Day 18: Lefse

It’s on its way…

RAWWWWRRRRR!!!

It’s coming…

Ned Stark would have told daddy that he saw mommy kissing Santa Claus because it was the honorable thing to do.

Christmas is one week away.

I made that.

I have no tie in at all.

[crickets]

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Day 7: Injera & Wat

So far I’ve written about fairly food-centric Christmases. Now I’m going to tell you about a Christmas that doesn’t really have a special traditional meal the way, say, a Swedish Christmas does. In Ethiopia, Christmas is less about extravagant food and gifts, and more about religious observance. Nevertheless, they have a kind of  “traditional” meal.

This is Harvey Fierstein singing "Tradition" from Fiddler on the Roof. You go, girl.

Christmas in Ethiopia is called Ganna, which, according to Ethiopian elders, comes from the word grennan, meaning “imminent” (as in the imminent coming of the Lord). The country still follows the Julian calendar, so Christmas is celebrated on January 7th rather than December 25th. After fasting for 40 days, Ethiopians go to Christmas services where they stand for three hours, then head home to celebrate with family, friends, and a humble feast. The meal they eat every Christmas is called injera and doro wat.

With hard-boiled eggs!

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Day 1: Laufabrauð

Laufabrauð, or “Leaf Bread,” are thin cakes fried in oil or mutton fat. They have intricate designs carved into them using special tools or a pocketknife. The designs tend to look like little leaves, hence “leaf bread.”

Laufabrauð is an Icelandic Christmas tradition that originated in the north of the country. The bread possibly has a much older origin, but references to it in written sources appear around 1736 as the Icelanders “candy.” It’s often called “snowflake bread” in English because of the cut-through patterns.

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