Opinion | Why We Feast During the Holidays – The New York Times

December 28, 2021 by No Comments

There’s a widespread need to reconnect to all the things that make life worth living, and what better moment than now? What better way than with a feast?

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Now, it is easy to become sententious and moralistic about the holiday season, even for an entirely nonreligious person like me. Does it have to be quite so much about consumption? Is there not something a little vulgar and indolent in all this unrestrained feasting? What about the true meanings of Christmas and Hanukkah? What about the life of the spirit?

I believe that this is probably reading history backward. The human practice of feasting has been traced back at least to the dawn of the agricultural age. Some 12,000 years ago in a cave in what is now northern Israel, partying humans left behind the remains of 71 tortoises and three wild cattle. And the celebration of the winter solstice as an act of defiance against the cold and dark certainly predates all organized religion. What better way to warm the innards than with lavish consumption? Dishes rich in fat and sugar, lubricated with glogg or mead, while huddled around a fire. Feasting, drinking, community and warmth are where this holiday season began.

Of course, for many around the world, feasting arm to arm isn’t going to be possible this year. The Omicron variant of the coronavirus and the rising tide of infections it has brought have thwarted …….

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/23/opinion/culture/holiday-feasting-rich-poor.html


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