Wherever you are and whoever you are; if you are of Lebanese origins you might miss out on your heritage. A local church in Scranton, Pensylvania, is making sure to keep the bond alive, and that for the past 25 years, reminding people of their Lebanese heritage while introducing it to the locals, and it does so in the most enjoyable way possible: with the Lebanese cuisine! After all, the saying that “the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach” can be often right!
The Saint Ann Maronite Church is constantly keeping the Lebanese culture alive, and entertaining guests through good Lebanese cuisine. They make chicken kababs, stuffed vine leaves, and all the traditional food, without missing our desserts. Anyone who loves Lebanese food, even the locals, can be seen munching down all the good food at the festival this year as well.
For its 25th Lebanese Heritage anniversary, the church congregation decided to go all out with it, turning the LebFest into a Lebanese cuisine festival! Crowds are drawn to this event for the cultural experience. The food, crafts, activities, and dancing create a fun atmosphere.
Juliette Saadi, a regular member of the congregation, states that everyone knows the great lengths that our tradition holds. She claims that people who have Lebanese origins should be educated more about it.
However, the Saint Ann Maronite church is way older than the onset of the festival tradition. It has been present in Scranton city since 1903!
Monsignor Francis Marini claims that this annual festival has been keeping the traditions going and preserving the culture. Youngsters are taught about their Lebanese heritage; generations that are risking to lose touch and knowledge of their roots.
Unfortunately, as time passes helping hands for the festival preparations are decreasing. They depend on volunteers to come help and keep the Lebanese tradition alive. Hopefully, with more activities in the upcoming years, more and more people will be willing to help out.
Lebanon has beautiful traditions we take pride in, especially those related to family and community ties, and celebrations of what we hold holy and sacred. We certainly don’t want to lose these to the oblivion of times as we spread across the world and our families grow new roots in their new countries.