From Halloween candy to Christmas eggnog, food is an essential part of many holidays. But at some celebrations, food is the reason for the season. Around the world, communities gather to celebrate their local specialties. Sometimes, those celebrations are reverent, such as San Biagio Platani’s ode to Easter in the form of bread architecture. On the other end of the spectrum, the Spanish town of Haro invites revelers to douse one another in the local vintage.
Many food festivals lean on the sea: Just look at Whitstable’s oyster festival. The pull of the moon brings sea worms to the shores of Indonesia’s Lombok Island, where they are a potent (and tasty) symbol of fertility and love. In Taiwan, fishermen burn sulfur flares to draw sardines to the surface, and a festival pays homage to this age-old technique of fire fishing.
Whether silly or somber, modern or medieval, food festivals on every continent are a testament to the power of food to bring us together. So in 2019, make time to make merry at one of these 14 food festivals from around the world.