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Here’s What People Eat For Christmas In 14 Countries Around The World

Here’s What People Eat For Christmas In 14 Countries Around The World

Bûche de Noël

It’s always fun to hear about how other countries celebrate Christmas, surprisingly even some countries that have very little, if any, Christianity. One very important part of Christmas, at least for me personally, is the special Christmas food.

In Australia it’s all English roasts and fresh seafood, so I thought we’d have a little look at traditional Christmas dishes from around the world. Who knows, you might even find a new menu item.

1. Japan


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Starting with my personal favourite, because of the pure randomness, is Japan and its love of a KFC feast on Christmas. In fact, it’s so popular that families will often have to order their Chrissie meals months in advance.

2. Lithuania

Preferring a Christmas Eve feast known as kūčios over a day of lunchtime one, Lithuanians can need a whole week to prepare the food. Originally, this pagan tradition had nine dishes, but that expanded to 12 dishes (one for each apostle) when Christians muscled in. None of them include meat, dairy or hot food.

3. Nepal

According to Seven Women, a charity that empowers disabled and socially isolated women in Nepal, a traditional Nepalese Christmas dinner or lunch involves a range of curries followed by a special rice pudding made with coconut, cashews, cloves and cardamom. You can make your own in this online cooking class.

4. Israel


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Ok so it’s for Hanukkah, but as an religious end-of-year celebration, I’m including it. Fried potato pancakes known as latkes have been an important part of the Israeli Hanukkah traditions since the Middle Ages.

5. Germany

Just like little Timmy from A Christmas Carol (well, at least The Muppets version), a Chrissie goose is the big ticket item in Germany. It’ll usually be stuffed with apples, chestnuts, onions, and prunes, then spiced with mugwort and marjoram.

6. Philippines

Filipinos love a roasted pig for Chrissie, in fact they just love Christmas in general. They’re known for having the longest silly season with carols often starting in September. They don’t end until the feast of the Black Nazarene around January 9.

7. Italy


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There re a lot of food-related traditions in Italy, particularly in the regional areas. In Northern Italy, though, dessert is all about panettone — a cake with candied fruits and raisin, nuts and chocolate.

8. Costa Rica

Personally, I think tamales are appropriate at any time of year. In Costa Rica, they’re especially important on Chrissie though, when each family whips up their own ‘secret’ recipe.

9. Bulgaria

Bulgaria serves up Kolivo, which is kind of like a pudding but made of boiled wheat with sugar and walnuts. Russia and Poland have a similar dish.

10. Sweden

Sweden covers Christmas with a special three-course meal called Julbord. Sweet, yellow Saffron Buns baked in an ‘S’ shape will almost always be a part of the feast.

11. Greece

Greece love a melomakarona cookie at Xmas time. This orange-zest cookies is soaked in honey and topped with walnut– apparently it tastes a lot like baklava.

12. Mexico


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Mexico loves a bit of salted cod, apparently. The dish in question, Bacalao a la Mexicana, is made with tomato, anchovies, chiles, onions, potato and olives.

13. France

Back to desserts, France makes their own Yule log-mimicking dessert, the La Bûche de Noël. It’s typically made from sponge cake and chocolate buttercream.

#14 Finland

The Fins love a good buffet-style Chrissie feast, which seems the most sensible to me. Their ‘Joulupöytä’ involves ham, fish, casseroles, mushroom salad, pickled herring special joulutahti tarts and piparkakku gingerbread.

(Lead Image: Cupcakes & Cashmere)

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