For some, Christmas is about friends and family, giving gifts, or eating a Christmas feast. For others it can be about KFC or pooping dogs.
Christmas is celebrated all over the world across many different cultures and so it’s no surprise that where you live has a big effect on how you celebrate each year.
From the decadently delicious to the downright bizarre, here are some of the ways that people around the world celebrate a foodie Christmas.
Many people following the long-standing Catholic tradition of avoiding red meat on Christmas Eve, feasting on seafood instead. However, families in the southern regions of Italy have taken it one step further, celebrating with The Feast of Seven Fishes. This traditional meal consists of seven seafood dishes and includes things like cod, calamari, scallops, fried eel, oysters and lobster.
We don’t normally need much encouragement to get stuck into a Christmas feast but in Germany they have a little extra incentive. According to a Christmas legend, those that do not eat well during Christmas Eve, known as ‘fat stomach’, will be haunted by demons. So just to be safe they feast on suckling pig, bratwurst, red cabbage and roast goose.
Christmas is not a big national holiday in Japan, but those that celebrate it are likely to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner at KFC. This odd custom first started in 1974 when the fast-food giant created the Christmas Bucket, including fried chicken and wine, and since then the tradition has been handed down through generations. If you visit a store during Christmas you can even see Colonel Sanders dressed up as Santa!
Iceland celebrates the lead up to Christmas with a traditional dish of boiled potatoes and fermented skate, but apparently the smell is so strong that they often opt to eat out as so not to risk stinking out their homes. When it comes to Christmas Day, Icelandic parents will have some awkward explaining to do as they feast on Rudolph the reindeer, as well as other delicacy such as puffin and whale blubber.
Now here’s a tradition we can see ourselves adopting. In provincial France, a ‘big supper’ is followed by 13 courses of dessert, in honor of Christ and the 12 apostles. The dishes can include fresh fruit and nuts, as well as nougat, marzipan, and spiced cakes.
Each Christmas, the Catalonians of Spain celebrate the tradition of Tio de Nadal, or the ‘Pooping Log’. A hollowed log is decorated to look like a dog and leading up to Christmas the ‘dog’ is fed fruit, nuts and sweets. On Christmas Eve children hit the log, like a piñata, until it ‘poops’ out the treats.