Christmas around the world – 9 popular foods that form the tradition

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas. With a sudden surge of Christmas decorations, themed party invitations, cake mixing ceremonies and even Christmas movies on OTT platforms – the festive mood is running high. But like all other holidays, Christmas is also deeply rooted in ancient traditions. The festival celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ on December 25 every year. Christian communities around the world mark this day with certain rituals that have been passed down through generations. And food is an inherent part of the Christmas celebration, with each country following their own traditions.

What are traditional Christmas dishes?

If you are looking for answers to this, then you are in the right place. Let’s take a look at what the Christmas party looks like in different parts of the world. We’ve unearthed some popular ones traditional Christmas dishes that are specific (but not limited) to a particular region.

(Also read: 17 Christmas Dinner Recipes You’ll Love)

Here are 9 traditional Christmas foods from around the world:

1. Plum cake

Plum Cake is a ubiquitous Christmas specialty, but you will find it interesting to know that it actually originated in England and remains their specialty till date during special occasions like Christmas. The cake is made by mixing dried fruits, nuts and some warming spices, soaked for days in spirits such as rum, before being turned into a dough to make the cake. Make plum cake for Christmas with this recipe.


Plum cake is a must-have for a Christmas party
Photo credit: iStock

2. The stollen

Stollen is a sweet bread that makes it the centerpiece of Christmas spreads in Germany. It is a light dry bread, but the addition of nuts, spices, rum, marzipan and candied fruits, and the outer coating of powdered sugar make it a tasty treat. Stollen’s existence can be traced all the way back to the 15th century, and it is still one of the most popular German delicacies.

3. Eggnog

Eggnog is a festive specialty drink that is often served during Christmas celebrations in the United States. Made with milk, sugar, cream and eggs, this creamy drink is best served chilled.

4. Irish stew

In Ireland, you will always find this hot stew as part of the Christmas celebration. It is traditionally made with lamb and seasonal vegetables, but different regions have given it their own variations. Here is the traditional Irish stew recipe for you to try.


Irish stew is traditionally made with mutton.
Photo credit: iStock

5. Panettone

Panettone is an Italian bread made in the shape of a cylindrical log. It is flavored with sultanas, candy shells and fruits and raisins. It looks like bread, but tastes slightly like foam.

6. Puff pastry

This wafer-thin bread is popular in Iceland for Christmas celebrations. It is made in a large size so that everyone can tear it off and take a bite. To make it, the dough is rolled to a fine thinness and then stamped with a patterned iron to decorate it. It is then deep-fried to make a fine, crispy bread

7. Plum pudding

You will find this Christmas pudding in Ireland, UK during the holiday season. But the traditional plum cake does not actually contain plums. The recipe dates back to the pre-Victorian era when raisins were used instead of plums. The pudding also adds spices like ginger, cloves and cinnamon along with alcoholic drinks like brandy.

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8. Gingerbread

A children’s favorite, gingerbread cookies are biscuits shaped in the shape of a man. Reports suggest that gingerbread was actually invented by Greeks who made it for important ceremonies. Gingerbread crossed borders and took shape like a man in Europe to make it the popular Christmas delicacy it is now. Make gingerbread cookies with this easy recipe.


Gingerbread is popularly made for Christmas fun.
Photo credit: iStock

9. Coal Coal

Anglo-Indian households in India introduced us to this traditional Christmas recipe. These inch-long dough curls are a fried snack made from semolina flour, milk, sugar and ghee (or butter) and glazed with thick sugar syrup

It is the traditions that keep the festivals going in high spirits. For us, the best way to celebrate is by eating traditional food.

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