National Maize Day
National Maize Day
Maize Day is celebrated every year on the day after Thanksgiving Day. After the European infiltration into the Americas in the early 16th century and late 15th century, Maize spread to the rest of the world. All Americans, regardless of their ethnicity, nativity, or whether they are descendants of immigrants, celebrate this day.
|2020||27th November||Friday||United States|
|2021||26th November||Friday||United States|
|2022||25th November||Friday||United States|
Why The National Maize Day?
Maize is a common crop found across the North and south Americas and was the staple food source of its indigenous population. The word ‘maize’ is derived from the Spanish form of the indigenous word for plant. It was domesticated from a grass variety called Teosinte, centuries ago. It is also called corn in many countries, usage made popular by European influence.
Maize was very important to the natives, literally as precious as gold! When Europeans first landed in North America in search of gold and interrogated the natives regarding the whereabouts of any precious yellow substance to be found there, the natives showed them corn!
On the contrary, Europeans first refused to eat Maize as they believed that they were the zenith of the human hierarchy, and maize was considered as a weaker crop consumed by the natives whom they considered as weak. The Europeans finally had to resort to eating Maize when their wheat plantations failed due to the extreme climate. Served them just right!
In the US alone annually 70-100 million acres are grown and it is 40% of all maize grown in the world. Except for Antarctica, Corn is grown in every continent due to its ability to withstand extreme climatic conditions and due to its high yielding capacity. It has become an important crop in Africa due to its nutritional qualities, ease of cultivation, and availability of famine resistant varieties. Maize is one of the leading crops in the world along with rice and wheat.
Besides its major role as a major food cereal in many countries, it is also used in the making of our favorite chewing gums, cornflakes, and popcorn. It seems almost impossible to watch a movie without a bucket of those flavored mouth-watering popcorns!
Maize is also used as an animal feed for horses and cows.
Maize not only serves as a food item but functions as a multi-purpose product with a wide range of uses. Its husks can be utilized to make brooms, mattress pads, etc. Due to its high starch content, Maize can be fermented to produce ethanol, which in turn can be used as a biofuel. It is also widely used in alcohol and beverage industries
This crop has fed and nourished many generations of human civilization and continues to be a vital part of our Global Food system. Maize was borrowed from its indigenous people, celebrating this day might help to reset our thinking about the debt we owe to indigenous culture, and about the tasks that lie ahead.
How To Observe National Maize Day?
- Gather with your friends and family to have a special meal made from different types of maize, in different forms and added to all different types of dishes. There could be a countless number of varieties! Use the #MaizeDay and share your activities with the world.
- You can try out -Tacos, tamales, quesadillas, Italian polentas, cornmeal mush, and even maize fermented drinks to enjoy this day!
- Hybrid seeds are distributed in Africa by the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa project, support this program, and volunteer to eradicate hunger in this world by providing meals to the poor.
- Learn to grow Maize
- Participate in maize craft classes and demonstrations.
Interesting facts about Maize Day:
-In the creation stories of cultures in pre-Columbian Mexico, humans are first fashioned out of maize.
-The Maize underwent approximately 9,000-year of processing by which Native Americans transformed teosinte, the semi-tropical grass, to a productive, elaborate plant that can thrive in a cool temperate climate.
-Maize is the preferred terminology rather than corn for scientific and international usage because it indicates one particular grain, whereas the term Corn has can be used in various contexts.
– According to Emily Post an etiquette specialist, corn on the cob should be avoided at lunch or dinner but if it is served, one must maintain decorum, that’s seriously a difficult task! It is usually not served on formal occasions as eating it can be quite messy and can even ruin your first date with a yellow smile.
-Genetic studies are conducted to trace the movement of Maize from Mexico to South America and its repercussions around the world.
History of Maize Day:
National Maize Day was first celebrated in 2004, initiated by the artist Corinne Lightweaver, as a research project with her family.