Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

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A bowl of ice cream offered for free by an ice cream vendor in celebration of Ice Cream for Breakfast Day 2014

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is an informal holiday celebrated the first Saturday in February when some people deliberately eat ice cream for breakfast.


The holiday was invented on a snowy winter day in the 1960s by Florence Rappaport in Rochester, New York.[1] The mother to six children, it was her youngest two, Ruth (now Kristal) and Joe Rappaport, who inspired her on a cold and snowy February morning. To entertain them, she declared it to be Ice Cream For Breakfast Day. She explained, "It was cold and snowy and the kids were complaining that it was too cold to do anything. So I just said, 'Let's have ice cream for breakfast.'"[2] The next year, they reminded her of the day and a tradition began. The exact year of the first ICFBD is unrecorded, but it is speculated to be 1966, when a huge blizzard hit Rochester in late January, dumping several feet of snow on Rochester and shutting down schools.[3] When the siblings grew up, they held parties and introduced the tradition to friends while in college, and the tradition began to spread.[4]

A global holiday[edit]

The holiday began to spread across the world thanks to Florence's grandchildren, who have traveled extensively. Celebrations have been recorded in Nepal, Namibia, Germany, New Zealand and Honduras.[5] Some are small family celebrations and others are larger parties. The holiday has even been celebrated in China since 2003 and was featured in the Chinese edition of Cosmopolitan magazine and local magazines in Hangzhou, China.[6]

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day enjoys particular popularity in Israel. Israel's Haaretz newspaper first reported on ICFBD in 2013 in Hebrew [7] and then in 2014 in English. [8] In 2020, The Jerusalem Post newspaper reported that some 100,000 people in Israel were expected to mark the celebration.[9]

How people celebrate[edit]

Ice Cream For Breakfast Day is officially celebrated on the first Saturday of February. The holiday is often explained very simply:

  • Eat ice cream.
  • On the first Saturday in February.
  • For breakfast.[10]

However, celebrations are also held throughout the month.

Charity events[edit]

Florence Rappaport and her children never imagined how far their made-up holiday's influence would spread. In recent years, several ice cream shops around the United States have started to use Ice Cream for Breakfast Day to raise money for charities (and to attract some cold weather customers). See links for descriptions of fundraising events for charity organizations.[11][12][13][14]


  1. ^ "Homemade Holiday? Rochester Family has the Scoop on it". Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. United Press International and Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. 31 January 2014 [1985-02-02]. p. 1A.
  2. ^ "Ice Cream for Breakfast Day?". Washington Post.
  3. ^ "In 1966 Rochester had a huge blizzard".
  4. ^ "Homemade Holiday? Rochester Family has the Scoop on it".
  5. ^ "Ice Cream for Breakfast Day". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Ice Cream for Breakfast". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Ice Cream for Breakfast Day". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  8. ^ "How a Jewish Mom Created a Global Ice Cream Holiday". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  9. ^ "100,000 Israelis to celebrate Ice Cream for Breakfast Day". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2020-02-02.
  10. ^ "When to Celebrate". Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Local creamery celebrates "Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day"". WHEC Rochester News. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  12. ^ Detter, Ryan. "The Charmery celebrates National Ice Cream For Breakfast Day". City Paper. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is Saturday". Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  14. ^ MacKenzie, Pamela. "Fundraiser serves up ice cream for breakfast". Retrieved 4 March 2014.