It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas throughout the Disney theme parks…everywhere except Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, that is. The planet of Batuu is one of the few places at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort that forgoes holiday decor. However, there is a feel-good holiday within Star Wars lore that is being acknowledged at Disneyland this year: Life Day!
What is Life Day?
Life Day is a Wookiee holiday celebrating family, harmony, and joy. Traditionally celebrated at the Tree of Life on Kashyyyk, the Wookiee home planet, Life Day is now celebrated across the galaxy — including on the planet of Batuu!
First introduced in the Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978, Life Day has become a joyous tradition within the Star Wars fandom.
The official Star Wars website describes Life Day as:
A longstanding Wookiee tradition, Life Day celebrates the values and tenets of Wookiee culture, including family, joy, and harmony. While Life Day is a celebration traditionally held at the Tree of Life on Kashyyyk and observed by extended Wookiee families, Wookiees throughout the galaxy still mark the day. When Wookiees were enslaved by the Empire, the holiday took on an even greater significance.
Today, people from planets across the galaxy have embraced this tradition and made it their own by celebrating with festive décor, twinkling string lights, unique food and drink items, music, and activities. People share the hopes of celebrating freedom, harmony, and peace, no matter how different people may appear. At the end of the day, everyone gathers to sing songs and be reminded of their dedication, courage, and love for one another. This is the promise of the Tree of Life.
Life Day is a time of friendship, family, and joy — qualities of the light side of the Force and values that Star Wars creator George Lucas holds dearly. Fans even celebrated Life Day at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland in November 2019, the same year that the land first opened.
Although it was first mentioned in 1978, the Star Wars Holiday Special is not considered canon. Life Day did not actually make its first canonical appearance until much, much later. Read more about Life Day on the Star Wars fandom Wookieepedia site here.
How are the Disney Parks Celebrating Life Day?
This year, one Disney theme park is celebrating Life Day throughout the 2021 holiday season. Disneyland — the first theme park to open the epic and immersive Star Wars land, Galaxy’s Edge — offers special Life Day foods and beverages from a galaxy far, far away. Though Life Day is officially commemorated on November 17, the theme park serves Life Day treats throughout the holiday season from November 12 through January 9.
Disneyland Resort began serving special Life Day menu items at select dining locations throughout Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, namely Oga’s Cantina, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo, and Kat Saka’s Kettle. Here’s what you can purchase at each spot:
- Pork Belly Slider Skewer: Pork Belly, Bao Buns, Zucchini Sauce, Calabrian Chili Compote, Za’atar Spice
- Gin-Huckleberry Cocktail: Refreshing Blend of Gin, Elderflower Liqueur, with flavors of Ginger and Huckleberry, garnished with Sweet Hibiscus Flower
- Pork Broth Noodles: Angel Hair Pasta with Bok Choy, Mushrooms, Roasted Pork and Yuzu-Tomato Compote in a Pesto-Tonkotsu Broth
- Potato Hand Pie: Tikka Masala-spiced, with Mint-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
- Black Sesame Macaron: Toasted Macaron, Passionfruit Buttercream, and Sesame Praline
At this time, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World has not added any special menu items for Life Day. However, there is Life Day merchandise throughout Batuu East, including an ornament, mug, and a plush toy Chewbacca wearing his Life Day robe. So, if you are heading to the Florida Disney theme parks this holiday season, keep this in mind!
There aren’t any official events planned for Life Day at Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort, though that isn’t stopping fans from planning celebrations of their own. Star Wars enthusiasts from all over are planning meetups in Galaxy’s Edge, donning their Jedi robes and lightsabers, and heading to Black Spire Outpost. Some are even planning giveaways to commemorate Life Day. From Batuu West in Disneyland to Batuu East in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Wars fans are honoring the holiday on both coasts.
Will Disney Do More?
Considering Life Day has never been officially commemorated at Disneyland before, it’s great to see Disney acknowledging the holiday at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in this way. But the lack of fanfare has many fans wondering if Disney will do more in the future.
Perhaps the addition of Life Day specialties to Galaxy’s Edge dining menus this year will lead to much more down the road. Disney could be starting small with the food and beverage items to gauge interest. If the guest response is positive and it becomes clear that Star Wars fans want to see Life Day celebrated much more prominently in the future, maybe Disney will do just that.
In fact, it has already been hinted that Life Day could come to Batuu. Eloc Throno wrote in the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Traveler’s Guide to Batuu, “On Batuu, locals celebrate the ideals of peace, harmony and freedom for all beings no matter how different they may appear. Festive decor can be seen throughout Batuu, and at the close of Life Day, everyone gathers around the Black Spire to sing songs and spread good cheer to one another.”
The OC Register reported back in 2020 that “Life Day would be a natural fit for Galaxy’s Edge. Black Spire Outpost is named for the petrified trees that dot the village. A young tree growing in the middle of the spaceport represents rebirth and new life.”
So, it doesn’t feel too far-fetched for this seasonal festival to be more heavily celebrated in the theme parks (both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios). Why else would Disney add information about seasonal festivals celebrated on Batuu to the guidebook all about the very planet Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is based on?
For now, we’ll continue to try all of the galaxy’s delicacies in celebration of Life Day. And if Disney decides to bring seasonal festivals to Galaxy’s Edge in a much grander way in the future, we’ll certainly join in the fun.