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Happy National Hot Chocolate Day!

January 31, 2026

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 31 of January, repeating indefinitely

Happy National Hot Chocolate Day! Cocoa beans are native to South America and the first known hot chocolate was developed in Mexico by the Aztecs and Mayans. This hot chocolate was very different from what we enjoy today – early recipes included chili pepper and cornmeal and were often served cold, bitter, and frothy. In fact, the native words for chocolate, “caahuatl” and “xocōlātl” translate to “bitter water.”

When the Spanish introduced the beverage to Europe, the drink was soon modified to the mild, sweet, milky recipe that many Americans enjoy today.

Did you know? Thomas Jefferson was a big fan of hot chocolate, writing to John Adams that “…the superiority of the article both for health and nourishment will soon give it the same preference over tea & coffee in America which it has in Spain…”


Cup of Chocolate, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, c. 1914

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer


January 31, 2026
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