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The Festive Feasts of Los Angeles

Photo Friends,
3 women eating fruitcake
Tastes like Christmas already! [1958]. Photo credit: E.J. Clarke, Valley Times Collection

Ready for the holidays? Hungry?

Wherever there are festivities, there will be food. In all cultures, eating and feasting is part of a proper celebration for any occasion. With the December holidays in full swing, Angelenos are commemorating and celebrating the holidays with traditional dinners, old family recipes, and once-a-year treats, as these pictures from our photo collection show.

Sorrina and Marcel Yitzak prepare for a Hanukkah party

Sorrina and Marcel Yitzak prepare for a Hanukkah party at which they will be serving sufganiyot, the traditional deep-fried jelly doughnuts, [ca 1985]. Shades of L.A. Collection 

hannukah partyThe pastries, filled with jelly or custard and topped with powdered sugar, commemorate the miracle of the temple oil and are often served at Hanukkah gatherings, such as this one in Woodland Hills, California, [1984]. Shades of L.A. Collection 

Linda Figueroa prepares tamales for a Christmas dinnerTamales are a traditional item for Christmas meals in Mexico and the Southwest. In this photo, Linda Figueroa prepares tamales for a Christmas dinner, [1960]. Shades of L.A. Collection 

members of the Vasquez family preparing tamalesTamales for holiday gatherings are often prepared in huge batches during a tamalada – a tamale-making party that is equal (somewhat) parts cooking session, family reunion, and holiday party. Here, members of the Vasquez family hold such an affair, [1959]. Shades of L.A. Collection 

An Orthodox Christmas Eve dinnerAn Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner begins with the lighting of a single tall white candle upon the appearance of the first star in the sky. The meal is traditionally meatless and dairy-free and includes twelve courses, [1963]. Valley Times Collection 

Kiwanis Club uses fruitcake to help employers spread good cheerWhat’s Christmas without fruitcake? In this photo, the Kiwanis Club uses fruitcake to help employers spread good cheer to their employees while helping children’s charities throughout the San Fernando Valley, [1961]. Valley Times Collection

If you need more inspiration for getting into the spirit of the season, you can also peruse the library’s photo collection for images of festivals, parades, decorations, and more food. Whatever holiday you may be celebrating, bon appetit!

Written by Annie Murphy. Originally published on the Photo Friends Blog December 22, 2015.