Thursday, November 23, 2017

Different Ways to Celebrate Christmas Around the World

As we celebrate the New Year's Eve, do you want to learn the ways how people celebrate Christmas around the world? Taking advantage of the occasion I propose a gastronomic trip to other countries during these days.

In Germany, it is tradition to savor a grilled goose accompanied by red cabbage. People finish with a wide range of sweets. It is well known that Germans love confectioneries and sweets!

In the United Kingdom, Christmas cannot be celebrated without stuffed turkey and the famous Christmas pudding macerated no less than two months before tasting.

In Denmark, people start eating very early. People usually prepare roast pork leg, turkey and often fish such as salmon or herring.

In France, the kings of the table are oysters and foie gras! Stuffed capon is also prepared and finished with a cake in the form of a trunk. In the south of France, in Provence, there is the tradition of the thirteen Christmas desserts.

In Serbia, the traditional food is a baby bacon roasted in the oven and served with stuffed cabbage. To finish with a sweet note apple puff pastries and cakes made with filo grass are served.

In Portugal, the cod with potatoes is served to finish the year accompanied by a warm port cocktail. To finish, the Portuguese usually eat winter fruits or sweet cheeses.

In Italy, cabbage salad is often eaten. It is followed by a dish of cod or a stuffed bird and ends with the now famous Panettone or a cassata with candied fruit.

In Canada, the tradition of eating turkey or stuffed goose is followed during the Christmas holidays. The meals are concluded with a cake prepared with maple syrup. These meals are often served to punch companions, the quintessential festive drink in Canada.

In Russia tradition says that the hosts have to offer 12 different dishes. The fish and beet soup is undoubtedly the favorite of the Russians followed closely by the baked cod. For dessert, they usually take different sweets with ginger, honey, and other spices. It is accompanied by the real Russian national drink, tea and not vodka as many of us believe.

In Poland, it is customary to leave a free seat for the pilgrim who could appear before the door at dinner time and also follows the tradition of serving 12 dishes during dinner. No meat is served as it is considered a fasting period. People prepare fish and various types of soups and vegetables. After dinner groups are formed that will sing Christmas carols from house to house. They have merit because they tend to be around 20 degrees below zero!

In Greece, some appetizers are prepared based on eggplant croquettes, taramasalata (a fish roe salad). The main course is usually a baked leg of lamb or meatloaf. To finish, the cake of San Basilio is served, very similar to roscón.

Far from being wrapped in winter jackets, when December arrives in the southern hemisphere, its residents walk in shorts and T-shirts. Yes, the celebration of Christmas in the south is a different matter, but what can you expect? To help you imagine what it feels like to change the snow for the sun, and the pudding for the prawns, we have compiled the best of Christmas below the equator.


It is a different Christmas where the rubber trees grow. There is no frost and there is no snow, says an Australian Christmas song, and it's true! If you are lucky enough to spend your holidays in Australia, take enough sunscreen and get ready for three pleasures. There are the seafood, salads, and sports. Although it is not usual to eat hot dishes, you will not go hungry. Australians often eat seafood, fish, cold turkey and ham, pavlova and, of course, a glass of ultra-cold champagne.

The garden itself and the pool play an important role on Christmas day. Children in the pool try out their new water toys and the whole family play cricket in the garden. The beach is also important. The coasts near the capitals, Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth, are filled with people to celebrate Christmas on December 25.

On Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, Australians go on a hunt for Boxing Day bargains, watch the Boxing Day Test cricket match between Australia and another national team. They also go to the movies to watch a premiere or they simply lie down somewhere to sleep and recover from the excesses of Christmas Day.

New Zealand

Kiwis, like Australians, are lucky to enjoy the celebration of Christmas outdoors. Children have a long summer vacation during Christmas. So families have time to hike, explore caves in coastal cities, such as Auckland, or its surroundings. They go camping and, of course, occupy the favorite places of the Southern hemisphere. It is the beaches.

As for food and clothing, do not forget your jandals (flip-flops) and make room to spend the afternoon of December 25 eating salads and seafood. Although they decorate their houses with ornate pines, New Zealanders have their own Christmas tree, the Pōhutukawa. It is a native tree that blooms at Christmas with striking red flowers.

South Africa

The Christmas meal is rather informal, with patties of minced meat and glazed ham, or turkey, roast duck and roasted meat on the braai (barbecue). You may also eat yellow rice with raisins, frozen cake, and mauve pudding. The food will probably be outdoors, in a hot environment, in Cape Town or its surroundings.

South America

As in many Christmas around the world, South Americans give gifts, decorate Christmas trees and meet with family and friends. In addition to the tree bought in a store, they usually place a manger. It is usual to attend midnight mass at the Misa del Gallo. It is said that the name refers to a rooster that crowed on Christmas night.

Some companies give their employees a Christmas basket that contains basic foods, such as rice, sugar, cookies, and flour. Perhaps the main difference between the English-speaking and the Spanish-speaking countries of the southern hemisphere is that Latinos celebrate the Christmas meal on December 24 and often do not give gifts until the day of Kings, on January 6.

On Christmas Eve, families and friends gather at the table to dine on European dishes, such as turkey and ham, as well as local things. Bolivians eat Picanha (a spicy soup with chicken, veal, and corn). Venezuelans eat Hallaca (corn dough stuffed with meat, wrapped in banana leaves), ham bread (bread stuffed with ham and raisins), and a sweet made with papaya and brown sugar.

Throughout the continent, it is also common to eat piglets or a complete barbecue for the whole family. You can not miss the crispily fried bacalhau (cod), the farofa (cassava flour with crispy bacon) in Brazil. There are also Rabanadas (like French toast, but with sugar and port wine syrup with spices instead of maple syrup), and nuts and tropical fruits.

Of course, the snow, the frost, and the roasted chestnuts form a picturesque image. But Christmas in other countries of the world is also special. In the southern hemisphere, Christmas is full of fun, open air parties, culinary delights, sun and rest. It is something worth knowing. I do not know if you fancy all those delicacies but surely would have opened your appetite to more than one!