Give your holiday celebrations an international flair with these kid-friendly ideas.
This time of year offers plentiful festivals from around the globe. Capture the worldwide holiday spirit with our kid-friendly versions of foods used in these celebrations. Make one or several of the following and wish your friends and family peace and happiness for the coming year.
France La Fete des Rois The Day of the Kings on January 6 marks the end of the winter holidays and the end of the Christmas season. On this day, dinner concludes with the magnificent galette des rois, the Cake of the Kings. It is customary to bake a bean into the cake. Whoever finds the bean is elected "king" and will have good luck.
Our version Bake cupcakes or buy purchased cupcakes. Remove a small "plug" in top of cupcake with knife or apple corer. Place a jelly bean in the hole and replace the plug. Frost and decorate tops of cupcakes, as desired. Wrap with clear cellophane wrap and tiewith ribbon.
India Makra Sandrant This holiday, also known as Pongal, is a festival of South India, lasting from January 11 to January 14, celebrating the winter solstice -- and the coming of longer days. Special sweets and cakes with sesame seeds and brown sugar are prepared for the festival. Small silk bags containing sesame seeds mixed with sugar are offered to friends with this greeting: "Eat this sweet sesame and speak sweetly to me." The expression is intended to assure that there will be no quarreling throughout the year.
Our version Fill sandwich bags with a mixture of sesame stick crackers, a brown-sugar candy (such as Sugar Babies), and snipped dried apricots. Tie tops of bags with colorful pieces of silk or satin ribbon. This sweet treat should earn you kind words.
Sweden St. Lucia The start of the Christmas season is marked by this holiday. Early in the morning the eldest daughter of the family dresses in white, adorns her head with a wreath decorated with burning candles, and offers coffee and sweet rolls or gingersnap cookies to other members, spreading Christmas cheer.
Our version Use purchased gingerbread man cookies. Using tube frosting, decorate and write special Christmas messages: Joy, Peace, Cheer, and Love. Place in cupcake liners. Punch 2 holes on sides of liners and string with ribbon to hang on tree branches.
Japan The New Year January 1 to January 5 kicks off the new year with special foods, such as rice cakes. During this time, no unkind words must be spoken.
Our version Spread individual miniature rice cakes with canned or tube frosting or peanut butter. Sandwich two of them together. Wrap nylon netting around cakes and tie with a ribbon. Attach a gift tag with the word "PEACE" written on it.