The partying in south Louisiana never seems to stop, but it generally slackens during Lent, which begins Feb. 13 with Ash Wednesday. But that still leaves six days to celebrate Carnival season.

And, of course, the February calendar is filled with other holidays and observances, some rather obscure, that offer good excuses to throw a party or prepare special treats. For example, Boy Scout Day on Friday celebrates the birthday of Scouting in America. Chinese New Year welcomes in the Year of the Snake on Sunday and Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, a day to be positive, is the next day. Black History Month and National Heart Healthy Month are both observed in February.

Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14. That chocolate-rich holiday explains why February is also National Chocolate Month. But, then why is Feb. 15 National Gumdrop Day?

February, in fact, is filled with lots of food-related observances. Want a reason to serve fondue, that retro communal food experience, on Valentine’s Day? February is National Fondue Month. It’s also Berry Fresh Month, Canned Food Month, Great American Pie Month, Sweet Potato Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Snack Food Month and Potato Lover’s Month.

Here are some recipes to give last-minute Mardi Gras parties or other February get-togethers a festive touch. Serve the Nordic Fondue recipe with a hibicus and ginger-flavored sparkling cocktail. The recipe for Indian Slaw is diet-friendly for those trying to stick to New Year’s resolutions to cut calories.