Christmas Dinner Around The World

Christmas Dinner Plate

We’ve looked at Christmas around the world  now let’s look at one of the focal points of that day- dinner. Here in the UK it’s customary for the dinner table to offer a fat roast turkey, roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets and every veg you can think of- not forgetting the Brussel sprouts! But have you ever wondered how they do things differently in other parts of the world? 

  • Greece– It’s common for Greek families to eat roasted lamb as their main dish. On Christmas Eve, it’s a Greek tradition to make Christopsomo, a rustic sweetbread filled with nuts, raisins, cloves and cardamom. This sweetbread is then decorated with a cross and is placed as a centrepiece on the Christmas Day table.
  • Germany– The Germans favour roast duck, goose or rabbit as their main course, with side dishes of potato dumplings and red cabbage
  • Poland– It’s Christmas Eve dinner that takes pride of place with a 12 course meal including favourites like borscht, mushroom soup and poppyseed cake
  • New Zealand– With the temperature hitting the top end of the thermometer, most New Zealander’s cook Christmas Dinner on the BBQ. Many families choose to grill seafood like fish and shrimp, while others choose ham or even exotic meats, like Ostrich.
  • Iceland– The Icelandic people also celebrate on Christmas Eve where they eat Hangikjot , a thinly sliced meat, boiled and served with a cream sauce. Traditionally this meat is derived from lamb, mutton or horse and smoked over dried sheep’s dung! A bit of  Ding Pong merrily on high 🙂
  • Finland– The Fins repast is often served-up buffet style, with ham, fish, potato casserole and a salad of diced potatoes, beets, carrots, apples and cream
  • Philippines– Following the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, Filipinos have a grand feast centred around a spit-roasted suckling pig. For the accompaniments there’s cheese balls made from queso de bola, spring rolls, fruit salad and pasta 
  • Lithuania– For pescatarians, this meal ticks all the boxes. The Christmas Eve dinner, kūčios, takes a week to prepare. Not only is this meal dairy and meat free, but the dishes of  herring in tomato, bread and mushrooms are served cold
  • Armenia– January 7th is the day for celebration in this Orthodox country.  There’s a special dish of roasted pumpkin, stuffed with  rice, raisins, nuts and honey
  • Sweden– The 3 course buffet table offers pickled herring, ham, sausage, meatball and potato casserole followed by rice pudding and saffron buns
  • Ghana– For many Africans the Christmas holiday is a time to visit relatives. Food is focal, with many purchasing a goat at the market for roasting on Christmas Day. This dinner wouldn’t be complete without fufu and okra soup
  • Greenland– We’ve definitely saved the best till last!  Strips of whale blubber called mattak are served by the Inuit men to the women. This, however isn’t the main attraction- kiviak, a quite gruesome concoction of baby birds wrapped in a seal carcass and left to rot for 3-18 months is the star of the show. It’s safe to say it’s best eaten outside as the air can turn rather pungent!

Christmas drinks and food

Whatever your choice of Festive fayre, Christmas dinner around the World is a wonderful way to enjoy that family dinner time, not to mention the after dinner party games 🙂  

Photos by rawpixel on Unsplash