Celebrate Juneteenth With Red Flowers, Cakes And Drinks

2019 Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival; Photo by Kait Moore.

2019 Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival; Photo by Kait Moore.

On Thursday, June 17, President Biden signed legislation into law establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day — a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

To honor Juneteenth this weekend, think red. Whether it’s drinking strawberry soda, savoring a red velvet cake or looking at ruby-red flowers.

Why is the Juneteenth menu at annual gatherings filled with red-colored food, drinks and often flowers?

According to the L.A. Times, the red represents the blood shed by African Americans in the struggle for freedom. A sobering reminder that while the holiday is a celebration it came at the expense of so many Black lives. 

The color could also be a reference to red foods carried across the Atlantic from West Africa by enslaved people; most notably hibiscus drinks, cola and red corn.

Kevin Bludso, owner of Bludso’s Bar & Que, says “barbecue, red soda and watermelon” form the “Juneteenth trinity” for an authentic celebration. In fact, his popular restaurant offers a special Juneteenth menu each year.

After 2020 saw many Juneteenth celebrations go virtual, major cities across the U.S. are re-establishing safe in-person parades, concerts, and festivals this year. Click here to take a look, embrace red, and get involved with the festivities.


A version of this story originally appeared on FlowerPowerDaily.com.

Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, and a contributing digital editor of aspire design and home magazine.

Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to aspire design and home magazine.

Facebook Comments

aspire design and home is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, aspire creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, aspire explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. aspire design and home is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.