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Christmas Foods and Holiday Feasting

Saturday, December 10, 2022

This talk is part of the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium.

Event Time

December 9, 2022 | Friday
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST)
December 10, 2022 | Saturday
10:00 am - 11:00 am China Standard Time (CST)

Participation Format

Registration is required to obtain a ZOOM Conference access link, which will be sent to your registration email or phone shortly. Please enter the ZOOM room 15 minutes before the starting time. When the room is full, latecomers will not be able to access the ZOOM conference.


Please click on“HERE” to register. Please send an email to if there are any problems.



The language of the event will be English.

The Event

As in China, in the United States and European countries, certain foods are associated with holidays, but there is not the same round of observances throughout the year that can compare with dumplings or niangao for New Year or yuanxiao for the Lantern Festival. Christmas is a time of feasting, but what is consumed varies. A lot of Christmas foods are archaic, that is they are foods created from historical memory rather than things people consume on other special occasions. Prepare for the holiday season together as Paul Freedman, Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale, shares about the history of Christmas foods and holiday feasting.

The Speaker

Paul Freedman
Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University

Paul Freedman is professor of history at Yale University, where he has taught since 1997 and has served as Chair of the History Department. His primary interests are in the field of medieval European history and the history of food and cuisine, about which he has produced many related books and articles.

In 2007, Freedman edited Food: The History of Taste, which won a prize from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has been translated into ten languages. This began a series of studies about the role of food in shaping cultures and historical trends. Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (2008) looks at the desire for spices in the Middle Ages and how it led to European exploration and conquest.

Freedman is also the author of Ten Restaurants that Changed America (2016), a way of looking at US food history through ten examples, including Chinese and Italian cuisines adapted to American tastes.His American Cuisine: How It Got This Way was published in October 2019, and his most recent book, Why Food Matters (2021) was published by Yale University Press.

Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Starr Insurance Companies, and a member of Yale Center Beijing’s Advisory Committee, Yale Center Beijing is pleased to host the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium, which convenes thought leaders from all sectors who, in the spirit of Mr. Greenberg, play pivotal roles in building bridges among China, the U.S., and the rest of the world.

Public Event