Kebab Day, observed on July 12th is a global observance devoted to a universally adored culinary masterpiece - the Kebab. Tracing its origins back to the Middle East, this scrumptious dish has successfully woven its way into various cultures and cuisines across the world. This special day pays homage to the rich assortment of kebabs and the incredible adaptability this dish has shown.

Kebab enthusiasts, whether they gravitate towards a traditional Shawarma, a fiery Adana, or a tender Shish, are encouraged to immerse themselves in the savory universe of kebabs on Kebab Day.

History of Kebab Day

The story behind kebabs is as interesting as it is wide-ranging, encompassing various geographical locations and cultural traditions. Tracing back to its roots, the term “kebab” is Arabic in origin and translates to “fried meat”. Nonetheless, the framework of skewering and roasting meats is a practice common to numerous cultures worldwide.

The earliest adoption of grilling meats on skewers can be linked back to Middle Age soldiers, who would use their swords to roast their meals over natural fires while on the battlegrounds. This convenient cooking trend gained traction in the Middle East and was further disseminated across several regions, thanks largely to the expanse of the Ottoman empire.

Fast forward to the 17th century, when the Middle Eastern spin on skewered meats metamorphosed into what we now recognize as the shish kebab. The global reach of this dish continued to foster its diverse renditions, with countries such as India, Greece and Armenia incorporating it into their indigenous culinary practices. This led to the birth of notable derivatives such as the Souvlaki, Gyros, and Tandoori Kebabs.

In the 1900s, kebabs gained popularity in the West, primarily via the introduction of the European-style Doner Kebab. Served in a pita wrap with a medley of vegetables, sauces, and locally-inspired spices, Doner Kebabs fast became a beloved fast-food option across the globe.

Kebab Day Timeline

Kebabs Mentioned in Turkish Script

Kebabs were first mentioned in the Turkish script Kyssa-i Yusuf, where they were described as a dish of mutton.

Kebab Introduced to the Ottoman Empire

With the rise of the Ottoman Empire, kebab was introduced to Turkey and the broader area of Europe and the Middle East.

Kebab in Western Europe

Kebab began to appear in Western Europe as Ottoman Empire spread its influence, especially in major cities like Paris and London.

Popularisation of Doner Kebab in Germany

Turkish guest workers in Germany created a version of kebab that became a fast-food classic across Europe.

Widespread Enjoyment of Kebab

Kebab is now enjoyed worldwide in its varied forms by millions every day.

Kebab Day

International Kebab Day is celebrated on 12th of July to honor the cultural importance and worldwide popularity of the dish.

Ideas to Celebrate Kebab Day

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Kebab Cooking Competition

Organize a friendly cooking competition among friends, family, or colleagues. Everyone must prepare their own version of kebab using varied recipes from different countries. This could also be a fun way to learn and experience the different cultural takes on this beloved dish.

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Kebab Picnic Day

Make a day of it by preparing all kinds of kebabs and hosting a picnic at a nearby park, beach, or even at your home. Prepare a range of kebabs to suit every taste and dietary requirement,-from vegetarian kebabs to meat-loaded ones and don't forget the dips too.

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Kebab Tasting Party

Invite friends and family over for a kebab tasting party. Order from various local restaurants to get a variety of kebabs and pair them with different kinds of sauces, sides and drinks.

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Kebab Cooking Class

Take a cooking class on Kebab Day to learn how to make your own kebabs at home. Many cooking schools or restaurants offer special culinary workshops where they teach different types of kebabs.

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Support Local Kebab Restaurants

Use Kebab Day as an opportunity to support your local kebab restaurants. Whether dine-in, delivery, or takeaway, enjoy some delicious kebabs from local eateries.

7 Interesting Facts About Kebab


Origins of Kebab

Kebab is believed to have originated in the Middle East where soldiers used to grill chunks of freshly hunted animals skewed on swords on open-field fires.


Different Varieties

The kebab has several varieties depending on the region, such as the Doner Kebab in Turkey, Seekh Kebab in Pakistan, and the Souvlaki Kebab in Greece.


First Kebab Shop in the UK

The first kebab shop in the UK, the Istanbul Restaurant in Soho was reportedly opened in 1940 by a Turkish immigrant.


World's Largest Kebab

The world's largest kebab was made in in the Turkish capital of Ankara in 2011 and weighed a whopping 1198 kilograms.


Doner Kebab in Germany

The Doner kebab is so popular in Germany that Berlin is often referred to as the 'Doner Kebab capital of the world'.


The Literal Meaning of Kebab

Kebab is derived from the Arabic word ‘Cabob’ which literally translates to ‘to burn or char’.


Kebab and the Oval Shape

The oval shape of the kebab is traditionally believed to ensure even cooking.

Kebab Day FAQs

Next Kebab Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 July 12th Wednesday
2024 July 12th Friday
2025 July 12th Saturday
2026 July 12th Sunday
2027 July 12th Monday
What is the pattern? Every July 12th

Kebab Day Word Search

  • Kebab
  • Skewer
  • Grill
  • Marinade
  • Lamb
  • Chicken