Christmas is here. A year-long waiting is over. Christmas is considered to be the most celebrated holiday worldwide. More than two billion people observe this festival around the globe. The cultural flavour of Christmas is much denser than the religious appeal of it. It has evolved into an extravagant celebration of festivity from both economic and cultural perspectives.
This event has reached beyond the edge of extravagant food and festivity. Christmas celebration is so splendid that you may feel for an ordinary holiday, a cheerful event of this festival would set the tone for you. Some of these are silly, of course, we must say. As it’s a total family orientated holiday. We like to get together with our family and friends. Buy gifts for our loved ones and like to decorate our Christmas tree altogether.
No festival can stand alone without a lavish showcasing of foods. Same goes for Christmas celebration. Each culture used to celebrate the Christmas dinner in their own unique way. Most of us are quite choosy regarding Christmas dinner. If you are a foodie who loves to try different cuisines then the following food guide will introduce you to an amazing collection of traditional Christmas dinner from all over the world.
Let’s hop on this list of delicious Christmas cuisines.
Christmas in France is called Reveillon de Noël which begins on 6th December. During this period of time, families get together and feast on Le Reveillion night. French people eat a plenty of exclusive gourmet foods for the Christmas season. But they have their favourites too. Traditionally they prefer to eat two special kinds of food items for Christmas.
One is, of course, the Bûche de Noël. It’s a kind of Swiss roll with a buttercream cover with beautiful Xmas decoration on it. Another is the Capon, a castrated rooster which is only seen at this time of the year. During Christmas, French people go crazy about the oyster. If you are celebrating Christmas in France then you cannot forget about dessert, cheese and wine – these are the delicacy of Christmas. Aged cheese, oldest wine and special desserts make the dinner just perfect.
Like other Orthodox Christians in Russia, Ethiopia, and Serbia, Egyptians celebrate their Christmas at 7th January. Coptic Orthodox Christians have to fast for 43 days starting from 25th November to 6th January. That is called the Advent fast. During this period, they prefer to eat a vegan diet and try to avoid all kind of edible animal produce. Naturally, the food they prepare for Christmas Eve contains everything that they couldn’t have during the fast.
The most popular meal is Fattah which is a lamb soup containing bread, rice, garlic and boiled lamb meat. The traditional meal for holidays is very simple in Egypt. They like to have peas, beans, cucumbers, dates and grapes. For the main course, they prepare meat or fish items. During the church service, Egyptians like to have a special bread called “Qurban”. Families try to get together during Christmas seasons. They often serve “Kahk” a special kind of sweet biscuits as a gift.
For Australians, Christmas never bring to mind of making a snowman with a red scarf or sitting by the fireplace and have some coffee with family. Because Christmas comes here at one of the hottest months of the year. Christmas in Australia often coincides with the summer holiday. Most Aussie families try to be home together with their Christmas meal that typically served at lunchtime.
Their cold Christmas dinner always comes along with the traditional English foods. For mid-summer Christmas meal, they go for special lunch with turkey and chilled platters of lamb or seafood on the menu. Some families prefer outdoor BBQ parties including Barra and steak. In this scorching heat of summer, baked vegetables, roast meat and traditional plum pudding make the perfect Christmas dinner in Australia.
Mexican Christmas celebration is quite fascinating. Most of their traditions are different from our common idea of Christmas. They celebrate Christmas festival for more than one day. Children perform “9 Posadas” to celebrate the story of Joseph & Marry and tell other religious stories too. They use cornucopia to make their dishes more delicious and delightful. During Christmas season, “Tamales” are very popular among Mexicans for dinner.
Tamales are made of maize with stuffed chicken, pork, cheese, chillies and vegetables. They serve a drink called “Ponche Con Piquete” made with pulped seasonal fruits at their posadas parties. Mixed spices like cinnamon and added alcohol such as rum, brandy and tequila give the drink an extra punch. Mexican celebrate the visit of three kings to the baby Jesus on 6th January with a round shaped cake called “Rosca De Reyes”. This cake is baked with rich dry fruits and is served with Mexican chocolate.
In Italy, Christmas celebrations start at 8 days before the Christmas Eve with a series of prayers and church service. Unlike many other countries, Christmas is celebrated differently in Italy. Representing the Christmas story using a crib that started in 1223, is the most common way to celebrate Christmas here. Since the 16th century, most Italian families have a crib to celebrate Christmas.
When it comes to Christmas dinner Italians have the most different taste than others. Here families prefer to avoid meat on the Christmas menu. A traditional “Feast of the seven fishes” takes place on Christmas Eve. Common types of fish including Baccala, Clams, Calamari, Sardines and Eel are served at the dinner. People join the Midnight Mass service after the dinner. When they return from the mass; they like to have a piece of Italian Christmas cake “Panettone” with a cup of hot chocolate.
You will see a mixed culture in modern Canada. All credits go for its diversified background. Thus, Christmas in Canada has a little touch of Europe, France and Britain in it. Since the 20th century, Christmas has become the biggest annual celebration of Canada. One thing that ties all the states together is the food eaten on Christmas Eve. English Canadians enjoy Christmas feast with roasted beef or goose and mince pies.
Dessert is often the cake full of dry fruits or the plum pudding. But turkey still rules the day as the most cherished centre of celebration for Christmas dinner. For French Canadians, Tourtiere or pork pie is served for the people who attend mass service at midnight. Candy companies make special sweets named Barley candy and Chicken bones for Christmas. All Canadians enjoy these on Xmas day and celebrate their multicultural Christmas.
Like Australians, Argentinian people celebrate their Christmas in summer. They usually start Christmas preparation from November to early December. They prefer to decorate their Christmas tree within 8th December. But their main celebration begins on the Christmas Eve. All their friends and family members join together for the dinner.
It includes some popular Christmas dishes like Asado, roasted turkey, pork, stuffed tomatoes, salad etc. Argentinians like their traditional Christmas drink Anana Fizz, which is made from cider and pineapple juice. They eat sweet bread filled with raisins and dried fruit which is a perfect complement to the sweet cider. Mostly dinner is arranged outside of the home to enjoy the summer vibes. Most people start to enjoy their special Christmas Eve dinner around 10 to 11 pm.
People in Sweden starts to begin their Christmas preparation in October. Swedish Christmas has a mixed customs of the local and foreign culture. Most of the Swedish families celebrate their Christmas almost in the same way. Many local tradition and conventions are almost lost these days. But the food people prefer to eat on Christmas eve still depends on their locality and origin.
Typically, a Swedish Christmas dinner table includes pickled herring, beet salads, cold poached salmon, crisp bread with butter and white cheese. They like to have baked vegetables and omelette with creamed mushroom and asparagus. The Swedish meatballs served with a brown sauce. Their another Christmas favourite is a traditional item the potato gratin dish called Jansson’s Temptation. After the feast is over, Santa Claus arrives to give the presents and wish them a Merry Christmas.
The Philippines is famous for celebrating the longest Christmas holiday around the world, starting from September to the first Sunday of January. Christmas means having a grand feast for Filipinos. They are very family oriented people and prefer to celebrate this day in a blissful religious way. Christmas Eve is celebrated on 24th December with the midnight mass and the traditional “Noche Buena” feast.
Noche Buena is a social gathering of family, friends, and neighbours to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Filipinos enjoy Christmas gathering with several special dishes. Dinner table includes Lechon (roasted pig), ham, fruit salad, rice cakes, steamed rice and different kind of drinks. Their most popular desserts include Queso De Bola (ball-shaped cheese), Tsokolate (hot chocolate milk), and Leche Flan (caramel custard).
South Africa shares a fair amount of Christmas tradition with the UK because of their history. Like people here celebrate Christmas with a bright sun outside in summer. On the Christmas afternoon, they like to visit their family and friends. Some of them prefer to go into the countryside for a trip in Christmas season.
Their traditional Christmas meal contains turkey or duck, roasted beef, mince pies and vegetables. They love to have suckling pig with yellow rice & raisins on Christmas menu. A picture-perfect South African Christmas dinner finished with a traditional dessert called Malva Pudding for dessert. The meal is mostly served outside of the house to enjoy the summer days. Sometimes a BBQ party is arranged in the backyard with lots of drinks to enjoy the Christmas holidays with friends and family.
Russians like to enjoy Christmas eve privately with their family members. Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on 7th January (only a few Catholics celebrate it on 25th January) and the celebration lasts for 6 days. Christmas in Russia followed by a 40 day fast while people cut out all sorts of dairy and animal products from their meal. On the Christmas eve, people break their fast with a dish of sweetened porridge when the first star appears in the sky.
This dessert named “Kutia” or “Sochivo” is made from rice or wheat and served with honey, poppy seeds, dry fruits, chopped walnuts and fruit jellies. Usually, Kutia is eaten with a common bowl to symbolize their unity. They like porridge dishes such as buckwheat with fried onions and fried mushrooms. A salad made from mushrooms, tomato, and potato or other root vegetables are also very popular on Christmas Eve. All these foods for holy dinner, often consist 12 dishes, mostly symbolize 12 followers of Jesus.
Though less than 5% of Indian population is Christian, Christmas is being celebrated significantly over the years. Goa is the best place to celebrate Christmas with the largest Christian population. Kolkata, Kerala and Mumbai are also famous for celebrating Christmas. Everybody starts cooking early for the dinner. They have some traditional Christmas sweets named Kuswar, Newrio and Kidiyo.
They prefer savoury banana chips, crisp Chaklies to bring variety to the food items. Indian people have a mixed food culture in Christmas dinner. Here fruitcakes are heavily influenced by British plum puddings and occasionally called plum cakes as well. Rose cookies have a Dutch flavour and a lot of other sweets have Portuguese and French touch on them. You will see a mixed food platter on the dinner table of all the cultures that were part of India during colonial times.
Christmas is celebrated with the essence of different culture, convention, and cuisines. As we all know, it’s the most awaited and the biggest religious festival around the globe. This part of the year brings all our friends and family members together. This is the time while people consider food is the only thing in the territory. Whether it’s the main course or the dessert, our family prefer to cook their traditional foods. Though some of us like to try something new to bring a twist to the dinner table. Above all, Christmas is the best occasion to eat the best food around and enjoy to the fullest. Happy Christmas to you all!