Visit religious-gastronomic festival to experience the authentic culinary diversity

Culinary traditions have always played one of the major roles in the culture of each nation, while in some countries, such as China, India and Italy, cooking still has the strongest connection with religion. As we bake Easter cakes for Easter, many dishes in these countries are associated with some religious notions and important presages, while religious-gastronomic festivals are held to honor gods and foods.

Although religious-gastronomic festivals are not held throughout the world like the festivals of pop music, they are still major festivities in the communities of strong religious beliefs. Many regions of such countries as Spain, India, China, and Italy celebrate both gods and food through traditional parades, fiestas and gastronomic fairs. In any location, a religious-gastronomic festival is a bright event, lasting for several days of entertainment, music, dancing and tasting numerous local delicacies. The best thing about a religious-gastronomic festival is that if you choose to visit one, you will find yourself in a tiny, unfamiliar and culturally rich location, surrounded by unspoiled and untouched natural beauty.

In a search of a religious-gastronomic festival's experience, visit Galicia, which is an autonomous community with a status of the historic nationality in Spain. There are numerous fiestas, romerias (a religious procession to a holy shrine) and secular festivities, which have origins in various traditions and stories of Galician folklore. The Summer Solstice or the Magosto is a religious-gastronomic festival, when the first chestnuts are roasted and the first wines tasted. There is also an abundance of gastronomic fairs that are hold to honor practically each local product, including the Cheese Fair in Arzea, Eel in Tui, Lamprey in Arbo, Pepper Fairs in Arnoia and Padrin, Salmon in A Estrada, Bica (a type of cake) in Trives and Seafood in O Grove.

A spectacular island of Sardinia, situated about one hundred and twenty miles west of the Italian peninsula, is home to rich historic and culinary traditions and a number of spectacular religious-gastronomic festivals, where you can taste seafood, herbs and cheese - the palate you will never forget. In spring, Siniscola, a tiny city on the Sardinia, celebrates a religious-gastronomic festival, when a table is set in a church and visitors can sample the local bread, fish, fruit and wine. In Bortigali, an ancient Sardinia town, people celebrate San Marco, when bread is blessed and taken in a procession by children. Additionally, the town of Bortigali is known for its exceptional beauty and rich archeological testimony, revealing the area's historic past. The traditional local country architecture, enriched with finely sculptured doorways and architraves, magnificent buildings and churches create a rarely beautiful architectural landscape.

Another destination to experience a religious-gastronomic festival is Umbria, one of Italy's smallest regions, located near Tuscany. The town of Castel Viscardo in Terni Province holds a religious-gastronomic festival with an original name "In search of the disappearing fish" on August, 6-8. The festival's goal is to recover traditional recipes of the rustic cuisine. The authentic dishes are prepared according to the memory of the town's seniors and are cooked with genuine ingredients, sought out with care. They contain flavors and nutrients, almost forgotten in a modern day cooking.

Certainly, each religious-gastronomic festival, whether listed or not, is a wonderful opportunity to experience the culinary diversity, as well as deeply rooted and fascinating traditions in a variety of regions.

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