We all know about our own Christmas traditions. But every once in a while, it’s interesting to see what it’s like in other places. Regardless of different timings, a common theme throughout the world is the importance food plays in their traditions. Every country has it’s staples – the foods that are a classic and a must have for every table. Here is a brief look at a few countries with interesting Christmas dinner traditions.


1. Yule Log

Yule Log or Bûche de Noel is a French desert that literally translates to ‘Christmas Log’; referring to the traditional Yule log that a family would burn throughout the Christmas period.

2. Ginger Bread

The tradition of baking gingerbread into houses and decorating them began in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published their collection of fairy tales which included Hansel and Gretel in the early 1800s.

3. Pavlova

Pavlova is a fruit and meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is a popular dish for celebratory meals in Australia and New Zealand.

4. Panettone

It is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan. The word ‘panettone’ is derived from the Italian word ‘panetto’, which means a small loaf cake.

5. Roast Turkey

This centerpiece of a sit-down American holiday meal, began with a fresh, affordable and “large enough to feed a crowd” idea, back in the 17th century.

6. Janssons Frestelse

Also known as Janssons Temptation, this is a Swedish Christmas classic. It is a creamy potato and anchovy casserole, said to be named after Pelle Janzon, a food loving Swedish opera singer in the early 1900s.

7. Spiced Beef

A true Irish celebration dish! Served cold and thinly sliced, it is a great buffet favorite in many Irish households during the holiday season.

8. Mince Pies

This fruit based mincemeat sweet pie of British origin, has ingredients traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them the Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices.

9. Bigos

Bigos or Hunter’s Stew is a traditional meat and cabbage stew; supposedly served by the Grand Duke of Poland in 1385 to his hunting party guests.

10. Akoho sy Voanio

Christmas in Madagascar is celebrated in the summer months; thus the Christmas classic is a fresh summer chicken dish prepared with rice and fresh coconut.

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