HOLISTIC WELLNESS –
Of so many December traditions among Christians, why plum pudding you may ask. The simple is very simple and direct and that is because it is healthy!
Your heart may have skipped a happy beat in disbelief and hope. How on earth can rich plum pudding be healthy?
Well, wonder no longer:
Among the Christians, Christmas and New Year are here.
Have you ever stopped a while and wondered how and where traditions came from and why?
We all associate Plum Pudding with Christmas and here’s why.
Its association goes way back into Medieval England, at the end of the Fifth Century with religious overtures that encouraged group gatherings in the deep mid-winter and hence a reason to celebrate.
Modern-day festive celebrations are generally more commercial affairs that have lost the soul of Christmas when compared with days of yore, that bring to mind thoughts of traditional holidays with connotations of families, goodwill and open fires, feasting, jollity and abundance, and spreading the traditions of family, charity, goodwill, peace and happiness that were evident in nostalgic times.
When it comes to food, the festive feasts of yesteryear put our modern holiday fare to shame.
Traditionally, pudding preparations started well in advance with it being customary for all the family to get involved in the stirring of the ingredients with everyone taking turns in mixing with a wooden spoon whilst making a wish as they stirred from east to west, replicating the journey of the three wise men from the Middle East.
Through all the many superstitions that evolved over the centuries, of thirteen ingredients representing the 12 Disciples and Christ; putting a silver coin in the pudding is another age-old custom that is said to bring luck and fortune to the person that finds it; a sprig of holly on the top of the pudding for protection to the family; and the final flambé before consumption that represents power!
And now for guilt-free feasting on Christmas pud, believe it or not, our ancestors thought of it all, the rich plum pudding does not accidentally happen to end a holiday feast, it is intentional, and for reasons.
It is the perfect nutritional digestive; the thirteen traditional ingredients of berries, plums, spices, candied peels, dry fruits, seeds, and more, release their digestive enzymes and ensure our systems digest the rich Christmas feast without being sick to the pit of the stomach. Happily, it is healthy too, loaded with fiber, antioxidants, micronutrients, and vitamins.
The sharing and gifting of the immense “Twelfth-cakes”, each containing a blessed Silver coin that brings luck and prosperity to the finder, is at the heart of the holiday December cheer!
A happy celebration to all. Feast-away, and hope you are the lucky Silver-Coin finder.
Dr Mary Ann is the director of marketing and development of Al Nahda Hotels and Resorts. She is a 2018 Middle East Women in Leadership Awardee specialising in holistic wellness. She pioneered the said industry in the country. Her clients include the who’s who of the region and the Sultanate.