Despite (or perhaps because of) the shorter days, and colder weather, the holidays and festivals of numerous religions and cultures around the world fall in the mid-winter months. While each celebration is vastly different than the next, they all often center on two things: food and being with family. Here’s a round up of the yummiest mid-winter dishes and the best places to find them.
Christmas in Germany – Lebkuchen
To celebrate Christmas in many German areas, families gather on the evening of December 24th to feast, exchange presents, and nibble on Lebkuchen, a traditional German gingerbread with almonds and sugar coating. Ranging from quite spicy to almost cake-like, these cookies are sure to please fidgety Carolers waiting for Christkind to bring the presents. Visiting new NileGuide destinations like Nuremberg and Bonn will surely satiate your sweet tooth this holiday season. Guten Essen!
Hanukkah in the United States, Israel – Latkes
Celebrating the little light (oil) that could, Hanukkah remembers the days worth of oil that lasted for eight, and is a time to reflect on miracles, light candles, and eat delicious Potato Pancakes called Latkes. To commemorate the oil used to light the lamps of the Second Temple, grated potato is mixed with egg and other additions and lightly fried in oil. Celebrate Hanukkah in new NileGuide Destinations Tel Aviv and Jerusalem!
Chinese New Year in Beijing – Buddha’s Delight
The Lunar New Year is celebrated around the world on the first day of the first month of the Chinese Calendar, with a huge supper reuniting family on the Eve of the New Year. Pigs and poultry give their lives in anticipation of a healthy and happy new year. Buddha’s Delight combines various traditional Chinese vegetables – like bamboo shoots, snow peas, water chestnuts, ginkgo nuts, etc – with cellophane noodles in a piping hot stir fry seasoned with soy sauce. Enjoy Buddha’s Delight during Chinese New Year in NileGuide destinations like Beijing and Shanghai
Winter Solstice / Boxing Day in United Kingdom and Canada – Roast Boar
As the Earth’s axis tilts as far away from the sun as possible, the start of the famine season commences, and festivals mark the start of deep winter. In preparation for tough winters, livestock were slaughtered so that their owners could not only feast, but also save on animal feed through lean months. While Boxing Day in Canada and the UK is pretty much reserved for gorging yourself on sales in the mall, you can always fatten yourself up and fight the winter blues with roasted Boar, a Winter Solstice tradition, before hitting the shops in Brighton and Toronto.
New Year’s Eve – Champagne
‘Nuff said. Drink it everywhere.