The History of Holidays & Feasts

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Ontology Tags

Classes Societies: Inhabiting Our World – Cultures & Ethnicity

Goals Challenging Problems: (1) Questions – Strongly Held Beliefs (2) Humans in the World – (a) Ancestry (b) Family, Friends & Relationships (c) Historical Times & Periods (3) Of the Mind – Imaginary Beings & Worlds | CTEs & Disciplines: (1) Food & Beverage (2) Religion (3) World History (4) Cultural Studies (5) Religious Studies & Mythology

Overview

Historical holidays are more than a possible day off from work and huge retail sales — they highlight the events that led us to living in the society we have today. All of these holidays commemorate a day or folktale in history that makes us a civilization.

 

Easter

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Easter Eggs, Jesus Christ & The Easter Bunny

How does Easter relate to Jesus? Where does the word ‘Easter’ come from? And when did we start eating Easter eggs? Historian Emma J. Wells explores the origins of this springtime celebration…

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History of 15 Unique Easter Dishes Around the World

While many families associate Easter with baskets full of foil-wrapped chocolates, Peeps, and pastel-colored, dip-dyed eggs, around the world Easter is celebrated with a myriad of different traditional dishes—ranging from ordinary to odd.

 

Christmas

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From St. Nick to Santa Claus

Any kid can tell you where Santa Claus is from—the North Pole. But his historical journey is even longer and more fantastic than his annual, one-night circumnavigation of the globe.

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A Christmas Feast From Around the World

Some Christmas traditions feel as worn as that Rudolph sweater you pull out of the closet year after year, but there are many unique ways to ring in the holiday. These samplings (both edible and otherwise) of how others around the globe commemorate Christmas can help spice up your season.

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Halloween

Halloween 2020

The Halloween tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

How Trick or Treat Became a Tradition

Trick-or-treating—setting off on Halloween night in costume and ringing doorbells to demand treats—has been a tradition in the United States and other countries for more than a century. Its origins remain murky but traces can be identified in ancient Celtic festivals, early Roman Catholic holidays, medieval practices—and even British politics.

St. Patrick’s Day

History of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

Valentine’s Day

History of Valentine’s Day

Across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of Valentine’s Day, from the ancient Roman ritual of Lupercalia that welcomed spring to the card-giving customs of Victorian England.

 

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10 Valentine’s Dishes From Around the World

Everyone knows Chocolate is the go-to gift on Valentine’s Day… but we’ve found some global recipes to treat your loved ones to and to take you both on a mini trip around the world with the Valentine’s Day foodie traditions.

 

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