February plays host to Valentine’s Day and President’s Day, but that’s not all. February 27 is National Cigar Day and a great excuse to indulge in one of America’s favorite tobacco products.
The holiday commemorates the inventions of business mogul Oscar Hammerstein,including the cigar-rolling machine that paved the way for the mass production of cigars. (Cigars were originally rolled by hand). If the name sounds familiar, by the way, Hammerstein was the grandfather of the great American lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II.
There are many reasons for smoking a cigar. Here are just a few:
- Relaxation – When people buy a cigar, they can also think of it as purchasing time to relax. Smoking a cigar can take between 45 minutes and 2 ½ hours. It can be a cherished time for quiet reflection, away from the disturbance and pressure of the outside world. Smoking a cigar can also be a time to read a good book or chat with loved ones.
- An art form – Cigar-making is often regarded as an art form. To smoke a cigar is to appreciate the craft behind it. The cigar-making process is a complicated one with many variables. Your cigar begins in the tobacco fields—often in Cuba, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, or Honduras. The leaves are harvested and then cured slowly. (There’s no rushing a good cigar.) The cigar is made from three parts that come together during the rolling process: filler, binder, and wrapper. The filler is the tobacco inside. The binder, typically a single leaf, holds the cigar together. The wrapper, the most important component of a cigar, imparts the majority of its flavor.
- The flavor – Most people are drawn to cigars because of their distinctive flavor. Cigars have different variations and nuances when it comes to taste. Aficionados are often attracted by a particular essence and stick with a certain brand of cigar out of loyalty to that flavor.
- Meeting people – A love of cigar smoking can lead you to meet many interesting people. Purchasing a cigar can be an exercise in human relations, as you engage with salespeople and fellow smokers about “hidden secrets” and brand recommendations. Establishing good relationships with cigar aficionados can help you get access to some of the finest smokes.
If you haven’t smoked a cigar lately, seize the day on February 27 and remember the magic of a beloved pastime.