Christmas around the World

By: Aniela Gesing

Christmas is celebrated all over the world. Typically, the focusing entertainment for Christmas is the food. However, each culture celebrates the Christmas season in its own unique way. The Squire consulted to gain a better understating of different Christmas traditions.


Poland starts off their Christmas feast by laying out twelve place settings. The twelve dishes represent the good luck they wish to have in the next twelve months of the year. On Christmas Eve, Polish families and friends will enjoy cooked carp and barszcs (beetroot soup). In most traditions, it is said the lady of the house will kill the carp in the bathtub and then prepare the meal for her guests.


Ireland celebrates their Christmas with small round cakes filled with caraway seeds. Each guest in the house will receive their own caraway cake. Later, the main dish of either turkey of spiced beef will come out for all to enjoy. The spiced beef has been spiced for several days, is pressed, and then served either hot or cold.


Kenyan families celebrate their Christmas Eve with wild parties in celebration of their family and friends. For Christmas day, Kenyan cultures prepare a dish called Nyama-Choma. This very popular Kenyan dish consists of barbecue, rice, and chapatti flatbread. The barbecue is made of either, goat, sheep, beef or chicken. The meat is served over rice and the flat bread is used to soak up any left-over sauce.


Japanese cultures celebrate the Christmas season by eating chicken. KFC restaurants are always the busiest on Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Japan. An older tradition in the Japanese culture is to eat a sponge cake covered in trees, flowers and figurines of Santa.


Spanish cultures celebrate their Christmas with a long line of various foods in a precise order. The traditional soup served on Christmas is escudella. Escudella consists of conchigle (shells) stuffed with meat, carrots, and cabbage can also be added in. Most Spanish families will have some type of seafood on the day of their Christmas dinner. Llagostins are large shrimp battered in various seasonings and served in many homes on Christmas. Once the seafood is finished, a chicken stuffed with potatoes is brought out and devoured. For dessert, turrón (chocolate bars) and polvorones (powdered cookies) are eaten and shared among the family. The Squire asked our foreign exchange student, Julia Raventos, what she enjoyed most about Christmas in Spain, she said, “I love Christmas in Spain and their food is delicious, but what I like the most is spending this beautiful tradition with my family.”

No matter how you celebrate your Christmas holiday, The Squire would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy feastings!






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