Food & Celebration From Fasting to Feasting
Proceedings of the 13th Conference of the International
Commission for Ethnological Food Research, Ljubljana,
Preddvor, & Piran, Slovenia, June 5-11, 2000
Edited by Patricia Lysaght
Zalozba ZRC / ZRC Publishing
428 pages, Illustrated, 6 3/4" x 9 1/2"
The urge to celebrate certain occasions is universal, more often than not taking the form of a culturally-determined festive event. Convivality, or the social dimension, is generally the common factor. Celebration marks the significant moments or periods of time in the various religions and secular calendars and in the human life cycle. Celebration also marks contemporary events, sometimes drawing on older models, but may also be shaped by current trends. Food and drink often have important roles in celebratory occasions. Accordingly, some basic questions which must be posed are: what constitutes festive foods in different regions and cultures, how do they differ from everyday and fasting foods, and what do they mean in particular contexts? Much the same set of questions may be raised in relation to fasting foods since celebration alternates with fasting among some religious groups. This book is a response to these and other questions by thirty-nine scholars from Europe and North America. The diversity of celebratory events and festive foods from the middle ages to the present time is obvious, but a certain unity is also evident - of occasion, such as the celebration of Christmas and Easter, and of foods, especially the use of meat, festive breads and milk products - all food stuffs often forbidden at times of rigorous fasting as discussed in this volume. The impact of industrialization is analyzed, and the interaction of continuity and change over a long period of time, along with the rapid change of more recent decades, are also highlighted.
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