National Rice Ball Day

April 19th is National Rice Ball Day!

The National Rice Ball Day is a food celebration held every 19th of April each year. This day celebrates one of the most famous and most delicious Japanese foods of all time – the rice ball. From the term itself, rice ball is simply a clump of rice shaped in the sphere. However, it also has many other forms including the triangular one. It also has various textures and flavors depending on the type of rice used as well as the ingredients mixed in it.National Rice Ball Day

About the National Rice Ball Day

During the National Rice Ball Day, people conduct various activities that let them achieve the goals of this celebration. For one, people celebrate by making rice balls that they can eat. Others prefer to order rice balls from some fancy restaurants. People also shout out on social media how they are celebrating such a day.


The origins of rice ball can be traced back to as far as the 11th century where it started to become a central part of Japanese cuisine. It is called “onigiri” in Japan which means “to hold onto”. Despite being one of the oldest foods of all time, the rice ball is still extremely popular even now.

Unfortunately, even with extensive research about the National Rice Ball Day as a holiday, we weren’t able to find out information about the origin of such day. We do not know for sure who founded this celebration and when did it first happen. But still, we can make a good guess as to why this holiday was founded – perhaps a person or a group of people thought that there are different kinds of food holidays all over the world. So why not have one for rice ball or onigiri? And with that, the holiday may have been founded.


As mentioned earlier, the National Rice Ball Day is celebrated every 19th of April each year. His means that the upcoming National Rice Ball Day will be held on Sunday, April 19, . The next celebration will be held on Sunday, April 19, .

Why Celebrate

The main reason why you should celebrate the National Rice Ball Day is that this is the opportune time for you to indulge yourself in eating these delicious Japanese cuisines. There is no other day where you can commemorate onigiris other than this day.

Celebration Ideas and Activities

The following are the best things to do to make your celebration of the National Rice Ball Day as best as it can be:

Make Delicious Rice Balls

One good idea for your celebration of this day is to make some delicious rice balls. It is actually easy to do so. All you need are rice, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and a rice cooker. Cook the rice in a rice cooker then mix the other ingredients afterwards. You should then use gloves to shape up the cooked rice into balls or spheres. With that, your onigiri is done.

Order Some Good Rice Balls

If you don’t have time to make some rice balls, then you should instead order some from a good onigiri shop. For sure, there will be a lot of restaurants offering delicious rice balls especially during this day. Don’t miss the chance to eat these.

Organize a Rice Ball Themed Party

You can make your celebration even more socialized by organizing a rice ball themed party. You can invite your friends and family over to your venue (most probably your house) and let them eat the different kinds of rice balls you have prepared.

Celebrate on Social Media

You can also take your celebration of this day on social media. You can, for instance, use the hashtag #NationalRiceBallDay to let your friends and followers know that you are also participating in the celebration of this special day.

National Rice Ball Day Interesting Facts

  • Rice balls can be preserved very well with the right ingredients and airtight seal. Hence, they can become stored foods that can last for a long time.
  • Rice balls are traditional Japanese foods.
  • Rice balls are made from rice soaked in vinegar in order to make the grains stick together. Once ready to be eaten, they are soaked in soy sauce to remove the compactness.
  • Japanese people have eaten rice balls as far back as the 11th century.
  • The Japanese term for onigiri is rice ball.
  • In the popular manga and anime One Piece, Roronoa Zoro, the right-hand man of the main protagonist Monkey D. Luffy is sometimes called by his friends as “onigiri” to his disdain. He is called as such because the shape of his head and his hairstyle looks like a rice ball.
  • Fillings can be put into rice balls and they include salmon flakes, tuna salad, seafood salad, konbu, umeboshi, tempura, and natto.
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