Fortune Cookie Day is celebrated on September 13th of each year. A fortune cookie is a crisp cookie usually made from flour, sugar, vanilla, and sesame seed oil with a “fortune” wrapped inside. A “fortune” is a piece of paper with words of wisdom or a vague prophecy. The message inside may also include a Chinese phrase with translation or a list of lucky numbers used by some as lottery numbers, some of which have become actual winner numbers.
Fortune cookies are often served as a dessert in Chinese restaurants in the United States and some other countries, but are absent in China. The exact provenance of fortune cookies is unclear, though various immigrant groups in California claim to have popularized them in the early 20th century, basing their recipe on a traditional Japanese cracker. Fortune cookies have been summarized as being “introduced by the Japanese, popularized by the Chinese, but ultimately … consumed by Americans.”