Roasted Chestnuts Day

With Christmas comes Hancock International College’s favorite Christmas tradition… Christmas Carols! What better way to learn about English this time of year than to look at the opening lyrics to “The Christmas Song” depicting “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and right away our ESL students are confused because chestnuts are not often talked about these days… Funny thing too is that today is Roasted Chestnuts Day!

Checkidaycom says, “…Chestnuts have been being roasted for centuries; some historians think the tradition dates to the sixteenth century, when vendors sold them on the streets of Rome. They also are associated with St. Martin’s Day in Portugal, and St. Simon’s Day in Italy; some believe chestnut roasting got its start on those days. They are still eaten in those countries, and are a popular street food throughout the rest of Europe, as well as in East Asia, especially during the colder months. Why are they now eaten during the holiday months? When chestnuts are raw they are bitter, but roasting them makes them sweeter. Since so many sweet foods are eaten during the holidays, maybe that gives us clues as to why roast chestnuts are included as holiday treats. It is not otherwise known why the eating of roast chestnuts happens during the holiday season.”

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Idiom of the Day

Roast Snow in a Furnace

Meaning: Something that has been decided or finalized.

Example: I had no idea I’d have to make more payments to receive the merchandise—I thought it was a done deal!