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National Gingerbread Day

Although ginger originated in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, the first recorded use of gingerbread dates to 992, when Gregory of Nicopolis, an Armenian monk, brought it to Europe and taught French priests how to cook it. During this time, gingerbread meant “preserved ginger”, which came from the Old French term “gingerbras”, which itself was derived from “zingebar”, the Latin term for the spice. By the 15th century, gingerbread meant a type of cake made with molasses and ginger, but it was not yet widely used. Gingerbread came into prominence in the 18th century and can range from a soft cake to harder treats such as biscuits and cookies. This day is dedicated to gingerbread in all its forms.

How to Observe

The day can be spent making and eating gingerbread or ginger flavored foods in all their variations. To enjoy gingerbread in its Medieval European form you could eat crystallized ginger. In the morning you could make gingerbread pancakes, and later in the day gingerbread cakes and cookies could be baked. The cookies could be made into gingerbread men and women, and a gingerbread house could be baked for them to reside in until they are eaten. The stories of The Gingerbread Man and Hansel and Gretel could also be read.

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