Fabruary 20: it’s National Muffin Day!4 min read
Originally written on February 20, 2022 – Updated 2023
Can you think of something more universally loved than muffins?
Who doesn’t like a delicious muffin to start their day in the morning…afternoons and evenings too?
National Muffin Day is an opportunity for people everywhere to celebrate everything they might love about these treats.
They come in a variety of flavors, and they’re easy to make (and, of course, to eat!).
No matter how a person chooses to eat their muffins and which flavor prefer, they are well worth celebrating on this, and really any other, day.
English muffins have been whipped up in kitchens as far back as a thousand years ago in Wales, and American style muffins have been around since the 18th century.
And about the holiday itself, It all started with the work of tech company employee, Jacob Kaufman.
One morning on the way to work, Kaufman took a bag of muffins with him and handed them out to homeless people in the city in his hometown of San Francisco. It was such a success that he started doing it regularly and making more muffins to meet the demand. Some people even began affectionately referring to him as “The Muffin Man”.
By his own admission, Jacob says that his eyes were originally trained to be averted to homeless and needy people. However, when he started delighting in giving muffins away, he began looking for them wherever he could find them. His awareness of these people as not just “needy”, but as humans who deserved a bit of attention, changed his entire perspective. Moreover, he wasn’t just doing charity work, but he was excited to connect with them every day over a muffin.
For years, he was a source of inspiration to those who were less fortunate than him, providing them with delicious food that they could enjoy.
Either way Jacob Kaufman continued doing his work under the radar until blogger Julia Levy picked up on his story. She reported about what he was doing in a blog post on the theme of ordinary philanthropists and, after talking with one another, the duo soon realized that they could use the appeal of Jacob’s muffin experience to help more homeless people who were living in other places.
The result of the conversation was the inception of National Muffin Day back in 2015, an opportunity for people to bake muffins and raise money for homeless shelters. Muffins would go from something that served consumers to a vehicle for helping less fortunate people who were struggling on the streets.
In 2016 more than 100 participate for National Muffin Day. Word about the day spreads quickly and in its second year of existence, more than 100 different people are involved with baking muffins and giving them away. The event takes place all over the world including California, New York, Boston, Canada, and Hong Kong. Thousands of dollars are collected for charities supporting the homeless.
Still today the need for the donations and goodwill that go along with National Muffin Day is enormous, as there are thousands of people living on the streets who need warm, delicious muffins (and many other resources) that are made and served with love.
Historically, first appearance of the word “Muffin” in print was in 1703.
Originally spelled “moofin”, the current word made its way into circulation and may have come from the German form of “muffen” which is the plural form meaning small cakes, but It also may have come from the French word “moufflet” which is used for soft baked goods.
In 1820 “Muffin Man” rhyme is first published and, although no one knows its exact origins, this rhyme (and then song) was likely created in London, about a man who delivers muffins and crumpets on the West End.
Its lyrics remain largely unchanged for a hundred years!
How to Celebrate?
Of course, all easy and there are lots of things that can be done in observance of the day!
Try out, for example, to bake muffins and give them away.
The organizers of National Muffin Day encourage people to bake their own muffins and hand them out to people experiencing homelessness in the communities around them.
But you can also try something different variety of muffins…
Images from web – Google Research