As we head into February, stores will start going into full on Valentines mode with shelves brimming with heart shaped chocolate boxes, pink stuffed animals, and cheesy cards. Valentines Day is one of those holidays that you either love or hate, which mostly depends on if you’re single or not. Celebrated mainly in North America, this holiday started in the year 496 and is derived from an ancient Roman celebration originally to commemorate the beginning of Spring. Over the years, the church decided to turn the festival into a Christian holiday created to commemorate St Valentine, the saint of love. Nowadays, gift giving and romantic dinners are synonym with the holiday of love but in different parts of the world, they like to do things a bit differently. With Valentines Day right around the corner, we’ll be discovering 15 different countries around the world who celebrate the holiday in their own unique way.
Germany, a country known for it’s charming half-timbered houses, castles galore, and of course their beer, is the country we’ll be starting the new year off with, with Universal Yums. While the holiday season may be over and done with and you’ve finally put away all of those lingering Christmas decorations, the most festive time of year is just beginning in Germany. All across the country, people are getting prepared for the biggest celebration of the year known as ‘karneval.’ This special occasion starts the new year off on the right foot and involves parades, music, dancing, costumes, and of course, yummy food. While there isn’t a plane ticket to Germany to attend the karneval included in this month’s box, there are some of the special treats that are enjoyed during this celebration that will have us feeling like we’re right there celebrating along with the locals.
We’ve finally made it to the end of another great year. As the hours are winding down on 2018, people around the world are getting ready or are already celebrating the New Year. Depending on where you’re found in the world, your idea of a New Year’s Eve celebration may differ quite a bit from someone else’s traditions. To end the year off on a bang and to celebrate the many different cultures and traditions around the globe, my last blog post of the year will be this one, where we’ll be exploring the different ways people celebrate the upcoming new year, with many unique and downright strange traditions to be discovered.
With the holidays surrounding us in full force, this month with Universal Yums things will be a little different than usual. Normally we get the chance to try snacks from a different country every month but this time around, in celebration of the festive season, we will be trying goodies from 12 different countries. Ranging from champagne candy to mustard chips, these snacks are foods that are traditionally eaten during the holidays in their respective countries.
Home to colorful windmills blowing in the wind and winding canals surrounded by fields of brightly, colored tulips, the Netherlands is a beautiful country set in northwestern Europe. Over 17 million people call this country their home and because of this, is known as one of the most densely populated countries in the world. While it may be a popular place to live, it is also a popular place to visit with the country seeing hundreds of thousands of tourists each year most likely going to visit popular monuments and landmarks throughout the Netherlands such as the Keukenhof garden, the largest public flower garden in the world or the Anne Frank house, the home in which Anne and her family hid to escape the horrors of the Second World War. The most important thing about this country though, and the reason that we’re here right now, is their delicious food. In this month’s Universal Yums box, we will trying some extremely tasty snacks from chocolate stroopwafels, black licorice candy, and cheese and raspberry biscuits making for a unique range of options as unique as the country itself.
With the landscapes covered in a blanket of white, powdery snow and the smell of gingerbread and Christmas trees lingering in the air, the most magical time of year is officially at our doors. I feel like this past year has gone by so ridiculously fast that it feels like just yesterday that I was working on my last gift guide and now here we are again. For this year I decided to change things up a little bit and instead make a gift guide for stocking stuffers as I find that they’re the cutest and most fun little gifts to receive during the holidays. So with Christmas day fast approaching there’s no time to waste so here are some of the best stocking stuffers to gift the travel lover in your life or to keep for yourself.
The home to the famous St Basil’s Cathedral, the inventors of Tetris, and the creators of the delicious snacks we get to try this month, Russia is home to almost 150 million people and is considered to be the world’s largest nation. Though this country has had its fair share of problems with countries such as the United States, this month we’ll only be scratching the surface of this complex country and rather exploring the positives that can be found rather than showcasing what’s already on the news. Aside from being the birthplace of multiple talented individuals each with their own unique story, Russia is also crawling with delicious and unique cuisine. From blackcurrant marshmallows and grapefruit chocolate to shish kabob chips and salmon flavored bread sticks, this month’s yums are as interesting and intriguing as the country they come from.