Die-hard jelly bean fans don’t bat an eyelash when this unusual holiday falls after Easter. That only goes to prove that the jelly bean is an independent sort of confection, the popularity of which merits its own holiday. While nobody knows the origin of this special day, it always falls on April 22.
How to Celebrate
For many fans, jelly beans are no longer associated with holidays such as Easter and Halloween. If you have a particular favorite bean, celebrate at work by putting a jar with an ample supply on your desk to share with visitors or co-workers. You’ll always attract samplers who love either the yummy interior or the bright-colored, sweet exterior.
One easy way to mark the holiday at home without sending your children on a sugar high is to have a contest to guess how many beans are in the jar, according to Day of the Year. Pick a non-sugary reward such as a movie with mom or dad and include several sizes of jelly beans in the jar to make the guessing a bit more challenging. It’s easy to turn this into a party if you allow your youngsters to invite a few friends for dinner. Just adjust the prize to cover any participant who’s not a member of the family.
History of the Jelly Bean
CandyFavorites.com says that confectioners consider the jelly bean a combination of Turkish Delight, a soft and chewy sweet that has pleased palates for thousands of years, and a hard candy shell associated with Jordan Almonds, a product popular in the 17h century.
The earliest known historical reference mentioned William Schrafft, a candy maker from Boston, who during the Civil War urged the public to send his jelly beans to Union soldiers. By the 20th century, merchants sold jelly beans alongside other penny candies. The link to Easter emerged in the 1930s. Some speculate that the reason was the resemblance of a jelly bean’s shape to an egg.
Various public figures have been linked to a love of jelly beans. Zealous fans heard that The Beatles had a fondness for jelly babies and, unaware of exactly what they were, instead threw jelly beans at the musicians onstage. Annoyed at being struck repeatedly by the beans, which are a lot harder than jelly babies, Beatle George Harrison discussed what it was like trying to dodge them while performing.
Former President Ronald Reagan became a fan after eating jelly beans to help stop smoking a pipe. A gourmet bean manufacturer created the Blueberry Jelly Belly especially for him. Apparently, they were on the table at most White House staff meetings.