Independence days everywhere signify so much more than fun colors and drinking games. It marks a major shift in history following what was often a difficult and violent struggle. What we can get from that nowadays, no matter what flag we wave, is an appreciation for our lives. One way that is easy for everyone to appreciate history and heritage is food, so here are 13 independence day foods that are enjoyed throughout the year around the world. 

1. France: Quiche Lorraine

Bastille day, or la Fête nationale, is celebrated on July 14th. The storming of the Bastille armory in 1789 is commemorated each year with a day of national pride.

Quiche in general is of French origin, but this particular quiche has onions and bacon in addition to the cheese and egg. It is used to celebrate France's pride. Make one for yourself anytime and anywhere. 

2. Finland: Karjalanpiirakoita

Although the name is quite the mouthful, these little pastries are easy to ear. Karjalanpiirakoita, or Karlien Pasties, have been marked with European's Traditional Specialties Guaranteed so that they are made the proper way in order to show their true roots from Finland.

December 6th marks Finland's independence from Russia in 1917, giving everyone a reason to take the day off. The pastries are like little pies with rye crust and rice or egg fillings. 

3. Greece: Kleftiko

Meaning the thief's meal, Kleftiko is a slow-cooked lamb dish full of not just Greek history but also shows Greece influence on modern day grilling. It is named after bandits who were said to have cooked this meal and use the slow-cook process to remain discrete. 

March 25th is perfect for cooking this seasoned meat as it marks the celebration of Greece's freedom from the Ottoman Empire in 1821. 

4. Malaysia: Nasi Lemak

The national dish of Malaysia is not forgotten about on August 31st. This day is called Hari Merdeka and celebrates Malaysia's independence from Britain. It is prepared by cooking rice in coconut cream with a garnish of peanuts and anchovies.

More modern interpretations are popular as of late with poached eggs on top to show that this meal can be enjoyed at any time of day. The meal unifies people of all backgrounds just as the day of festivities is meant to. 

5. India: Tricolor dishes

These independence day foods can be seen all year round, but in special ways on August 15th with the celebration of India's Independence from Britain in 1947. Tricolor dishes of white, orange, and green represent India's flag. Foods made of these colors are meant to show off the pride of the country.

Neighboring country Pakistan pays homage to their flag with greens foods on their independence day the day prior, August 14th. 

6. Egypt: Qatayef

While these traditional Arab desserts are popularly sold by street vendors during Ramadan, Egyptians will choose this quick nut or cheese filled option over most other dishes on their independence day, February 28th.

Another country celebrating their independence from Britain, this dessert encompasses the traditional flavors found in many dishes enjoyed in Egypt both years ago and to this day. 

7. South Africa: Pap en vleis

A dish favored by many countries in the south of Africa, it is the perfect way to celebrate South Africa's Independence from Britain on December 11th, 1931. It is a simple meat and porridge combination, but one of the more essential details is the spices and beer served on the side. 

8. Brazil: Feijoada

While they celebrate their independence from Portugal every September 7th, this meal shows the Portuguese influence that is still present in Brazil.

Feijoada is Brazil's national dish: a bean and meat stew that can be made in big batches. Preparing this meal takes attention to detail, but it is important to recognize the origins in the way Brazilian slaves cooked for their owners prior to freedom. 

9. Honduras: Plato Tipico

Honduras Independence day is celebrated on September 15th. This day marks the freedom from Spain for not just Honduras but, five countries coming out from under their rule, with the four others being Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

No meal is left out as they eat a lot of traditional foods on this day, but this one in particular is a plate full sausages, chismol, beans, and plantains. The bigger meal is fitting to fuel up for the day's many activities. 

10. Chile: Chilean Empenadas

Las Fiestas Patrias, which translates to national parties, is a two day celebration that would not be the same without the traditional foods that are served.

September 18th marks Chile's independence from Spain while festivities carry over to the next day in a grand finale of parades and parties. What makes these empenadas Chilean is the wood-burning baking technique, squared off form, and seasoned-meat filling.

11. Mexico: Pozole

Cinco de Mayo has been wrongfully distracting many people from the true celebrated Mexican Independence day on September 16th, when the revolt for freedom from Spain began in 1810.

Feasting is a part of the festivities, so just one of their independence day foods is pozole, seasoned soup with meat and vegetables. It is said to have roots in Aztec cooking with the inclusion of a variation of corn that the Aztecs found sacred. 

12. Canada: Chicken 

Like many countries of this size, traditions vary by location, but one trend throughout Canada  is chicken. It isn't all maple syrup and Tim Horton's but, while those do remain popular. The only way to properly celebrate Canada Day on July 1st is with grilled chicken.

They are not necessarily celebrating their independence but the forming of their actual country in 1867. They keep the cooking simple so they can focus on what's really important: being together. 

13. America: Hotdogs and Hamburgers 

Besides a table filled with red and blue dyed foods, nothing says 'Murica on the 4th of July like a hotdog or hamburger. We are not quite as decadent with our independence day foods, but that is definitely not for a lack of pride.

Each of these meals, which represent only a few of the celebrations of Independence around the world, has a story behind it. Mark you calendars and stock your pantries in order to not just show hometown pride but appreciate the world around you.