October 8th is a very special day for me. No, it’s not my birthday–it’s National Pierogi Day! It’s a real celebration, and there is even a pierogi eating contest in Greenpoint, NY to celebrate.
I have many warm memories of making and eating pierogies with my mother and my Babcia. (“Grandmother” in Polish). It was always exciting to get a big dish of pierogis for any meal!
In case you don’t know, a pierogi is a kind of dumpling stuffed with mashed potatoes (or cabbage, or other ingredients). Its origins can be traced back to Saint Hyacinth of Poland in the 13th Century, so for someone with roots in Poland like myself, a day celebrating this delicious food item is a special one indeed!
So why am I writing about pierogies?
With a world so rich in cultural diversity, it should come as no surprise that pierogies get their annual time in the spotlight. After all, observers of National Baklava Day, National Bratwurst Day, Cinco de Mayo and more tap into different culinary traditions that highlight who we are and where we come from. For me, it’s pierogies, but for many others, it could be anything.
Upcoming Opportunities to Celebrate Cultural Diversity include:
- National Vichyssoise Day, November 18
- National Gazpacho Day, December 6
- National Bouillabaisse Day, December 12
Why is celebrating these holidays and their respective dishes so important to us? Why do so many people get enthusiastic about their Fourth of July barbecues and Labor Day cookouts? Because it connects us to our heritage and our identity. Plus, it gives us an opportunity to be proud of our diverse backgrounds, and share a bit of our culture with everyone.
There are a lot of different diverse dimensions to our society, and we have many reasons to commemorate them. Honoring where we come from is a reminder of the familial and cultural facets we all have. One of the Seven Pillars of a Bold Life, “Relationships” (i.e., family), puts a big emphasis on the importance of these ties we have to each other.
Do you have a National Pierogi Day of your own? Is there a special food that represents your personal cultural diversity? Let’s all wish each other the best on our different holidays, and of course, celebrate my family heritage and eat some pierogies!