Food is a universal language that transcends cultural and social boundaries. It has the power to bring people together, spark joy, and create lasting memories. Whether it’s a birthday party, a wedding, or a religious festival, food is often the center of celebrations all around the world. Food is not just fuel for our bodies; it’s an expression of love, a symbol of culture, and a means of connecting with others. It’s no wonder that food plays such a crucial role in celebrations of all kinds.
Filipino Muslims eat a meal together as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr at the Garden Mosque in Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippine – Image by Ezra Acayan
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a sacred Muslim holiday. During the month, many Muslims worldwide observe a strict fast from dawn to sunset as a form of spiritual purification and self-discipline. At the end of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr is the celebration feast that breaks the fast. Families and friends gather to enjoy festival meals and exchange gifts. It is a joyous occasion filled with love, happiness, and gratitude. Dishes prepared for the feast are always rich and decadent.
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Chinese New Year is another holiday that is celebrated with food. One of the most important events during the festival is the New Year’s Eve dinner. This dinner holds great importance to Chinese families and is a time to reunite and bond with loved ones. If a family member cannot attend the meal, the family will leave their spot empty and place a set of utensils for them. There are a variety of dishes that are often prepared on Chinese New Year including spring rolls and dumplings.
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that honours deceased loved ones by inviting their souls back for a reunion with food and drinks. This special occasion is a time for families to come together and celebrate the memories of those who have passed. Common dishes prepared for this holiday include traditional Mexican foods like tamales, enchiladas, and pozole. The dishes are often prepared with the favorite ingredients of the deceased loved ones as a way to remember them and honour their memory.
Image by Consejo De Promocion Turistica de México
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The celebrations of Ramadan, Chinese New Year, and the Day of the Dead share a common theme – food. Food is not only a means of sustenance but also an integral part of many cultural celebrations. These holidays are a reminder that food can bring people together and create lasting memories. Whether it’s fasting during Ramadan, sharing a New Year’s Eve dinner with loved ones, or preparing traditional dishes to honour the memory of those who have passed, food is a symbol of love, gratitude, and unity.