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The term ‘festival food’ brings to mind the special dishes prepared to celebrate any special occasion or the cultural aspect of a particular religion or community. Traditionally, this kind of food is a set of certain dishes that are usually cooked with some special ingredients and served in form of a feast. Festival recipes vary among different religions and different countries. There are many communities and cultures belonging to the different countries, hence each one has their own traditions and customs that are followed while preparing festival food.

There are various kinds of festivals that are celebrated around the world. Some festivals has religious values attached with them, whereas, some has cultural significance. The food made at each festival shows both the religious as well as cultural aspects of the particular community. Thanksgiving turkey, Indian ladoo, Easter eggs and special Christmas cake are some of the popular festival foods that have long been a part the traditional meal during some popular festivals.

Popular Festivals and Festival Recipes

• Christmas – This is one of the most popular festivals celebrated all over the world on December 25th to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. This day is observed as a holiday in almost all cultures and countries as a main festival of Christians. The festival food prepared on this occasion mainly consists of Christmas pudding, Christmas fruit cake and mince pies. Ham, beef and pork are the main meats that are usually included in Christmas recipes.
• Thanksgiving day – This festival is popularly known as ‘Turkey day’. Especially in America and Canada, this day is celebrated as the harvest festival. Thanksgiving Day is the day to thank god for the bountiful harvest. Cranberry stuffed turkey, pumpkin pie and ham and bacon glaze are some of the recipes that constitute the Thanksgiving festival food menu.
• Diwali – This ‘festival of light’ is the main festival of Hindu community. Though, its an Indian festival, but it is celebrated with feast and fun in all parts of the world where Hindu community is existing. Special festival food is prepared on this occasion and offered to Goddess Lakshmi (Hindu goddess of wealth). Kaju barfi, rasmalai, gulab jamun and puran poli are some of the traditional sweets that forms the major part of Diwali festival food.
• Navratra – ‘Navratri’ is a nine day festival in Indian community that is celebrated to worship the nine goddess. All nine days are celebrated with fasting as well as feasting. Sabudana vada, doodhi ka halwa and kuttu ki pakori are such foods that are traditionally included in Navratri festival food.
• Chinese New Year- It is also known as ‘spring festival’. Traditionally, this New Year is marked as a Chinese holiday. A special reunion dinner is arranged among the Chinese families on the eve of Chinese New Year. Spring rolls, lettuce rolls and steamed cake has special significance as festival food in this most important Chinese holiday.

Festival Food: Trivia

It is believed that after consuming traditional festival food in Thanksgiving dinner many people feel drowsy. For this turkey is usually blamed as carbohydrate-rich food causes this drowsiness.