Everyone that celebrates Christmas has a Christmas dinner. But what is in it is different all around the world.
In Australia, the dinner is similar to the English version, but since it is so hot there, they have cold things like cold cranberry sauce to go with the (sometimes) BBQ’d turkey, ham, chicken or seafood. They also have different desserts, usually pavlova and NOT Christmas pudding.
In the Czech Republic, they have a completely different thing. They have fried carp and potato salad, served on Christmas Eve. They usually make lots of Christmas cookies to serve to visitors, and the ones that are left over end up being put on the tree.
In Germany, they serve roast goose or roast carp, but some people do duck or pork. Like the English, they have roast potatoes and a variety of vegetables such as red cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts (a hated food worldwide!). On Christmas Eve, they have a simple meal of sausages or macaroni salad. They also have sweet food like marzipan, bread, fruitcakes and fruity bread. Austria also has a meal similar to this.
Countries you may never have thought had a Christmas dinner in fact do have their own versions: India (similar to the English version), Peru (similar to the English version, but they have rice and pineapple as well as some of the other foods), the Philippines (roast ham with a ball of Edam cheese, pasta and fruit salad. Christmas is considered as the most important time of the year for them!!) and Mexico (usually fruit, salad and sometimes stew).
Did you know this? In Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, people have a HUGE twelve-course meal with absolutely no meat. This is because before Christmas, they fast so they must be quite hungry!
I’m sure you know the English Christmas dinner: a big feast of turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, vegetables and Christmas pudding. But the strange thing is the main part of the meal, the turkey, did not appear for many centuries! In the medieval times, they usually had a boar, and sometimes a peacock! Historians say that Henry VIII was the first English monarch to have a Christmas turkey. This, however, didn’t catch on, because in the 17th century people were still eating things other than turkey, for example a goose. People sometimes (only rarely) had turkey. This happened until the Victorian times. The main dessert of Christmas, the (disgusting) pudding, has been around since medieval times. I saw in Horrible Histories: Horrible Christmas yesterday that chefs in the Tudor times had loads of meat that they would stuff into a pig’s stomach (or bladder, I can’t quite remember. Either way it’s gross).
In America they also have similar things (because obviously, the English did kind of settle there in around the 1500-1600s. They do have some variations though: for dessert they have things like pumpkin pie, trifle, marzipan, apple pie or fruitcake. But usually, as turkey is their main food on Thanksgiving, they have ham, roast beef or goose. But in the different areas of America, they have different foods to go with all this other stuff. In rural areas, they may have elk or quail! These are prepared with very old recipes, and it is thought that the same foods were at the tables of the settlers on their first Christmases.
I hope you enjoyed and learned something. If you do want to know more, go to Wikipedia, because they have a huge page on just about every country that celebrates Christmas and what they have. I haven’t actually mentioned them all!
Credits, AGAIN, to Wikipedia.
Your hungry blogger, Jaz