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We’re fast approaching the end of the year and many of us are gearing up for the holiday season (and the festive foods that come with it). There are many celebrations from many religions, cultures, and groups at this time of the year and you may be considering celebrating a number of them through food and drink that you can share with your family and friends. To help with this, here are a few celebrations and the dishes you can try making to celebrate them!
Christmas is a Christian festivity, however, many individuals from other cultures and religions celebrate it too. With Christmas Day falling on 25th December each year, many people celebrate in the lead-up and until the 12th day of Christmas, meaning many people’s celebrations last a whole month. Here are some key Christmas dishes to try making if you haven’t before!
Christmas pudding is a type of fruit-based pudding that is traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in Britain, Ireland, and other countries where it has been brought by British and Irish immigrants. It is served with brandy cream or double cream. Traditionally, some people will pour brandy over the pudding and set it alight before waiting for the flames to go out and eat it.
Hanukkah is a Jewish festivity, lasting eight days from the 25th day of Kislev (in December). It commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. It is marked by the successive kindling of eight lights. There are many different foods that people tend to enjoy during Hanukkah. Here are a few to try making yourself.
Challah is a special bread of Ashkenazi Jewish origin. It has a beautiful braided appearance and is typically eaten on ceremonial occasions such as Shabbat and other Jewish holidays like Hanukkah. Ritually-acceptable challah is made of dough from which a small portion has been set aside as an offering. You can find a challah bread recipe here.
Latke is Yiddish for “pancake.” On Hanukkah, it is traditional to serve potato latkes fried in oil to celebrate the Hanukkah miracle. They are made by grating potatoes, onions, and squeezing out the excess oil. You then add egg and matzo meal and fry them in shallow oil. They are most popularly served with sour cream or applesauce.
Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African-American culture that is held from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a communal feast called Karamu, which is usually held on the 6th day. You can find some popular Kwanzaa dishes below. Kwanzaa is a relatively recent addition to the festive calendar, so often, any food made with Kwanzaa in mind can be considered Kwanzaa food. Some popular options, however, tend to include catfish, collards, and macaroni and cheese, as well as jerk chicken, gumbo, accras (Caribbean fritters), and feijoada. Most Kwanzaa foods represent the wider African diaspora.
These are just a few celebrations and dishes you might like to try during this festive time of year. Hopefully, some will appeal to you!