National Watermelon Day 2017 – A Few Interesting Facts About This Great Summer Fruit
August 3 is National Watermelon Day, and while July may be the month that has been designated by Congress to celebrate this amazing fruit, we believe the watermelon should be celebrated all summer long!
Though it is not really known who first came up with the idea of celebrating Aug. 3 as National Watermelon Day, it has not stopped enthusiasts from carrying forward the tradition, with the National Watermelon Promotion Board even encouraging social media users to use the hashtag “#NationalWatermelonDay” as part of the celebrations. Many people celebrate the holiday by carving designs and faces into the outer shells of whole watermelons, hosting watermelon seed spitting contests and simply eating it straight off the rind, mixed into chutneys, chopped into fruit salads or even roasted on the grill.
We have gathered a few juicy facts about one of our favorite fruits and it’s holiday that you may not know.
- Watermelons are considered both a fruit and a vegetable.
- Watermelon is the official state vegetable of Oklahoma.
- You can actually eat ALL parts of a watermelon, even the rind and seeds!
- Watermelons are over 90% water!
- China is the largest watermelon producing country in the world, growing almost 72 million tons each year! Turkey comes in second, growing almost 4 million tons per year. The U.S. ranks 5th worldwide in watermelon production.
- By weight, watermelon is the most consumed melon in the U.S.
- It is widely believed that watermelons were first developed in the Kalahari Desert in Africa with the first harvest taking place over 5000 years ago in Egypt!
- Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
- According to Guinness World Records, the world’s heaviest watermelon was grown by Chris Kent of Sevierville, Tennessee in 2013, weighing in at 350.5 lbs. Want to more about how Chris grew a giant watermelon? Check out part one, part two and part three of an interview with Chris.
- In China and Japan watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host.