Your family doesn’t have to be Italian to celebrate festivals like Carnevale or La Befana. Maybe, your background isn’t German, but that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating Fasching or Oktoberfest with your kids. Starting family traditions around food-centric holidays can be a great way to bond. It is a way of instilling the importance of cultural heritage in your children. These are the four food-centric traditions you can add to your family calendar.

National Hot Dog Day

National Hot Dog Day is the third Wednesday in July. There are so many amazing variations of hot dogs, which will make this holiday special every year. For example, consider making a Coney Island dog. Some restaurants are actually dedicated to this specific style, such as National Coney Island. If you’re not sure how to make a particular type of hot dog or can’t buy some locally, some sites offer kits and recipes! Hot dogs can be traced back to German immigrants in the United States. Consider using this as an opportunity to talk about immigration in America and how these different cultures have created some of the most well-known foods!

Florida Gator Fest

Gator Fest is an annual celebration of the University of Florida Gators football team. Held in Gainesville, Florida, it’s a weekend-long event that includes concerts, autograph signings, and games for kids. The festivities start on Friday night with dinner at Cactus Grill Restaurant. Dinner is typically followed by Coach Dan Mullen’s appearance and other special guests. Saturday morning brings Gator Walk, when fans line up to cheer on their favorite players as they enter Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. After that, another pep rally takes place later that evening. At 7:30 p.m., the game kicks off, which is free to attend.

To recreate this event in your home, try to schedule it around football season. Maybe craft some alligator-shaped snacks. Additionally, adding orange flavoring could help allude to the Florida origins of the football team. Watch the game together and enjoy this unique festival!

Mexican Taco Night
Tacos are not only an excellent way to use leftovers; they can provide an opportunity to learn about another culture’s heritage. As you have tacos for dinner, feel free to talk about Mexico, learn some Spanish phrases, or play mariachi music. You can even mix it up—tacos can be made with about anything you’ve got lying around the kitchen.

German Beer and Brats

Have relatives that are drinking age? Consider beer and brats if you’re looking for something new to try with your family this year. Brats are smoked sausages that originated in Germany in the 18th century. They’re made from pork or veal and seasoned with salt, caraway seeds, nutmeg (or mace), garlic powder, coriander seed and white pepper. The name comes from the word “braten,” which means “to roast” in German. These yummy sausages pair perfectly with beer, and this combo is well-known in Germany. You could easily hold an annual beer and brats event at your home.


If you’re thinking of ways to create a family tradition, look no further than these ideas. You can spend time together while celebrating your favorite foods. It is a great time to support local restaurants with these cuisines. From alligator snacks to tacos, have fun with your loved ones with these foods.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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