Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Samhain is the birth mom of Halloween. The pagan holiday took place on October 31 in Ireland. It marked the end of a cycle, when the old crops were harvested, the livestock brought indoors and souls would return to visit their former homes. Because it takes place in the autumn, root vegetables are stars of the table. Once upon a time, Colcannon, a mashed potato and cabbage dish, was served with objects in it, to predict for the coming year. A ring went in for the bride, a button for the bachelor, a thimble for the spinster, a coin for wealth, etc Read more
Apples and honey are the symbolic foods of the Jewish New Year Read more »
For years, Dragon Boat Festival was rarely celebrated outside of China Read more »
In 1925, the World Conference for the Well-Being of Children claimed that June 1 would become International Children’s Day Read more »
Falafel are deep-fried chick pea or fava bean balls. While they originated in Egypt, they are now eaten throughout the Middle East. They are commonly found in pita sandwiches but can top salads or stand alone.
Most recipes call for dried and soaked or canned chick peas. This one uses chick pea (or garbanzo) flour. While that may not be one of your pantry staples yet, once you make this recipe, it will be! Other than lemon juice, this recipe calls for all items you most likely have on hand already Read more »
Wesak (also called Vesak), a Southeast Asian holiday, celebrates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha. Wesak is one of the most important Buddhist events and is celebrated with color and gaiety. While Wesak food varies by country, it is proper for food to be vegetarian. This dish was simple to prepare and delicious! If your children do not like spice, you may want to omit the cayenne Read more »
Beltane, a Gaelic festival, celebrates the coming of summer. The name derives from the Gaelic word for May. The holiday is celebrated on May 1 in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Foods eaten represent the fertility of the Earth–eggs, creme and berries are prevalent. Sugar pie is a “summer” pie and reminiscent of pecan pie filling, minus the nuts Read more »
Vaisakhi, celebrated throughout the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, carries different meaning for different sects. For the Sikh population, among other things, it marks the anniversary of the abolition of the caste system and the celebration that all people are equal. For the Hindis, it is the start of the New Year. For the Buddhists, it is the day Gautam Buddha reached Nirvana Read more »
Passover celebrates the Jewish post-slavery exodus from Egypt. The holiday begins on the 15th day of the month of Nissan, which typically falls in March or April, and lasts seven or eight nights, dependent on different Jewish sects. Because the Jews fled without warning and thus had no time to let their bread rise, throughout the holiday no leavening of any sort can be eaten Read more »
Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors, is the celebration of spring awakening. It begins on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March). Typical rituals include throwing colored and scented powder and perfume on participants. The two-day festival allows people to drop societal norms imposed by class, age, gender and caste, thus it’s a time for united celebration Read more »
Hamantaschen (also sometimes written Hamantashan) are the quintessential Purim treat. While the origin of the cookie and its name are in debate, the most taught explanation is that both are derived from the hat that Haman, the antagonist of the holiday’s story who sought to destroy all the Jews, wore. Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman’s evil plot Read more »
The term Carnival is derived from the term “carnelavare,” which loosely translates to “remove meat.” The festivity is a time of indulgence before the austerity of lent. The celebration, held the 46th day before Easter, varies by country but is marked by dancing, singing and parades.
Because my past few recipes have been carb heavy, I debated including this even though I learned it is a Carnival staple Read more »
Nirvana Day, also called Parinirvana Day, is celebrated throughout the Mahayanan Buddhist world. While celebrations (and even the date the holiday is celebrated) differ depending on their locale, the universal premise of the holiday is to commemorate the day when Buddha reached full nirvana, or bliss, through death. Buddhists celebrate death as a form of change, rather than mourn it Read more »
Imbolc, a Gaelic festival with Medieval origins, is a celebration of hearth and home. It is normally held on February 1 or 2 and marks the oncoming of spring. The holiday is often celebrated by enjoying dairy goods, as milk represents spring birth. Below is a recipe for boxty, Irish potato pancakes (and excellent conduits for fresh butter!). Unlike their Eastern European relatives, these pancakes are made with precooked mashed potatoes Read more »
This Vietnamese dish is traditionally eaten on Tết, the country’s New Year’s celebration. However, Banh Chung is so delicious, the dish doubles as a daily staple. Even more fun than unwrapping the bundle of sticky rice and pork, is the tale of its inception. Ruler Hung Vuong challenged his princes to present to him the most delicious symbolic dish they could find to honor Tết Read more »
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