Holiday food enjoyed around the world

By Sasha Ramazani

As the leftovers of Thanksgiving dinner have been eaten and
forgotten already, Christmas brings yet another traditional feast
for family and friends to gather around and enjoy.

Along with Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are two other major
holidays celebrated by many people not only in the United States,
but all around the world.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day
Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in
Jerusalem. During this holiday, families light the menorah, sing
songs, play Dreidel, exchange gifts and enjoy traditional Hanukkah

The traditional foods for this holiday are oil-rich in
commemoration of the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days.
Fried potato pancakes, or latkes, and sufganiot, deep fried jelly
doughnuts, are some Hanukkah favorites.

Some of the highlights of the Hanukah meal consist of brisket in
wine sauce, tangy lettuce salad, homemade applesauce and
Hanukkah-themed cookies.

Another major holiday celebrated in December is Kwanzaa. Kwanzaa
is a week-long celebration of honoring the African heritage and
culture. Families take part in activities such as candle lighting,
pouring of libations, gift giving and culminating in a feast.

The meal for Kwanzaa consists of koki, an appetizer made from
black-eyed peas, peanut soup, jollof rice, okra and greens, gumbo
and yams. The dessert course offers fruit salad and coconut pie.
Beverages for this meal include green tea with mint and ginger

Christmas is celebrated all over the globe, but unlike the
United States’ usual ham or turkey feasts, each country has
different meal traditions to rejoice this holiday.

In Brazil, the Christmas meal is quite a feast with large
quantities of food with fresh vegetables including cooked kale, a
variety of cabbage, highly seasoned with garlic, and luscious
fruits. Along with these are bowls of zesty colorful rice platters
filled with ham and ceia de natal, a Brazilian Christmas

In Egypt, they celebrate their Christmas meal after midnight on
Christmas Eve.

Traditional food consists of soup, boiled meat, rice, and is
topped off by kahk, biscuits which are sweet to the taste and
decorated with a cross. The eating of kahk encompasses a separate
tradition which reflects the eating of similar biscuits by the
Muslims on Eid el Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.

On Christmas Eve in Germany, the buffet begins with roasted pig,
macaroni and white sausage. Christmas Day, a huge feast begins with
roast goose and breads that are loaded with raisins, dried fruit,
nuts and citron, a fragrant fruit closely related to lemons and
oranges. Also offered, spicy bars known as lebkuchen, dresden
stollen, another form of fruited bread and marzipan, a sweet
confection primarily made up of rose water, sugar and almond

Like Germany, Italy also celebrates this holiday with two
delicious feasts, one on Christmas Eve and the other on Christmas
Day. The meal on Dec. 24 brings a variety of seafood dishes,
lentils, pasta, numerous salads and capitone or roasted eel.
Christmas Day brings the second feast consisting of platters of
regionalized Italian appetizers such as salami, olives, spiced
meats and soup. For the main course, there are several varieties of
pasta, including lasagna and tortellini, numerous meat and
vegetable dishes and salad. The three traditional desserts are
panforte or gingerbread, torrone, a nougat candy and panettone,

Even in Zimbabwe, large feasts for Christmas celebrations are

Traditional fare includes roasted ox, bread with jam and
porridge that is made with cornmeal. An alternative to the roasted
ox is goat, but some families partake in preparing both types of
meat during the holiday meal. Beverages traditionally include cups
of sugared tea.

While Christmas is celebrated on different times and days all
across the globe, every year the tradition of feasting on bountiful
foods with close friends and family is what the true celebration of
life is all about.

Reach Sasha Ramazani at:

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Holiday food enjoyed around the world

Courtesy of

Holiday food enjoyed around the world

Holiday food enjoyed around the world

Courtesy of

Holiday food enjoyed around the world

Holiday food enjoyed around the world

Courtesy of

Holiday food enjoyed around the world

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