Holiday Vegan Recipe Calendar for All 4 Seasons

Two large stuffed mushrooms on a pretty china plate, to represent all holiday vegan recipes.

Welcome to the holiday vegan recipe calendar for celebrations all throughout the year: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter! The recipes cover traditional plant-based dishes, ingenious meat-substituting main course entrees, and trendy vegan culinary creations. The holidays range from lesser-known days of observance or awareness, to high-profile festivals and feast days.

Updated: October 23, 2021

The list is updated whenever The Editor (me!) wants to save a promising recipe for future reference. (Use the Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut to search the list.) Priority is given to clever vegan recipes that are both easy to prepare and make use of commonly available ingredients. Tell us about your favorite holiday vegan recipes in the comments section, at the end of the page.

A vegan lifestyle supports animal welfare, human health, and a sustainable planet. If you need extra motivation, learn more:

Spring Holiday Vegan Recipes

Spring is the season of renewal. The big religious holidays, in the United States, are Easter and Passover. Think of breaking a fast, or the end of a dark period, by marking a new beginning with a life-affirming feast.

Mix and match dishes within the Spring holiday vegan recipes collection. Most recipes are appropriate for any festive Spring feast. There are no rules; only loving suggestions.

National Pig Day – March 1

National Pig Day recognizes the pig as a highly intelligent domesticated animal. They make great pets. But most pigs are raised for food, and factory farms are very hard on pigs. Use this day to think about how to make their better lives.

St. Patrick’s Day – March 17

In the United States, St. Patrick’s day is largely a secular holiday. We see Ireland’s national plant, the shamrock, everywhere. It’s another great day to “go green.”

Spring Equinox – March 20, 2021 (Northern Hemisphere, March 19-21) — featuring SPRING ROLLS

No food recognizes the first day of Spring better than spring rolls. Have each guest prepare and bring a different kind of vegan spring roll to the party.

Passover – March 27-April 4, 2021 – 15th day of Month of Nisan, Jewish Calendar

Passover commemorates how God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as told in the Biblical story of Exodus. Current social justice issues are often discussed during the Passover dinner, or Seder.

Holi (Festival of Colors) – March 29, 2021 (Evening of Full Moon Day in Month of Falgun)

The theme of Holi, the Hindu Festival of colors, is the triumph of good over evil. Sweets and snacks are reigning feast items.

Easter – April 4, 2021 – Falls on Sunday After Passover Full Moon, Jewish Calendar

Easter is the holiest Christian holiday, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is a time of rebirth. We can set the old aside, and step forward renewed and refreshed.

National Pet Day – April 11

National Pet Day celebrates companion animals and encourages people to adopt shelter animals. It’s your furry friend’s big day!

Earth Day – April 22 — featuring HUMMUS

Demonstrating for climate action on Earth Day? Pack hummus, flatbread, veggies and fruit that can be eaten on the go.

May Day (International Workers’ Day) – May 1 — featuring SANDWICHES

Joining a strike or protest march on Workers’ Day? Pack a lunchbox and thermos with hearty vegan sustenance to eat on the go.

“Lunch box and vacuum bottle owned by Harry S. Truman… In the United States, the lunch box or lunch pail has been used as a [political] symbol of the working class. The phrase ‘lunch pail Democrat’ is used to classify populist politicians who attempt to gain the votes of the working class.” ~ Wikiwand

World Press Freedom Day – May 3 — featuring COFFEE & TEA

A free press is vital to democracy. Caffeine is vital to journalism, and any form of writing, research or investigation. On World Press Freedom Day, by your favorite independent news outlet “a cup of coffee.” That is, make a donation.

Cinco De Mayo – May 5

Cinco De Mayo commemorates the Mexican 1862 military victory over the French forces of Napoleon III. The day is observed in the U.S. to celebrate Mexican heritage.

Mother’s Day – May 9, 2021 – 2nd Sunday in May in U.S. — featuring BREAKFAST & BRUNCH

Serving Mom breakfast or brunch is a Mother’s Day tradition. Mothers rule the (plant-based) world! (See the poem.)

Memorial Day – May 31

Memorial Day honors the military men and women who died in service to our country. It is celebrated with prayers, parades, red poppies, and outdoor gatherings. Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the summer season of barbeques and cookouts.

World Peace begins in the kitchen.

~ Anonymous

Summer Holiday Vegan Recipes

Summer is the season for out-of-doors recreation. The biggest U.S. patriotic holiday is the Fourth of July (Independence Day). Think: barbeques and picnics.

Vary your recipe choices from among the Summer holidays. Any of the holiday vegan recipes will be welcome at an outdoor feast, regardless of the actual day of observance.

World Oceans Day – June 8 — featuring SEAFOOD

The oceans sustain life on Planet Earth. World Oceans Day advocates for a united, global project to keep world oceans sustainable. Fish-loving vegans can join the effort, too!

Juneteenth – June 19

On June 19, 1865, the last remaining black slaves in Confederate-held West Texas were freed, two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is a day for jubilant celebration. Red foods are traditional.

Summer Solstice – June 20, 2021 (Northern Hemisphere, June 20-22)

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. It’s also known as Midsummer. Fair weather? The perfect way to celebrate is with a picnic.

Father’s Day – June 20, 2021 (3rd Sunday of June, U.S.)

The third Sunday of every June is Father’s Day. Spend time with Dad. Do whatever he loves to do, and prepare him a manly vegan meal.

Independence Day – July 4 — featuring GRILLED SKEWERS

On July 2nd, 1776 the Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain. Two days later, July 4th, the Declaration of Independence was adopted. Thus, the Great American Experiment began. Today we celebrate Independence Day with fireworks… but not before a outdoor grilled meal!

Cow Appreciation Day – July 9 — featuring veggie BURGERS

On Cow Appreciation Day, it’s good etiquette for everyone to eat veggie burgers. Learn more about how to help factory farmed cows at the National Humane Education Society.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.

~ Anatole France
Cows love it when humans make “green” diet resolutions! It’s good for them and the planet.

Mandela Day – July 18 — featuring PANTRY ITEMS only

This day calls on people to be active citizens in their community by helping the less fortunate. Very often, people donate to local food banks. Have your guests, or group, bring 4 cans of food to donate AND a vegan potluck dish made from only canned goods and dry pantry items. The following recipe selection is inspired by 12 Best Food Products to Donate, and 3 to Avoid. (The recipes are easy fallbacks for busy or newbie vegans, too!)

Jamaica Emancipation & Indepence – August 1 & 6 — featuring JAMAICAN CUISINE

Autumn Holiday Vegan Recipes

Autumn is the season of harvest and thanksgiving. In Fact, November’s Thanksgiving is THE great American secular holiday.

Many of the Holiday Vegan Recipes within the Autumn collection are appropriate to serve at any Fall festivity. The recipes are mostly harvest-related, and quite interchangeable.

Labor Day – September 6, 2021 (First Monday in September

Labor Day is the last warm-weather outdoor celebration on the calendar. The holiday has its origin in the labor movement, and celebrates the essential importance of workers. Labor Day weekend is filled with parades, picnics, and cookouts.

Rosh Hashanah – September 6-8, 2021 (Usually Occurs During Month of September)

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, and celebrates God’s creation of the world. It’s a time to review, and reflect upon, the past year — and to seek forgiveness as a fresh new year begins. Traditional Rosh Hashanah feast dishes represent blessings. For instance, sweet foods symbolize hope for a “sweet” new year.

Baked Apple Roses make a luscious Rosh Hashana dessert. (Use a vegan egg wash.)

Yom Kippur – September 15-16, 2021 (Occurs During September or October)

Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement. It’s a time for fasting and purification. It’s a time to forgive others, as well as repent of one’s own sins against God. It’s a time of renewal. There are two Yom Kippur meals. One is served before the fast, and one is served after the fast.

Autumn Equinox – September 22, 2021 (Northern Hemisphere, September 21-24)

Celebrate the Autumn Equinox by feasting on local produce from the Fall harvest. Whether grown by local farmers, or harvested from your own garden, an abundance of fresh, healthy food is always a cause for a joyful celebration.

Dogs in Politics Day – September 23 — featuring vegan HOT DOGS

Behind every successful politician, there’s a good dog. Checkers, the Cocker Spaniel, single-handedly saved his human’s political career in 1952 — and inspired Dogs in Politics Day. Checkers’ human was Sen. Richard Nixon… so, Lefties, take this day over! It’s a perfect time to host a political gathering. Feed your fellow-rebels vegan hot dogs. They’re economical, “politically correct,” and memorable.

National Voter Registration Day – September 28, 2021 (4th Tuesday in September) – featuring ALL-AMERICAN CLASSICS

Make sure you and your friends are registered to vote. Reward your diligent efforts with an all-American vegan feast!

World Animal Day – October 4 — featuring vegan CLASSICS FOR BEGINNERS

World Animal Day is the international day of action for animal rights and welfare. The date coincides with Saint Francis of Assisi Feast Day. It’s a great time for carnivores to consider adopting a more plant-based diet. Here are some links to help:

St. Francis of Assisi was known for his gentle manner with animals. In the 1297-1299 Giotto di Bondone painting, he is seen “Preaching to the Birds.” Enjoy his feast day with Autumn holiday vegan recipes.

Here are the easy, basic dishes to get you started on a “greener” diet that is kinder to animals and Mother Earth.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day – October 11, 2021 – 2nd Monday in October

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is now observed, in many places, instead of Columbus Day. The holiday is also called First People’s Day, National Indigenous Peoples Day, or Native American Day. The day celebrates the history and culture of Native American people, including their food. It’s a day of ceremonies and feasts.

Halloween – October 31

From communing with dead souls to bats in the belfry, Halloween is the official day of the year to laugh at demons (you know, like greedy corporatists). Spooky foods make you brave.

Veterans Day – November 11

Veterans Day honors all current and past active-duty soldiers who serve/served in the United States Armed Forces. Prepare your Vet a hearty hero’s breakfast. Later in the day, eat out. Many familiar restaurants feed vets for free on Veterans Day. (See link below.)

World Children’s Day – November 20

World Children’s Day is observed in order to protect children’s rights and to improve their standard of living. To celebrate this day, have the kids work on a project that helps less fortunate children. Maybe they can sell snacks, in order to donate to the cause…

Thanksgiving – November 25

Thanksgiving is the High Feast Day of the United States, and officially launches the “holiday season.” A roasted turkey is the traditional table centerpiece. But vegans “mock” that idea.

Hanukkah – November 28-December 6 (Begins 25th day of Kislev, Hebrew calendar)

Veganism is not a sacrifice. It is a joy.

~ Gary L. Francione

Winter Holiday Vegan Recipes

Winter is the season to celebrate forgiveness, peace, and love. The most widely observed holidays are Hanukkah. Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Whether celebrated in a secular or religious fashion, festive tables and gifts reign supreme. Think: food and culinary gifts are ambassadors of peace, love, and joy.

Most of the holiday vegan recipes in the Winter collection may be prepared for any Winter festivity. There are no rules — feel free to mix them up.

Bodhi Day – December 8 – featuring vegan RICE dishes

Buddha, meditation, and enlightenment are quietly celebrated on Bodhi Day. It commemorates the day historic Buddha, Siddartha Gautauma, first achieved enlightenment. Afterward, the first simple meal the Buddha ate was rice and milk.

Human Rights Day – December 10

In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the UN. Know your rights, your human rights. Politically speaking, never be intimidated from demanding what you deserve. You have many rights!

Humane Educator, Abby Power, explains how human rights and human rights are connected.

Winter Solstice – December 21, 2020 (Northern Hemisphere, December 20-23)

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. It was observed by many ancient cultures, and is the pagan Yule holiday. Whether you’re intrigued by the astronomy or the ancient history, comfort food is perfect for the longest night of the year.

Christmas Eve – December 24

Tomorrow’s the big day. Make something quick and easy, but nice, for Christmas Eve dinner. Sip a festive beverage while hanging your stockings.

Christmas Day – December 25

Celebrate the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace. Gather your family and friends around, including the furry ones, and have yourself a merry little (vegan) Christmas.

Boxing Day – December 26 — featuring LEFTOVERS

It all began in Victorian England… The BBC explains Boxing Day: “[It] was traditionally a day off for servants, and the day when they received a special Christmas box from their masters.” Modern Boxing Day means glorious leftovers and TLC for anyone who had to work on Christmas day. (Also check May Day, May 1, for sandwich recipes.)

Kwanzaa – December 26 – January 1

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration of African-American culture. A feast, called “Karamu,” is served on the 6th day. Groundnut (peanut) stew and Jollof rice are popular traditional West African dishes to serve.

New Year’s Eve – December 31 — featuring FINGER FOODS & COCKTAILS

New Year’s Eve celebrates the coming new year, often with a party. Finger foods and cocktails are all you need for a late-night celebration. (And to arrange safe rides home for guests.)

New Year’s Day – January 1

On New Year’s Day, millions of people will launch life-affirming resolutions. Many people will determine to eat less meat — for personal health, the planet, and animal welfare. Their intentions will range from Meatless Mondays to Full-Blown Veganism. New Year’s day is perfect for celebrating… holiday vegan recipes!

Ready to Go Vegan? Take the Veganuary Pledge.

Veganuary is the world’s largest vegan movement, inspiring people to try vegan for January and throughout the rest of the year.

~ Veganuary

National Bird Day – January 5

National Bird Day is a campaign from the Avian Welfare Coalition. They believe birds are most beautiful in the wild. Outdoor birds appreciate suet and seeds during cold winter months. So, you know what to do…

Coming of Age Day – January 10, 2022 (Second Monday in January) — featuring JAPANESE cuisine

On this day, Japan celebrates everyone who entered adulthood (age 20) during the previous year. It’s a worthy holiday to borrow in the United States, where young adults are often politically denigrated. In the U.S., 18 is “Coming of Age.” This is when Americans are old enough to vote, drink, and serve in the military. Eat Japanese cuisine, have a drink, and plot your political activism for the coming year.

Mardi Gras or Fat-Tuesday – January 16, 2021 (Day before Ash Wednesday)

Mardi Gras is celebrated on the day before the Christian season of Lent begins. “Carnival” refers to the days of festivities leading up to Mardi Gras. There is no reason why people cannot revel in luscious holiday vegan recipes that are prepared for Mardi Gras! A plant-based menu is an epicurean delight, without the animal fat!

Mardi is the French word for Tuesday, and gras means “fat.” Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods—meat, eggs, milk, lard and cheese—that remained in their homes, in anticipation of several weeks of eating only fish and different types of fasting.

~ History.com

Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 18

A wonderful way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is to invite some friends over for hearty cold-weather vegan comfort-food, and to talk about the fight for human rights and economic justice. After eating, plan a local grassroots action and paint protest posters.

[King] wasn’t vegan/vegetarian, but his wife, Coretta Scott King, was vegan for the last 10 years of her life. Dr. King’s son, Dexter King, has been a vegan and animal rights activist since the 1980s. 

~ Lisa Viger Gotte, Planted 365
Jenne Claiborne, of Sweet Potato Soul, learned lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — while making his favorite dessert: pecan pie.

Food for Thought: Black Health Matters [and Veganism] | Jewcology, MLK Day: An Opportunity to Serve | Kitchn

Chinese New Year – February 12- February 22, 2021 (January 21 to February 20)

The Chinese New Year marks the transition of zodiac signs, which are represented by animals. 2021 is the Year of the Ox. More than 20% of the world’s population celebrates the Chinese New Year. Prepare humane holiday vegan recipes for an auspicious new year!

Super Bowl – February 7, 2021 (Sunday in January or February)

The Super Bowl determines the championship team of the National Football League (NFL). It’s the biggest game day of the year. So dig into your stash of holiday vegan recipes, and prepare something special to eat while watching the game. Being vegan is rather sporting, afterall, towards both animals and humans.

Valentine’s Day – February 14

Couples have a holiday to celebrate their love each year, on February 14th. Try preparing one of these lovely holiday vegan recipes for an intimate dinner for two on Valentine’s Day, or any Date Night.

How to make the Love Martini (Cranberry Cocktail), in pictures.

Presidents’ Day – February 15

You won’t find many holiday vegan recipes to commemorate Presidents’ Day. But George Washington and Abraham Lincoln deserve a festive vegan dessert in their honor. They founded and protected our country’s democracy. Let’s celebrate liberty and justice for all creatures, by preparing holiday vegan recipes to honor the Presidents.

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

~ Gandhi

Tips & Tricks for Veganizing Regular Recipes

Almost any dish can be veganized. Check out the following resources about tips and tricks for vegan substitutions.

Flavor Boosters

Breads

Vegan Cheeses

Keto Tips


Hope you enjoyed reading about vegan recipes for the holidays and special days of observance. Please share Progressive Graffiti articles with your friends and social networks. Sharing useful information, from a socially-aware point of view, helps to advance the Progressive Justice Movement. (We are an inclusive community!)

Published by JoAnn Chateau

Website owner and administrator of “Progressive Graffiti.”

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