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Christmas dinner is a meal traditionally eaten at Christmas. This meal can take place any time from the evening of Christmas Eve to the evening of Christmas Day itself. The meals are often particularly rich and substantial, in the tradition of the Christian feast day celebration, and form a significant part of gatherings held to celebrate the arrival of Christmastide. In many cases, there is a ritual element to the meal related to the religious celebration, such as the praying of grace.
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.
Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus. Christmas Day is observed around the world, and Christmas Eve is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day. Together, both days are considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and Western society.
The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the day as the feast day or feast of said saint. The word "feast" in this context does not mean "a large meal, typically a celebratory one", but instead "an annual religious celebration, a day dedicated to a particular saint".
The actual meal consumed varies in different parts of the world with regional cuisines and local traditions. In many parts of the world, particularly former British colonies, the meal shares some connection with the English Christmas dinner involving roasted meats and pudding of some description. The Christmas pudding and Christmas cake evolved from this tradition.
Regional cuisine is cuisine based upon national, state or local regions. Regional cuisines may vary based upon food availability and trade, varying climates, cooking traditions and practices, and cultural differences. One noteworthy definition is based upon traditional cuisine: "A traditional cuisine is a coherent tradition of food preparation that rises from the daily lives and kitchens of a people over an extended period in a specific region of a country, or a specific country, and which, when localized, has notable distinctions from the cuisine of the country as a whole." Regional food preparation traditions, customs and ingredients often combine to create dishes unique to a particular region. Regional cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from.
Pudding is a type of food that can be either a dessert or a savoury dish that is part of the main meal.
Christmas pudding is a type of pudding traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in the UK, Ireland and in other countries where it has been brought by Irish and British immigrants. It has its origins in medieval England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding or just "pud", though this can also refer to other kinds of boiled pudding involving dried fruit. Despite the name "plum pudding", the pudding contains no actual plums due to the pre-Victorian use of the word "plums" as a term for raisins. The pudding is traditionally composed of thirteen ingredients, symbolizing Jesus and the Twelve Apostles, including many dried fruits held together by egg and suet, sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses and flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and other spices. The pudding is usually aged for a month or more, or even a year; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.
In countries without a lengthy Christian tradition, such as Japan, the Christmas meal may be more heavily influenced by popular culture.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south.
Indian people cook a variety of foods, including Biryani with chicken or mutton, chicken and mutton curry, followed by cake or sweets like Kheer.Long established Christian communities such as Goan Catholics have pork dishes and beef dishes as part of their main course of their Christmas dinner. These include Pork Vindaloo and Sorpatel. For dessert a dish called Bebinca is popular.
Biryani, also known as biriyani, biriani, birani or briyani, is a mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It can be compared to mixing a curry, later combining it with semi-cooked rice separately. This dish is especially popular throughout the Indian subcontinent, as well as among the diaspora from the region. It is also prepared in other regions such as Iraqi Kurdistan. It is made with Indian spices, rice, meat, vegetables or eggs.
Kheer or Firni is a pudding, originating from the Indian subcontinent, made by boiling milk and sugar with one of the following: rice, broken wheat, tapioca, vermicelli, or sweet corn. It is flavoured with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashews, pistachios, almonds or other dry fruits and nuts. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert. It also has many varieties which are not as thick as Kheer, they are known as meetha bhaat, payasam, payasa, dudhpak, etc.
Goan Catholics are an ethno-religious community of Christians following the Roman Rite from the state of Goa on the west coast of India. They are Konkani people and speak the Konkani language.
Japanese Christmas cake, a white sponge cake covered with cream and decorated with strawberries, is often consumed and Stollen cake, either imported or made locally, is widely available. A successful advertising campaign in the 1970s made eating at KFC around Christmas a national custom. Its chicken meals are so popular during the season that stores take reservations months in advance.
Christmas cake is a type of fruitcake served at Christmas time in many countries.
Stollen is a fruit bread of nuts, spices, and dried or candied fruit, coated with powdered sugar or icing sugar. It is a traditional German bread eaten during the Christmas season, when it is called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen.
KFC, also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, that specializes in fried chicken. It is the world's second-largest restaurant chain after McDonald's, with 22,621 locations globally in 136 countries as of December 2018. The chain is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, a restaurant company that also owns the Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and WingStreet chains.
Lebanese Christians celebrate Christmas dinners. The feast, usually on both the night of the 24th and lunch of the 25th, is a big one. Family gets together at both meals, and some have the leftovers from the dinner prior at the lunch the next day. Traditional offering for Christmas is sugar coated almonds. Roast turkey is the most common choice of meal.Roasted duck, Lebanese salad (Tabouleh) and pastries such as Honey cake and bûche de Noël are also common. Beirut celebrates Christmas by conducting glamorous and big Christmas parties. Western-style exhibitions of poinsettias, community Christmas trees and Christmas lights are very popular.
Christmas dinner in the Philippines is called Noche Buena following Hispanic custom, and is held towards midnight of 24 December. This usually comes after the entire family has attended the late evening Mass called the Misa de Gallo ("Mass of the Rooster"). The centerpiece of the Noche Buena is often the hamón which is usually a cured leg of pork. This is usually served with queso de bola, literally a ball of edam cheese covered in a red wax. Other ubiquitous dishes are pasta and for dessert, fruit salad. The dinner would usually be accompanied with tsokolate or hot cocoa, which is made with pure, locally grown cacao beans. Some families prefer tsokolate prepared from tablea or tablets of pressed cocoa powder that is either pure or slightly sweetened. Most of the food served on Noche Buena are fresh and usually prepared during the day of Christmas Eve.
Middle-class and affluent families tend to prepare sumptuous feasts which may include any of the following: lechón or spit-roasted pig; lumpia ; escabeche ; adobo ; rellenong manok or stuffed chicken; roast turkey;[ citation needed ]mechado (beef stew); kaldereta (spicy beef stew); paella; and other traditional fiesta dishes. Less well-off families would opt for a more economical Noche Buena; the organising of even a simple gathering despite financial difficulties reflects the paramount importance in Filipino culture of familial (and, by extension, communal) unity.
This focus on the family is common to all Filipino socio-economic classes and ethnic groups that observe Christmas in that most – if not all – members from branch or extended families in a clan are expected to partake of the Noche Buena . Relatives living abroad, especially OFWs, are highly encouraged to return home for the occasion, as it is the most important Filipino Christian holiday of the year. Most families prefer to exchange Christmas presents right after the dinner, in contrast to the Western custom of opening presents on Christmas morning.
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In Austria, Christmas Eve is the celebration of the end of the pre-Christmas fast Christmas is usually celebrated by only Christian a s. Christmas Eve is historically the day that the tree is decorated and lit with real candles, so that the Christkindl may visit. Christmas Day is a national holiday in Austria and most Austrians spend the day feasting with their family. Fried carp, Sachertorte, and Christmas biscuits (Lebkuchen and Weihnachtssterne) are eaten, as are many other chocolate delicacies including edible Christmas ornaments.Christmas dinner is usually goose, ham served with Gluhwein, Rumpunsch, and chocolate mousse.
In the areas of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (e.g., Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, and much of Ukraine), an elaborate and ritualised meal of twelve meatless dishes is served on Christmas Eve (24 December in Lithuania and Poland), 6 January in Belarus and Ukraine). This stems from the tradition of treating the pre-Christmas season as a time of fasting, broken at nightfall on the eve of Christmas Day.
A traditional Christmas meal in the Czech Republic is fried carp and potato salad which are eaten during Christmas dinner on the evening of 24 December. Many households also prepare a great variety of special Christmas biscuits to offer to visitors. These are prepared many days prior to the feast and take a long time to decorate, with the remainder usually ending up on the Christmas tree as decorations.
In Denmark, the traditional Christmas meal served on 24 December consists, according to one representative study,of duck (66% of households surveyed), roast pork with crackling (43%), turkey (8%), or goose (7%). The figures total more than 100% because some families prepare more than one kind of meat for Christmas dinner. The meat is served with boiled potatoes (some of which are caramelized, some roasted), red cabbage, and plenty of gravy. The main course is followed by a dessert of Risalamande, rice pudding served with cherry sauce or strawberry sauce, often with a whole almond hidden inside. The lucky finder of the almond is entitled to an extra present, the almond gift. Christmas drinks are Gløgg (mulled wine) and traditional Christmas beers, specially brewed for the season and which usually have a high alcohol content.
Joulupöytä (translated "Christmas table") is the name of the traditional food board served at Christmas in Finland, similar to the Swedish smörgåsbord. It contains many different dishes, most of them typical for the season. The main dish is usually a large Christmas ham, which is eaten with mustard or bread along with the other dishes. Fish is also served (often lutefish and gravlax or smoked salmon), and with the ham there are also different casseroles usually with potatoes, rutabaga (swedes), or carrots. The traditional Christmas beverage is mulled wine ( glögi in Finnish), which may be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
In France and some other French-speaking countries, a réveillon is a long dinner, and possibly party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The name of this dinner is based on the word réveil (meaning "waking"), because participation involves staying awake until midnight.
Christkindelsmarik, the oldest Christmas market in France, is a joyful celebration in Strasbourg that has been there for four to five centuries. The market is a long-standing tradition of the representation of the "Child Jesus." With more than 300 stalls, parades, an ice rink and much more, Christkindelsmarik proves to be a large and festive celebration with many different dishes from various stalls.Millions of people come to visit and celebrate the festivities and food involved at this Christmas festival.
In Germany, the primary Christmas dishes are roast goose and roast carp, although suckling pig or duck may also be served. Typical side dishes include roast potatoes and various forms of cabbage such as kale, Brussels sprouts, and red cabbage. In some regions the Christmas dinner is traditionally served on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve. In this case, dinner on Christmas Eve is a simpler affair, consisting of sausages (such as Bockwurst or Wiener) and potato salad. Sweets and Christmas pastries are all but obligatory and include marzipan, spice bars (Lebkuchen), several types of bread, and various fruitcakes and fruited breads such as Christstollen and Dresdener Stollen.
In Hungary, preparation for Christmas dinner begin on Christmas Eve and eaten on Christmas Eve at 18:00. The main dish is called Fisherman's soup or halászlé. For Christmas dessert, Bejgli or poppy seed roll is a traditional Hungarian Christmas cake with poppy seeds paste and walnut paste fillings.
The Icelandic Christmas dinner is eaten on Christmas Eve at 18:00. The main dish varies much between families. The most common is probably Hamborgarhryggur, which is a kind of gammon steak. Other common dishes are roast game, such as reindeer, ptarmigan, and smoked lamb (hangikjöt), as well as a great variety of other roast fowl such as duck, turkey, also eaten by many on Christmas Day or on other occasions during the Christmas period.
In Ireland, preparations for Christmas dinner begin on Christmas Eve. People will boil the ham and may start to prepare vegetables. The Irish Christmas dinner which is eaten normally between 1.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. consists of turkey, ham, Brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, stuffing and various vegetables. The older tradition, still followed by many people in Ireland, is to serve a duck or a goose at Christmas.
The dinner usually consists of roast turkey (although other poultry such as goose, chicken, duck, capon or pheasant are alternatives), sometimes with roast beef or ham or, to a lesser extent, pork. In some parts of Ireland, especially County Cork and Limerick, Spiced Beef will also be eaten. The centrepiece is typically served with stuffing, gravy and sometimes forcemeat, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly, bread sauce, roast potatoes (sometimes also boiled or mashed), vegetables (usually boiled or steamed), particularly Brussels sprouts and carrots; dessert consists of Christmas pudding (or plum pudding), sometimes mince pies, Christmas cake or trifle, with brandy butter or cream.
Italian regional traditions are varied. They are polarised in two areas: Northern Italy and Southern Italy (from Rome southwards). Moreover, often the Christmas Eve Supper is more important than the Christmas Dinner, because the Holy Mass is celebrated at midnight.
The primo is usually a kind of soup made with pasta (usually filled pasta, like tortellini) boiled in meat or capon broth. The secondo is very different in the two areas. In Northern Italy they usually eat poultry, often filled, or roasted or boiled and seasoned with sauces, like mostarda. In Southern Italy they eat the fried capitone eel, which is typical of Christmas Eve, because this is a fasting day. On Christmas Day they could eat roast lamb or fish.
Christmas sweets are very varied and every region and sub region has its own. Generally speaking, in Northern Italy they eat a cake enriched with candied fruits, chocolate, raisins or pine nuts, known as panettone, followed by torrone (enriched with cherries, chocolate, sweets and more), nougat and nuts. In Southern Italy instead of one cake they serve many kinds of marzipan, biscuits, zeppole, cannoli, candied fruits, and fresh fruits. In the last few decades, panettone has become popular as a Christmas sweet all over Italy. Pandoro is also a very popular cake at Christmas and New Year, accompanied by a good Spumante.
One typical Dutch tradition is that of 'gourmet,'[ citation needed ] an evening-long event where small groups of people sit together around a gourmet-set and use their own small frying pan to cook and season their own food in very small portions. The host has prepared finely chopped vegetables and different types of meats, fish, prawns and shrimps. Everything is accompanied by different salads, fruits and sauces. The origin of gourmet lies most likely in the former Dutch colony Indonesia.[ citation needed ]
The Dutch also enjoy more traditional Christmas-dinners, especially meats and game like roast beef, duck, rabbit, and pheasant.[ citation needed ] This is generally served with different types of vegetables, potatoes and salads. In recent years, traditions from Anglo-Saxon countries have become increasingly popular, most notably the British-style turkey.[ citation needed ]
The most common dish is svineribbe (usually just ribbe), pork belly side prepared with seasoning (salt and pepper), for proper crackling. Usually it is consumed together with boiled vegetables, sauerkraut, lingonberry jam, potatoes, gravy, beers and a few shots of akevitt. In the western parts of the country, pinnekjøtt, mutton ribs, is by far the most popular Christmas dinner. The traditional lutefisk is also still eaten by some, but it is more commonly eaten at other occasions during the Christmas period.. For dessert rice pudding is very popular, served with a raspberry sauce.
Christmas Day is a national holiday in Poland and most Poles spend the day feasting with their family. The Christmas meal is elaborate, served in the evening on 24 December, offering large quantities of food. This Christmas Eve meal is called Wigilia. After the first star appears in the sky, everyone shares the Christmas wafer (opłatek) and wishes good things for the coming year. Then supper begins. The meal is meatless, honouring Catholic tradition. Many households also prepare a great variety of special Christmas dishes, typically numbering 12 in honor of the 12 apostles. Dishes include: stuffed carp, fried carp, herring in wine sauce, herring in cream sauce, fruit compote, vegetable salad, soup (beetroot, mushroom, dried fruit over smashed chick peas, or fish) with uszka, pierogi, peas and carrots, boiled potatoes (except in Silesia, following a rhyme that states that bad luck ensues if one eats potatoes on Christmas Eve), mushroom cream sauce, sauerkraut, and makowiec (poppy seed rolled cake). Most households leave an empty plate at the table for an unexpected guest. Straw or hay is usually on the table to symbolise the manger. Some people place one scale from the carp in the wallet for financial success in the following year. During the season, pierniczki, or honey ginger cookies, are baked.
Traditionally in Portugal the family gets together around the table on Christmas Eve to eat boiled dried-salted cod accompanied with boiled cabbage or greens varying with what they have in the garden left over, boiled potatoes, boiled onions, boiled eggs, and chickpeas. Sometimes a simple dressing is made with onions, garlic or parsley. This meal is accompanied with generous amounts of olive oil.
There are variations across the country and, traditionally, turkey(sometimes also pork in some regions) is served for lunch on the 25th.
Romanian food served during the holidays is a large multi-coursed meal, most of which consists of pork (organs, muscle, and fat). This is mainly a symbolic gesture for St. Ignatius of Antioch.
During Christmastime, Romanians bake or buy various special dishes, including desserts, sweets or fries. Romanians most usually bake Cozonac, a cake made of flour, yolks, yeast and many other dependable ingredients, flavors, condiments and additions. There are several types of cozonac, with numerous recipes. Other Christmas dishes include piftie, sarmale or pork dishes.
Christmas dinner in Slovakia is celebrated on 24 December; dinner takes place at around 5 to 6 pm. The traditional dinner includes oplátky (thin waffles with honey or garlic), sauerkraut soup ( kapustnica ) with dried mushrooms and sausage (sometimes with dry plums), carp or other fish with potato salad, apples and Christmas biscuits and opekance .
In Slovenian, Christmas Eve is called "Sveta noč" which means "holy night". The Family gathers for dinner at about 6 o'clock in the evening. Typical dishes are potica, "pečenka" and grilled turkey. Mulled wine and eggnog can be served with the food. Some families are also making Christmas biscuits before the dinner.
In Spanish, Christmas Eve is called "Nochebuena,"literally translated as "Good Night." In Spain it is celebrated with a large family feast, which is eaten late in the evening and can last a couple of hours; some families attend midnight mass before or after the meal. In Spain, Christmas Eve is a time for celebrating in neighbourhood bars and cafes, and around the table with family and friends. It is a time for gift exchanges or Santa Claus although it is mainly performed on Epiphany, which occurs on 6 January.
The Swedish Christmas dinner or Julbordconsists of three courses. The first is a variety of fish, usually different types of pickled herring and salmon, eaten with boiled potatoes or crisp bread. The second is cold cuts of meat, with the Christmas ham being the most important. Sausages, head cheese and leverpastej are also common, eaten with boiled potatoes or on crisp bread. The third course consists of warm dishes such as meatballs, small fried sausages and Janssons frestelse. Lutfisk is sometimes served with the third course or as a fourth course. Finally, a dessert of Ris à lá Malta (Risalamande, rice pudding) is served with cherry sauce or strawberry sauce, with a whole almond hidden inside. The finder of the almond is expected to get married before next Christmas.
Common drinks are Christmas beer, julmust and schnapps.
Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom is usually eaten in the afternoon on 25 December. The dinner usually consists of turkey, pheasant, duck or goose, served with stuffing, gravy, sometimes pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly; bread sauce; roast potatoes (sometimes also boiled or mashed); vegetables, particularly brussels sprouts and parsnips; with dessert of Christmas pudding (or plum pudding), sometimes mince pies or trifle, with brandy butter or cream.
In England, the evolution of the main course into turkey did not take place for years, or even centuries. At first, in medieval England, a main course of boar was sometimes served.[ citation needed ] Through the 16th and 17th centuries goose or capon was commonly served, and the rich sometimes dined upon peacock and swan. The turkey appeared on Christmas tables in England in the 16th century, and popular history tells of King Henry VIII being the first English monarch to have turkey for Christmas. The 16th century farmer Thomas Tusser noted that by 1573 turkeys were commonly served at English Christmas dinners. The tradition of turkey at Christmas rapidly spread throughout England in the 17th century, and it also became common to serve goose which remained the predominant roast until the Victorian era. (it was quite common for Goose "Clubs" to be set up, allowing working-class families to save up over the year towards a goose before this). A famous English Christmas dinner scene appears in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (1843), where Scrooge sends Bob Cratchitt a large turkey. The pudding course of a British Christmas dinner may often be Christmas pudding, which dates from medieval England. Trifle, mince pies, Christmas cake or a yule log are also popular.
In English-speaking Canada, Christmas dinner is similar to that of Britain. Traditional Christmas dinner features turkeywith stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables such as carrots, turnip, parsnips, etc. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham are also used. For dessert, pumpkin or apple pie, raisin pudding, Christmas pudding, or fruitcake are the staple. Eggnog, a milk-based punch that is often infused with alcohol, is also popular around the holiday season. Other Christmas items include Christmas cookies, butter tarts, and shortbread, which are traditionally baked before the holidays and served to visiting friends at Christmas and New Year parties, as well as on Christmas Day.
In French-speaking Canada, traditions may be more like those of France. (See Réveillon) Other ethnic communities may continue to use old world traditions as well.
In Honduras, tamales are traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve evening. Turkey has become popular in the last few years. The traditional Honduran Christmas dinner is served around midnight on the 24th of December. The meal consists of tamales, roast pork leg, accompanied by "torrejas," for dessert and eggnog. The tamales are made of maize dough filled with chicken or pork, chunks of potato and carrot, chickpeas, and whole green olives. They are wrapped in banana leaves and steamed to perfection. The pork leg may be fresh or smoked and is usually roasted all day long. The skin of the pork is left on during roasting resulting in a delicacy known as "chicharron," a treat rivaled for at many a Honduran family table. The traditional recipe for seasoning the Christmas pork leg has often been passed down in a given family through generations. Turkey has become quite popular as well in recent years due to strong US/Honduran familial ties. "Torrejas," the Honduran Christmas dessert is made of a French toast like bread that is soaked in dark syrup made from "rapadura," blocks of very dark sugar. The syrup is seasoned with whole cloves and whole cinnamon. After dinner the meal is topped off with Honduran style eggnog known as "rompopo."
In Mexico traditional Christmas dinner is a shared event which is celebrated on Christmas Eve, or Noche Buena. With a location being set by a family, the host usually contributes the bulk of decorations, food, and dinner ware; guests are expected to contribute with a side dish, dessert, or alcoholic beverages. Traditional foods differ by region, but include tamales, atole, pozole, birria, menudo. Dishes which are usually only prepared during Christmas time are romeritos, bacalao, and stuffed turkey. Tamale preparation varies from region to region. It is usual for tamale fillings to include beef or pork with red sauce, chicken with a green chile sauce or cheese with jalapeño "rajas" or strips inside a corn or rice masa and steamed inside corn husks or banana leaves. Sweet tamales filled with pineapple, raisins, strawberries, or corn are also common. Sweets such as flan, a brulee-like custard with carmelized sugar, buñuelos, fruit and milk or liquer-flavored gelatin or champurrado. Beverages like canela (tea sweetened with piloncillo), rompope, and ponche are also common favorites.
In some areas more Americanized fare such as brandy-glazed ham, chicken, turkey or sometimes duck is served. Stuffing is not common but has been imported by visiting relatives into some household but has not taken into popular cuisine. Often served are also mixed grilled, stewed with sauces, or raw vegetables like carrots, potatoes, spinach, cactus, onions, chayote squash and radishes. Salsa is always served as a garnish and accompanied by queso fresco, tortillas, and refried beans, if not "sopa de arroz," rather rice cooked with tomato and spices. The bacalao fish is common in coastal zones, along with shrimp or fish soup.
Often Christmas Eve or "Noche Buena" is more celebrated than Christmas Day in part due to the tradition of Posadas in the predominantly Catholic country. In some neighborhoods, block parties may be common with neighbors going house to house and sharing dishes of food. In smaller rural villages the entire congregation may join in a parish-wide celebration.
The tradition of recalentado (lit. reheating) is also widespread, with families and friends convening again in the afternoon of Christmas Day to enjoy the leftovers from the dinner. This tradition is also followed on New Year's Eve, with a subsequent recalentado on New Year's Day. Often, families go to other relatives for recalentado, so if a family stayed with the mother's relatives on Christmas Eve, they would go to the father's relatives for Christmas Day, for example.
Also, families wait until midnight to make a toast to the family and give each other hugs. After that, many families exchange gifts and open them rather than on Christmas morning. However, most Mexicans celebrate another day of gift-giving on Epiphany (6 January) to commemorate the gifts the Magi, or Reyes Magos (lit. King-Magicians), brought the baby Jesus on that date.
Christmas traditions in the United States have many eclectic origins with those from the United Kingdom predominant, but many others over the past 400 years have come from Scandinavia, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and, most recently, Spanish speakers from Latin America and the Caribbean during the 20th century.Therefore, the substrate of the meal usually is British in origin: roasted root vegetables as a side dish, mashed potatoes, gravy, and the centerpiece being a stuffed roasted fowl (pheasant, goose, duck, or turkey) or an expensive cut of roasted beef or beef Wellington. In the South, an area that has a very high concentration of people of UK extraction from centuries past, Christmas is the time of year in which many variations on a country ham or Christmas ham get served. This is a much older British tradition that would predate the Victorian tradition of Dickens and his turkey and go all the way back into medieval England, brought by poorer classes who could not afford the turkey that was fashionable among wealthier men in the Stuart era. Cookies of many kinds have been present in America for hundreds of years and often are either gingerbread, snickerdoodles, or sugar cookies baked throughout the month of December and fashioned into many shapes and figures.
Unlike the modern United Kingdom, however, there is no tradition for Brussels sprouts at the meal at all, mince pies are normally only served in the Deep South, and Christmas pudding is very rare. Fruitcakes like the Christmas pudding, though still prepared in pockets of the nation, are usually a national joke and any fruitcake of any kind is a disdained and maligned confection lampooned as an unwanted Christmas gift.The comic Johnny Carson once quipped, "The worst Christmas gift is fruitcake… There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other, year after year.". Many foreigners are skeptical of this fact, but indeed there is some truth to it: Manitou Springs, Colorado, holds an annual event in which unwanted fruitcakes are tossed in a contest to see who can throw the "gift" the farthest, with the locals building trebuchets and contraptions that are forbidden to have an electric motor. An elderly gentleman from Tecumseh, Michigan once made national news when he presented his countryman with the fact that he still had a fruitcake his great grandmother baked in 1878, and thus was over 130 years old. As of 2018, the same fruitcake is believed to be still at large in the care of one of his grandchildren, in a manner of speaking, proving Mr. Carson had a point.
Alcohol and cocktails of all kinds are staples for both Christmas parties and family gatherings, where harder drinking is done amongst adults and youngsters usually get served soft drinks or a non-alcoholic version of what their parents drink, drinks like the Shirley Temple. A typical menu would include any combination of planter's punch, Kentucky bourbon and the cocktails that can be made from it, Wines from California, Washington, Virginia, or New York of many varying vintages meant to compliment the meal prepared by the host, Prosecco from Italy, hard cider from New England and California, wassail, Puerto Rican or Jamaican rum, champagne and other domestic sparkling white wines, and for individual cocktails the alcoholic version of eggnog, the poinsettia, and the Puerto Rican coquito, a cocktail composed of large amounts of coconut milk and rum.
Spanish speakers on the East Coast tend to come from Caribbean nations and have had a marked influence on the way the holiday is celebrated in Florida and pockets of the East Coast cities. Accordingly, lechon, a spit roasted piglet, is the mainstay of the meal, not the turkey, as like other Americans a turkey has already been the centerpiece of the meal at Thanksgiving, about one month earlier. Tembleque is served for dessert and the crackling from the pig is a delicacy. West of the Mississippi, Mexicans have had a grand influence over the way the meal is prepared, including roasting corn in its husk and serving biscochitos.
Further regional meals offer diversity. Virginia has oysters, ham pie, and fluffy biscuits, a nod to its English 17th century founders. The Upper Midwest includes dishes from predominantly Scandinavian backgrounds such as lutefisk and mashed rutabaga or turnip. In the southern US, rice is often served instead of potatoes, and on the Gulf Coast, shrimp and other seafood are usual appetisers, and Charlotte Russe chilled in a bed of Lady Fingers (called just Charlotte) is a traditional dessert, along with pumpkin and pecan pies.In some rural areas, game meats like elk or quail may grace the table, often prepared with old recipes: it is likely that similar foodstuffs graced the tables of early American settlers on their first Christmases.
An Italian American meal for Christmas Eve can be the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Pannetone and struffoli are favoured desserts in such cases.
It is a common tradition among many Jewish Americans to eat American Chinese food on Christmas, because these were often the only establishments open on the holiday in many cities.
Christmas lunch (in Australia, dinner refers to the evening meal)in Australia is based on the traditional English versions. However, due to Christmas falling in the heat of the Southern Hemisphere's summer, meats such as ham, turkey and chicken are sometimes served cold with cranberry sauce, accompanied by side salads or roast vegetables. Barbecues are also a popular way of avoiding the heat of the oven. Seafood such as prawns, lobster, oysters and crayfish are common, as are barbecued cuts of steak or chicken breasts, drumsticks and wings. In summer, Australians are also fond of pavlova, a dessert composed of fruit such as Strawberries, Kiwi Fruit and Passionfruit atop a baked meringue, with whipped cream. Trifle is also a favourite in Australia at Christmas time. Fresh fruits of the season include cherries and mangoes, plums, nectarine and peaches. Introduced by Italian Australians, panettone is widely available in shops, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Christmas customs of New Zealand are largely identical to the United Kingdom. Christmas dinner consists of roast turkey or lamb,[ citation needed ] roast vegetables, stuffing,gravy and cranberry sauce [ citation needed ]. Alternatively, roast ham served hot or cold may be offered as a main course, which is becoming more and more common. Seafood such as oysters, mussels and crayfish are not uncommon. Desserts are commonly Pavlova (served with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit), trifle, mince pies, Christmas pudding with custard or brandy butter. Enjoyment of non-British Christmas foods, such as stollen from Germany, Bûche de Noël from France, and panettone from Italy, was virtually unheard of in New Zealand until the late 1990s and is still rare today. Due to New Zealanders celebrating Christmas in the summer, it is also common to barbecue, and eat seasonal vegetables and fruit such as cherries and strawberries.
In Brazil, the Christmas meal is quite a feast, (served in the evening on 24 December) offering large quantities of food, such as a wide variety of dishes which include fresh vegetables, luscious fruitsand Brazil nuts. Accompanying these are bowls of colorful rice and platters filled with ham and fresh salad (sometimes cold potato salad is also served) served with roast turkey. Also some parts of Brazil feature roast pork or chicken. Red, white wine and apple cider are common alcoholic beverages. Other Christmas items include a variety of desserts such as lemon tart, nuts pie, chocolate cake and also Panettone.
On Christmas Eve (Noche Buena), the extended family join together for a dinner of roast turkey,and white rice seasoned with garlic. Roast potatoes and uncooked sweetened apple puree are often served as well. The main dessert is panettone. It is usually accompanied by a cup of thick hot chocolate. Less common desserts include a special marzipan made out of Brazil Nuts (due to the scarcity and expense of almonds in Peru) and assorted bowls with raisins, peanuts. At midnight, a toast is made, and good wishes and hugs are exchanged. A designated person runs to put Child Jesus in the Nativity scene. Then, the family members take their seat on the dining room while singing Christmas Carols.
In Colombia, the main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve night and it's called 'Cena de Navidad'; usually, the family gathers together for the meal, even if they have been in other places with friends before. In general, people make an effort to have plenty of food that night, typical dishes for the occasion vary from lechona, Ajiaco, Tamal, Bandeja paisa,Sudado de pollo, Empanadas (In Spanish) among others; in modern times kids often ask for Pizza, Lasagna, Hot Dogs or similar fast food for Christmas Eve; drinks for the dinner are usually fruit juices from all the variety that can be found in Colombia, the reunion can last from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am and sometimes it extends throughout the night until morning when people cook asado.
Hungarian or Magyar cuisine is the cuisine characteristic of the nation of Hungary and its primary ethnic group, the Magyars. Traditional Hungarian dishes are primarily based on meats, seasonal vegetables, fruits, fresh bread, dairy products and cheeses.
The Sunday roast is a traditional British main meal that is typically served on Sunday, consisting of roasted meat, roast potato, and accompaniments such as Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, bread and mint sauce, vegetables and gravy. Other vegetables such as cauliflower often in the form of cauliflower cheese, roast parsnips, brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, runner beans and broccoli, can be part of the dish. The Sunday roast is also popular in many parts of Ireland, especially in most of Ulster.
Finnish cuisine is notable for generally combining traditional country fare and haute cuisine with contemporary continental style cooking. Fish and meat play a prominent role in traditional Finnish dishes in some parts of the country, while the dishes elsewhere have traditionally included various vegetables and mushrooms. Evacuees from Karelia contributed to foods in other parts of Finland.
Puerto Rican cuisine has its roots in the cooking traditions and practices of Europe, Africa and the native Taínos. Starting from the latter part of the 19th century. Puerto Rican cuisine can be found in several other countries.
Danish cuisine originated from the peasant population's own local produce and was enhanced by cooking techniques developed in the late 19th century and the wider availability of goods during and after the Industrial Revolution. Open sandwiches, known as smørrebrød, which in their basic form are the usual fare for lunch, can be considered a national speciality when prepared and decorated with a variety of fine ingredients. Hot meals are typically prepared with meat or fish. Substantial meat and fish dishes includes flæskesteg and kogt torsk with mustard sauce and trimmings. Ground meats became widespread during the industrial revolution and traditional dishes that are still popular includes frikadeller, karbonader and medisterpølse. Denmark is known for its Carlsberg and Tuborg beers and for its akvavit and bitters, but amongst the Danes themselves imported wine has gained steadily in popularity since the 1960s.
Trinidad and Tobago cuisine reflects a fusion of African, Creole, Indian-South Asian, Chinese, Amerindian, Arab, European, and Latin American-Spanish-Portuguese cuisines.
Norwegian cuisine in its traditional form is based largely on the raw materials readily available in Norway and its mountains, wilderness, and coast. It differs in many respects from its continental counterparts with a stronger focus on game and fish. Many of the traditional dishes are results of using conserved materials, with respect to the long winters.
Burmese cuisine is mainly an amalgam of cuisines from various regions of Myanmar. It has also been influenced by various cuisines of neighbouring countries, in particular, China, India and Thailand.
Czech cuisine has both influenced and been influenced by the cuisines of surrounding countries and nations. Many of the cakes and pastries that are popular in Central Europe originated within the Czech lands. Contemporary Czech cuisine is more meat-based than in previous periods; the current abundance of farmable meat has enriched its presence in regional cuisine. Traditionally, meat has been reserved for once-weekly consumption, typically on weekends. The body of Czech meals typically consists of two or more courses; the first course is traditionally soup, the second course is the main dish, and the third course can include supplementary courses, such as dessert or compote. In the Czech cuisine, thick soups and many kinds of sauces, both based on stewed or cooked vegetables and meats, often with cream, as well as baked meats with natural sauces (gravies), are popular dishes usually accompanied with beer, especially Pilsner, that Czechs consume the most in the world. Czech cuisine is also very strong in sweet main courses and desserts, a unique feature in European cuisines.
The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving in the United States and in Canada is a large meal, generally centered on a large roasted turkey. It is served with a variety of side dishes which vary from traditional dishes such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, to ones that reflect regional or cultural heritage. The majority of the dishes in the traditional American version of Thanksgiving dinner are made from foods native to the New World, as according to tradition the Pilgrims received these foods, or learned how to grow them, from the Native Americans. Thanksgiving dinner is the largest eating event in the United States; people eat more on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.
Jul, the Danish Yule and Christmas, is celebrated throughout December starting either at the beginning of Advent or on December 1 with a variety of traditions. Christmas Eve, Juleaften, the main event of Jul, is celebrated on the evening of December 24, the evening before the two Christmas holidays, December 25 and 26th. Celebrating on the eve before the holiday is also used for most other holidays in Denmark.
Silesian cuisine is an umbrella term for all dishes with a specific regional identity belonging to the region of Silesia. It is a subtype of Polish and German cuisine with many similarities to and signs of the influence of neighbouring cuisines.
Smörgåsbord is a type of Scandinavian meal, originating in Sweden, served buffet-style with multiple hot and cold dishes of various foods on a table.
Turkey meat, commonly referred to as just turkey, is the meat from turkeys, typically domesticated turkeys. It is a popular poultry dish, especially in North America, where it is traditionally consumed as part of culturally significant events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as in standard cuisine.
Venetian cuisine, from the city of Venice, Italy or more widely from the region of Veneto, has a centuries-long history and differs significantly from other cuisines of northern Italy, of neighbouring Austria and of Slavic countries, despite sharing some commonalities.
Christmas is celebrated throughout December and traditionally until St. Knut's Day on January 13. The main celebration and the exchange of gifts in many families takes place on Christmas Eve, December 24. The Lucia Day is celebrated during Advent, on December 13.