Kebab Day Date in the current year: July 12, 2024

Kebab Day On the second Friday of July, treat yourself to some delicious kebab to celebrate Kebab Day, sometimes referred to as National Kebab Day even though there is no evidence that this unofficial food day is truly celebrated nationwide.

Kebab (also spelled kebap or kabob) is a cooked dish consisting of ground or cut up meat that originated in the Middle East. The word “kebab” can be roughly translated as “roasted meat dish”. The first mention of the word dates back to the 10th century, but it wasn’t borrowed into English until the 17th century.

The traditional meat for kebabs is lamb or mutton, but there are recipes including beef, chicken, goat, and even fish. Pork kebab is rare because the dish originated in a predominantly Muslim region, where consumption of pork is prohibited by Islam. However, it can be found in China, Southeast Asia, and Greece.

There are many varieties of kebab, but arguably the best-known ones, at least in the Western world, are shish kebab and doner kebab. Shish kebab is a dish of cut up meat grilled on a skewer. It is similar to shashlik, a meat dish that originated in the Caucasus region and is popular in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, and souvlaki, a popular Greek dish.

Traditional shish kebab is made of lamb and served with vegetables that are grilled separately. However, there are versions of shish kebab made with other kinds of meat, poultry, fish, or seafood that are grilled with vegetables on the same skewer.

Doner kebab is a fast food dish made with seasoned meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The meat is thinly sliced and served on a plate with various sides and sauces, wrapped in a thin flatbread, or stuffed into a pita. A Levantine version of doner kebab is known as shawarma, and a similar dish of Greek cuisine is called gyros.

In North America, the term kebab is typically synonymous with shish kebab, whereas English speakers from Europe also use it to refer to doner kebab. In Bangladeshi English, Indian English, Pakistani English, as well as in the languages of the region where kebab originated from, the term refers to almost any grilled meat dish.

Although shish kebab and doner kebab are the most popular types of kebab, they are not the only ones. For example, in Turkey there are over a dozen types of kebab, ranging from long, hard-minced adana kebap to stew-like tas kebab.

Kebab became a popular snack and street food in the West, including the United States, in the second half of the 20th century because it is cheap for a meat dish, tasty, filling, and easy to eat on the run. Given its popularity, it is not surprising that someone came up with the idea of celebrating Kebab Day.

The origins of Kebab Day are unclear, but it has been observed in some parts of the United States since at least 2019. You can celebrate it by visiting your favorite kebab place or checking out a new one, learning to make kebab yourself, or even inviting your friends over for a kebab cook-off. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #KebabDay.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Unofficial Holidays



Kebab Day, food days, food and drink days, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, National Kebab Day