We celebrate National Gingerbread Cookie Day annually on November 21. It’s the perfect time to celebrate as the holiday season is not too far away. Gingerbread cookies instantly make us feel warm and cozy, they’re tasty, and no amount of cookies will be enough. Their rich flavor profile makes you want to keep going back for more. Gingerbread cookies come in all shapes and sizes, but gingerbread man cookies are the most popular ones.
History of National Gingerbread Cookie Day
Gingerbread has been around for centuries. The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians often used gingerbread for ceremonial purposes. Later, in the 11th century, crusaders brought ginger into Europe from the Middle East. It was in the 16th century that gingerbread figural biscuits made their first appearance. Queen Elizabeth I of England asked her staff to make gingerbread figures that looked like the foreign dignitaries and the other guests of honor and later presented them in the likeness of some of her very important guests.
In England, gingerbread biscuits were also sold around the 17th century in monasteries, pharmacies, and farmers’ markets. In certain places like Nuremberg and Pulsnitz in Germany, it is regarded as an art form. The German version of gingerbread cookies is known as Lebkuchen and has been around for over 400 years. These are often heart-shaped and decorated with names and messages of love written in icing. Gingerbread cookies are also highly regarded as art in Torun in Poland, Tula in Russia, Pest in Hungary, Pardubice, Prague in the Czech Republic, and Lyon in France. Later as years went by, gingerbread tied with ribbons became a popular feature at local fairs and were even exchanged as a token of love.
Now gingerbread cookies are popular in many western countries and especially baked around the holiday season. You can make a house, cake, biscuits, or simply cookies, and munch your way through it during the holidays and soak in the warm and spicy flavors.
National Gingerbread Cookie Day FAQs
What country is famous for gingerbread?
Germany is extremely famous for gingerbread, and Nuremberg in Germany is known as the gingerbread capital of the world. After originating there, the elaborate cookie-walled houses with foil and gold leaf soon became a Christmas tradition.
Is gingerbread soft or hard?
The gingerbread cookies we know and love are soft and supple, easily melt in your mouth, and you can feel the soft crumbs of the cookie. However, some countries prefer harder gingerbread cookies.
Are gingerbread cookies healthy for you?
Gingerbread cookies are often regarded as empty calories and are high in sugar and fat content. However, if eaten in moderation, they will not negatively impact you.
National Gingerbread Cookie Day Activities
Bake a huge batch of gingerbread cookies
During the holiday season, get your family together and bake a giant batch of gingerbread cookies. You can use some for home and give some to family or friends. Moreover, you can donate gingerbread cookies to homeless shelters so everyone can feel a part of the festivities and traditions.
Experiment with gingerbread cookies
Everyone makes round, star-shaped, or gingerbread men cookies, so be a little different. You can experiment with the shapes, ingredients, mold them into little animal or tree shapes, switch up some ingredients, and add your unique flavor.
Host a gingerbread cookie themed party
Christmas time calls for celebrations, so why not host a party? Make the theme gingerbread, where the hero of the party is multiple dishes made of gingerbread, like cake, cookies, biscuits, etc.
5 Facts About Gingerbread
The term ‘gingerbread’ was originally used to refer to preserved ginger.
Nuremberg in Germany is known as the gingerbread capital of the world.
Gingerbread by Catholic monks
At one time, only Catholic monks made European gingerbreads in the shape of angels and saints.
Life-size gingerbread house
There is a life-size gingerbread house at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Tucson, Arizona.
You take gingerbread in your palm and make a wish, then you break it, and if it breaks into three pieces, your wish will come true.
Why We Love National Gingerbread Cookie Day
It’s a Christmas tradition
The minute we think of gingerbread cookies, we think of Christmas. They’re made during the holiday season and are perfect for the weather as well. It’s an age-old tradition, people still enjoy it just as much, and it keeps the festive spirit alive.
They’re absolutely delicious
Gingerbread cookies are super delicious and will always leave you feeling like one isn’t enough. Kids and adults enjoy them, and the cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, and other spices make it rich, warm, and spicy.
They’re fun to make
Gingerbread cookies are fun to eat and make. You can mold the cookies in whatever shape you feel like, be it little gingerbread men, circles, or stars, and you can even use them to decorate gingerbread houses.
National Gingerbread Cookie Day dates