Welcome to December 16th on the National Day Calendar.

Central and South Americans cultivated a love for chocolate as far back as 1200 BCE. The Aztecs considered cocoa beans more precious than gold and even used them as currency.

But Europeans were still in the dark about cocoa mania until the Spanish came to the New World in the 16th century. Once chocolate reached the Spanish court, the secret was out. Adding sugar and spices made it all the more addicting and chocolate houses that catered to the wealthy became all the rage.

But thanks to Coenraad Johannes van Houten, the Dutch process made cocoa more accessible to the masses. Today, just about anything can be made more delicious by covering it in chocolate, from nuts and cookies to potato chips and popcorn.

On National Chocolate Covered Anything Day go ahead and splurge as you celebrate cocoa mania. Im Marlo Anderson with the National Day Calendar. See you again tomorrow as we Celebrate Every Day!

Other National Days on December 16th include: