The Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), China
The Spring Festival is celebrated with eight or nine courses with each dish having its background deeply rooted in Chinese culture. Each food will have different meanings, which express people’s good wishes for a new year.
Fish is served to symbolise fertility, noodles to symbolise long life, roast pig to symbolise purification and peace, oysters and lettuce to represent good fortune.
Typical foods to enjoy: Fish on Reunion Dinner, Niangao (Rice Cake) Yuanxiao (Rice Dumping), Zongzi (pyramid-shaped dumplings), Laba Congee (Eight Porridge)
When to go: February
(Source: Flickr by IamNotUnique)
Gilory Garlic Festival, California, USA
Gilroy is a Californian town that loves the garlic bulb and hosts one of the largest food festival in the USA. As you’ve guessed, garlic takes centre stage, with 2 tons of fresh Gilroy garlic eaten every year. The festival offers more than just pairing of garlic with delicious delicacies, it is renowned for music variety from blues and jazz to rock and country.
Typical foods to enjoy: Garlic paired with mushroom, escargot, frog’s legs, prawns, mussels and many more delicacies.
When to go: July
(Source: Flickr by Sunchild57 Photography)
La Tomatina, Spain
The battlefield for 30,000 people with 140,000 kilograms of over ripe tomatoes has more to offer. The small town of Bunol and the wider region offer some of the best dishes in Spain. The region has two distinct cuisines; fish, seafood and rice are the mainstays of the coastal cuisine, whereas meat dishes including game, lamb and kid goat are common in the mountain areas.
Typical foods to enjoy: Gazpacho (Cold Tomato Soup), Paella Valenciana, Estofado de Conejo (Rabbit Stew), Sofrito (Tomato Sauce), Paella de Marisco (Seafood Paella)
When to go: August
(Source: Flickr by Reno Tahoe)
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Mexico
Dia de los Muertos (also known as "Day of the Dead") is a festival that honours the favourite dishes and memories of the recently departed. Their beloved dishes are lovingly prepared and placed on flower covered altars. Luckily, only some of the food is left on the altar for returning spirits, with the majority eaten in memory of the dead.
Typical foods to enjoy: Sugar Skulls (marzipan), Pan de Muerto, Candied Pumpkin, Atole, Chocolate Coffins and Skulls
When to go: November
(Source: Flickr by Jedi RC)
Night of the Radishes, Oaxaca, Mexico
Night of the Radishes is where food imitates art in this southern Mexican city. The main central square is filled with sculptures carved from Radishes. Carvings are typically of folkloric nature, folk dancers, nativity scenes, and saints or whatever catches the imagination of the artist.
Deep fried doughnut is one of the traditional foods eaten, which is followed by throwing your plate over your shoulder. The number of pieces it breaks into determines your fortune for the coming year.
Typical foods to enjoy: Tamales (cornmeal dumplings), Romeritos, Pozole (pork or chicken soup), Buñuelos (sweet tostada), Ponche Navideño (hot fruit punch)
When to go: December
(Source: Flickr by Drew Leavy)