Christmas Around The World
As a holiday that is widely celebrated in every corner of the world, there are many different customs and traditions in celebrating this holy day. However, the common aspect of Christmas regardless of geographical or cultural differences is the sharing and enjoyment of deliciously cooked food with beloved family and friends.
Many of the current ideals about the way Christmas ought to be is derived from the old traditions that took place during the Victorian times in England, especially the custom of gift-giving. In England, the gift giver is called Father Christmas. He wears a long red or green robe, and leaves presents in stockings on ChristmasEve, to be opened early in the morning of Christmas Day.
For a traditional English Christmas dinner, it is usually eaten at midday on December 25 and it consists of roast turkey with vegetables and sauces. For dessert, it is a rich, fruity Christmas pudding, or also known as plum pudding, which is doused with brandy in order for it to be flamed and brought to the table ceremoniously.
Whereas the northern hemisphere is in the middle of winter during the month of December, Christmas in Australia is celebrated under the extreme temperature of the summer heat! Even Santa Claus is depicted wearing a swimsuit and arrives at Australian beaches on a surfboard - quite a change from sliding down a chimney! A typical Christmas meal in the land Down Under includes cold turkey, seafood, glazed ham, pasta, salads, mince pies and the occasional flaming Christmas plum pudding for dessert.
Most Christian Russians belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church and since the church still uses the old Julian calendar, Christmas celebration in Russia falls on January 7th, 13 days behind the West. In the traditional Russian Christmas, special prayers are said and people fast, sometimes for 39 days, until Christmas Eve.
Afterward begins a twelve course supper in honor of each of the twelve apostles; and the first and most important dish is called the kutya - a porridge made of wheatberries, poppy seeds, honey, various nuts and raisins.
As a vast country, Christmas celebrations vary greatly between the regions of the United States due to the variety of nationalities that resides in the country and also due to the differing geographical landscape and elements - some US residents will get to experience a white, snowy Christmas while in other part of the US, people are exchanging gifts on a sunny beach.
Despite the differences, the standard Christmas dinner for Americans consists of roast turkey with stuffings served with cranberry sauce, gravy, potatoes and salads which is then followed with plum pudding or pumpkin pie for desserts.
Christmas celebration in Portugal do not differ much from the other Western countries except for their unique tradition of opening presents on the midnight of Christmas Eve instead of the morning of Christmas Day. The traditional Christmas meal in Portugal is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve and consists of codfish with vegetables and boiled potatoes.
This is normally followed by shellfish, wild meats or other specially made food to celebrate the holy day. As for dessert, the traditional Christmas cake in Portugal is called 'Bolo Rei' (which means 'King Cake') and is placed in the center of the table for everyone to enjoy!
Tasty Holiday Recipes
Like any celebration, the days before are among the busiest time for everyone as they prepare to celebrate the joyous occasion with family and friends. For Christians around the world, Christmas is a great time for them to gather with their loved ones and enjoy each others' company while sharing traditional home-cooked meals. Christmas will not be the same without the serving of roast turkey, Christmas cake or puddings, which are the staple food for all who celebrate this holy day no matter where they are.
So, for this Christmas let WORLDFOODS help you in your preparations with our simple to prepare recipes that will not only showcase your culinary skills to your loved ones but will also let you spend more time enjoying Christmas instead of slaving away in the kitchen all day long!