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Christmas Food Traditions Around the World

The food we eat at Christmas plays such a big role, I couldn't imagine Christmas day without an amazing Christmas dinner with all the trimmings! We often overindulge in all of our favourite festive foods from pigs in blankets to mince pies.

All over the world people sit down to there meals, here are some Christmas foodie traditions from around the world that you might want to give a try...

Seasonal Smörgåsbords, Stockholm

Across the Nordic countries like Sweden families sit down to a smörgåsbord at Christmas. This is called the julbord filled with traditional dishes such as, meatballs, cured salmon and pickled herring. The feast on Christmas Day celebrates the end of the Advent fasting period.

Seasonal Smörgåsbords, Stockholm

Fish dishes, Prague

In the Czech Republic Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve also known as 'Generous Day', in the week leading up to Christmas the streets of Prague are filled with fisherman selling their catch. If you stick to tradition then families will take the fish home live and keep it in the bathtub until it is time to prepare the feast. When prepping your fish also make sure you save a scale to dry and keep in your wallet for good luck in the coming year.

The Christmas meal normally consists of fish soup to start followed by carp and potato salad as a main. To take tradition that step further make sure to bake Vánočka a sweet bread which is braided and made with raisins and almonds served for breakfast.

Berlin Pancakes, Berlin

A tradition for New Year rather than Christmas, Berlin pancakes often called Berliners by the locals are delicious pillowy pastries filled with jam. As the tradition goes you serve a tray of Berlin pancakes to your friends and neighbours at New Year however the trick is one is filled with mustard instead of jam. The person with the mustard filled pancake will have good luck for the following year.

Berliners or Berlin Pancakes

Wiglia, Poland

Christmas dinner in Poland is a rather different affair from the roast turkey we have in the UK, served on Christmas Eve Polish families sit down to Wiglia. It is tradition that you break Christmas wafers together exchanging wishes of good health before sitting down to a feast of vegetarian dishes. This completely meat free meal is made up of 12 dishes to represent the 12 apostles. Dishes include, red borscht with dumplings, sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, mushroom soup, herring and much much more...

Feast of the Seven Fishes, Italy

In the UK many families enjoy the 70s classic prawn cocktail as a starter, but why not make fish the star of the show.

A tradition which was started in southern Italy, the number seven is thought to be very symbolic as it is the most repeated number in the bible. Enjoy a fabulous seafood selection including baccala (salt cod), calamari, fried prawns, baked cod, linguine with clam or lobster sauce, octopus salad and prawn cocktail.

Feast of the seven fishes, Italy

Melomakarona, Greece

Christmas pudding is one that divides the nation, I am in the love it camp however there are a lot of people across the UK that are not a fan of this fruity dessert.

Well we have got you covered with a delicious sweet treat from Greece. Melomakarona is a cookie made with all the spices of Christmas cinnamon, cloves and orange, it is then dipped in a light syrup and sprinkled with nuts. I bet these Christmas cookies will go down a treat for all the family.

Tamales, Costa Rica

Across Costa Rica making tamales is a Christmas tradition which involves the whole family, for most families they have a secret recipe which is passed down the generations. Tamales are a corn dough which is wrapped in a banana leaf or corn husk and steamed. You can stuff these delicious packages with whatever filling you like, pork is commonly used or beef or chicken flavoured with garlic and onion and much more...

Tamales Christmas food tradition costa rica

Fried Chicken KFC, Japan

Previous to the 1970s there were very few Christmas traditions in Japan, enter a genius marketing plan from KFC. They introduced there holiday party bucket which did well globally but was taken to a whole new level in Japan, with no traditions of their own they bought into KFC telling them what they should do this Christmas.

Now every year 3.6 million Japanese families sit down to KFC every Christmas Eve, often they need to reserve this meal up to two months in advance!

KFC Christmas food tradition in Japan

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