Learning about desserts creates an inside to different cultures

Raven Barton, Editor-in-Chief

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Most families have a particular holiday tradition regardless of what holiday is being celebrated. Holiday traditions are an essential aspect of how one celebrates and have been important parts of people’s lives since the beginning of time.

There are many holidays that are celebrated towards the end of the year such as Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. However, those are just a few of the many and each one has a traditional dessert that is popular to that holiday.

“When celebrating a holiday, it isn’t perfect unless there are desserts. Christmas dinner is good but without a dessert it wouldn’t be complete, it adds like a finishing touch to the meal,” said Daniela Delgado, senior.

Saint Nicholas Day is a day of gift-giving, parades and feasts. Someone who is celebrating Saint Nicholas day is most likely to have speculaas koekjes. This is a spicy ginger cookie that is sometimes in the shape of a windmill or Saint Nicholas himself.

The day of the Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated with a feast honoring Mexico’s patron saint. A popular dish on this day is bizcochitos which is a Mexican Christmas cookie that is butter-based and flavored with cinnamon and anise.

St. Lucia Day, is a day celebrating patron Saint Lucy who was killed by the Romans because of her religious beliefs. A popular dessert on this holiday is “lussekatter” which means saffron bun.

A holiday that lasts eight days, Hanukkah, is celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, prayers and fried foods. “Sufganiyah” is a traditional deep-fried doughnut that is jelly or custard filled.

Christmas, a major holiday observed worldwide, celebrates the birth of Jesus. A traditional and popular dessert is pie, specifically apple or pumpkin.

“There are so many desserts that are popular around Christmas time so it is hard to choose the best. Cookies and cakes are popular but I think that the signature dessert around Christmas time are pies,” said Delgado.

Three Kings Day is celebrated in Hispanic communities with parades and performances. A popular dessert on this day is “rosca de reyes” which is a round, sweet cake that has candied fruit in it.

A holiday of cultural heritage and traditional values, Kwanzaa, is a weeklong celebration. Benne Cakes is a traditional dessert cookie made of sesame seeds that originated in parts of West Africa.

Omisoka is a Japanese holiday that means Japanese New Year. Mochi which is basically a rice cake is a popular dessert eaten.

Yule is a holiday similar to Christmas that is observed by historic Germanic people. A yule log is a traditional dessert made of sponge cake to resemble a miniature actual Yule log.

Saturnalia is a ancient Roman festival in honor of the god Saturn and is a time for feasting, goodwill, generosity to the poor, the exchange of gifts and the decoration of trees. The popular dessert during this holiday is dulcia piperata, which is a peppered honey cake.

Holiday traditions are an important part to building a strong bond between family, friends and communities. They give people a sense of belonging and a way to express what is important to them. These traditions connect people to their history and help them celebrate many generations of their families.

“I think it’s important to know information about all holidays because not everyone celebrates Christmas and just by learning about different desserts people eat during the different holidays they are learning more about other cultures,” said Yusraa Rashidi, senior.

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