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VERTIKAL LIFE Magazine
The Reason Jews Eat Chinese Food On Christmas is Rooted in Solidarity

 

Along with carving the ham and eating gingerbread cookies to our hearts' content, there's another big food tradition that comes on Christmas day.  For over a century, Jewish families in the U.S. have been paying a visit to their favorite Chinese restaurant for a special annual meal.  Today, the occasion has become such a tradition that Chinese restaurants fill up quickly and see business boom for the day. New York City's Shun Lee, for example, has received around 1,300 reservations for the day in the past.

But while people now excitedly anticipate the popular custom, its roots are bittersweet. Though there are several theories as to how this practice began, some experts agree that it's rooted in finding unity amid adversity.

Being the two largest immigrant groups at the turn of the century that weren't Christian, Chinese and Jewish people both understood "what it's like to be outsiders."

Jennifer 8. Lee, a producer of "The Search for General Tso," explained to The Atlantic that being the two largest immigrant groups at the turn of the century that weren't Christian, Chinese and Jewish people both understood "what it's like to be outsiders."

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