Festive food traditions from around the world

The UK

We all know what is involved in a good Christmas dinner.

In Britain, we like our vegetables to be numerous, our turkey to be big and our gravy to be wet. Christmas dinner is often the most important part of the celebration for many people and it is a meal that is meant to bring families together in their love of a good time and distaste of Brussels sprouts.

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Some families like to make it memorable by serving up course after course, from crackers to coffee, while others like to pop the Champagne corks to start the proceedings. What is for certain is that everyone around the table will be wearing a silly paper hat.

Australia

The Aussies are blessed with a summer Christmas. This means that they can swap scarves for sun cream and roast dinners for barbecues. If you want to take inspiration from the Australians, you may want to get yourself an Bondi-quality barbie for Christmas. On the WoW BBQ page you can find a great range of Weber charcoal BBQs and these high-tech cookers will have you well prepared for our own summer. You may even want to brave the winter temperatures on Christmas Day to give the Weber a spin – it would certainly be a change from slaving over the oven for hours on end.

Argentina

In another southern hemisphere country that is blessed with a nice climate in December, Argentine families get together to have a big dinner on Christmas Eve, but rather than it being a case of one or the other, they also repeat the feasting on Christmas Day as well – and you thought you woke up feeling full on Boxing Day!

People like to head out to the countryside after sharing their gifts and their Christmas dinner is quite different to ours in the UK. Meat is a staple, this is usually beef but other cuts are on offer, while the food is washed down with lots of wine, beer and Sangria.

Apart from the famous Argentinean beef, favourite dishes include lechon al horno – pork with roast vegetables, cabrito asado – grilled goat chanfaina and sweet panettone.

France

The French are another nation that like to take the two-day approach to Christmas dinner, which is not surprising as it is often viewed as one of the best places in the world to eat. If you wanted to take some inspiration from the Gauls, then you need to spend the night before Christmas eating as a family munching through an assortment of nibbles and watching festive films. The French open their presents at midnight, but if you want to keep excitement levels minimised, leave that until Christmas Day.

In terms of their main Christmas dinner, tables in France are often filled with oysters, foie gras, buche de Noel, chestnut-stuffed turkey and an assortment of mushrooms.

Japan

Christmas is not an official public holiday in Japan and as such, it is not widely celebrated, but some odd traditions have arisen nonetheless. Fried chicken is often the choice of many on December 25th. In fact, it is the busiest time of year for fast food restaurants such as KFC, with families placing their orders at their nearest outlet up to two months in advance.