cane
  • Sugar
  • Peppermint
  • Coconut
  • Cereal
  • Chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch
  • Toffee

National Cocoa Day hashtags to use on social media

Use these hashtags when you post your cocoa festivity photos to social media:

  • #NationalCocoaDay
  • #Cocoa
  • #HotCocoaDay
  • #Coco
  • #CocoaLover
  • #HotChocolate
  • #TisTheSeason
  • #HotCocoa
  • #Chocolate
  • #Cozy
  • #Marshmallow

The history of cocoa

Cocoa’s origins date back to about 500 BC when it was used by native populations like Aztecs and Mayans in South America.

When Spanish Conquistadors invaded the New World, they discovered delicious food. By adding sugar and spices, the Spaniards improved the taste of the bitter drink. But they kept their discovery secret from the rest of Europe for almost 100 years.

Eventually, cocoa consumption caught on with other Europeans, mostly by the social elite and royalty who could afford it. During the Industrial Revolution, machine-produced cocoa powder brought cocoa to the masses.

In 1850, Joseph Fry discovered that the addition of cocao butter to cocoa powder formed a solid mass called chocolate. Later, the Belgian inventor Jean Neuhaus II created pralines—or chocolate with flavor fillings.

From there, the chocolate industry boomed, spreading quickly around the world.

Cocoa fun facts

  • The word chocolate comes from two native words: chocolatl, meaning “hot water”, and cacahuatl, referring to a bitter drink made with cocoa, usually consumed during religious ceremonies.
  • Monkeys first discovered that the cacao plant was edible before humans began consuming it.
  • Native cultures used the cacao bean as currency in their trading and also as a reward for warriors returning from battle.
  • 4.5 million tons of cocoa beans are consumed annually worldwide.
  • It takes between 300-600 cocoa beans to make two pounds of chocolate.

Other holidays for chocolate lovers

International Cocoa Day occurs annually on July 7 (also known as International Chocolate Day or World Chocolate Day)

National Chocolate Day is October 28

National Hot Chocolate Day is January 31

And, National Coffee Day is October 1

Cocoa & chocolate quotes

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.
Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate is comfort without words.
Ursula Kohaupt

Oh, comfortable cocoa!
Dodie Smith

Chocolate is a gift of love to yourself.
Sonja Blumenthal

A little bit of sweetness can drown out a whole lot of bitterness.
Francesco Petrarca

Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.
Fernando Pessoa

Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.
Jo Brand

Chocolate is happiness that you can eat.
Ursula Kohaupt

Don’t think that chocolate is a substitute for love! Love is a substitute for chocolate.
Miranda Ingram

Life is like chocolate: you should enjoy it piece for piece and let it slowly melt on your tongue.
Nina Sandmann

Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.
Rachel Vincent

Check out more quotations on chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Meme

Hot chocolate meme

More great cocoa quotes

The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate), both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.
Thomas Jefferson

If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going.
Jane Seabrook

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.
from Forrest Gump

True strength is when you can break a bar of chocolate into four pieces with your bare hands – then just eat one.

Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.
Joanne Harris

Nothing is as alluring as a piece of chocolate you can’t have.
Nina Sandmann

There is nothing better than a friend unless it is a friend with chocolate.
Linda Grayson

Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain.
Dave Barry

What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.
Katharine Hepburn

Coffee and chocolate—the inventor of mocha should be sainted.
Cherise Sinclair

Nice memories are like chocolate: you can’t survive on them alone, as they aren’t very filling, but they make life sweeter.
Janine Weger

By Beth Robinson

Beth writes about food, recipes, and entertainment.


You’re on our National Cocoa Day page.

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