Over the Teacups

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6 Christmas Traditions Followed Around the World

Posted on | November 21, 2013 | Comments

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Christmas Traditions and Celebrations From Around the World

Christmas Traditions, Dinners and Celebrations

A lot of countries have different Christmas traditions, so I thought it would be fun to look at what they have on their dinner plate on the big day.

You’re probably used to a traditional turkey dinner you enjoy every Christmas. Even the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other countries are used to the same thing. Just because we have our own traditions doesn’t mean everyone else in the world eats the exact same thing. If you look around you will find there are some very different ways to do things. You might think they sound weird or marvelous, so let’s take a look at them so you know what they are.

Denmark Christmas Dinners

Christmas Traditions, Dinners and Celebrations From Denmark

In Denmark they still eat a roast dinner as part of their main course except it’s goose, duck, or pork. They eat it along with a tidy helping of potatoes and red cabbage. One thing that is interesting about their Christmas dinner is what they eat for dessert. It’s not regular rice pudding because there is a single almond hidden inside. The lucky person who finds the almond is awarded a special present that is kept on the table.

Netherlands – Christmas Traditions and Celebrations

Christmas Traditions and Celebrations Dutch Dinners

Some Dutch people eat a traditional Christmas meal, but others do things a little bit differently. They sit around in little groups and each person has their own frying pan. Everybody has to season and cook their own food in small portions. Before the meal the host should already have prepared lots of different meats along with chopped vegetables. The food is then eaten along with a selection of sauces, salads, and fruits.

Christmas Celebrations in France

Christmas Traditions and Celebrations From France

Christmas dinner in France is a big event as the French love their food. The celebrations start on the day before Christmas, but they run into the next again day because everyone has to stay awake past midnight. In Provence, which is an area in the southeast of France they enjoy 13 different types of dessert. It must be hard to find room in their bellies after they’ve already devoured goose, duck, salmon, oysters, and liver during their main course.

Christmas Dinner in Japan at KFC?

Christmas Traditions and Celebrations in Japan

Quite a lot of Japanese people definitely have a Christmas dinner you wouldn’t be able to guess in a thousand years. One of the most popular places to grab dinner is KFC. It’s actually so popular they let people reserve their delicious buckets months in advance to put their minds at ease. The reason they love fried chicken is because of an ad campaign that took off in the 70s. Fried chicken is the complete opposite of raw fish and all the other things they usually eat.

Italy – Christmas Feast

Feast of the Seven Fishes - Christmas Tradition in Italy

Italians from the south are in love with seafood and their Christmas dinner is called the Feast of the Seven Fishes. They just take 7 different fish and cook them in a number of different ways. Instead of having a proper menu they follow it’s a case of doing whatever they want. Some people even cook more than the traditional 7. If you’re wondering why they eat so many different types of fish it’s based on religious reasons.

Eastern European Christmas Dinners

Christmas Traditions and Celebrations in Ukraine

We’re actually going to focus on Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine because Eastern Europe probably has more than a few Christmas traditions. They eat a meal which consists of 12 different dishes, but unlike most other countries these meals don’t contain any meat. It’s a little different to having a large bird sitting on your table. They have a tradition to honor their dead relatives during the meal and they even set a plate out for them.

Are you hungry yet?

Christmas is only a few months away so if you like some of these suggestions you might decide to do something different this year. There are so many options to choose from, but let us know in the comments below if you liked any of the ones we discussed.


About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, Certified Tea Professional, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.