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Christmas Around The World

It’s no surprise that we have our own holiday traditions that we hold near and dear to our hearts. These practices can vary greatly among different cultures, however, our common ground seems to be our dedication to carrying on traditions and celebrating with feasts. Learn about Christmas around the world and see how they compare to your own traditions. You might even pick up some new recipes and ideas.

France
Christmas is called Noel and it begins on December 6. On Christmas Eve, children leave their shoes out to receive gifts from Le Pere Noel (or Santa Claus). Le Reveillon is a late supper that happens on Christmas Eve or early Christmas Day after midnight mass.

Bûche de Noël
This classic Yule log cake is a Christmas Tradition in France.
Punitions
These are simple shortbread cookies that may remind you of your childhood holidays.

Germany
Christmas begins on December 6 with making gifts, decorations, and sweet treats. Christkind is an angel who bears gifts so kids leave their letters on the windowsills. Then, to celebrate the coming of Santa Claus, the tree and decorations go up on Christmas Eve.

Pfeffernüsse Cookies
Warm spice cookies covered in powdered sugar are a holiday staple in Germany.
Früchtebrot
Like a German version of the fruitcake, this mixes honey and dried fruit, perfect for Christmas morning.
Glühwein
Wash down these goodies with a special mulled wine.

Italy
For Italians, Christmas focuses on heavily on family. Instead of writing to Santa, children write letters to their parents expressing their love. And holidays leading up to Christmas that honor important saints are also celebrated.

Struffoli
These are fried dough flavored with hazelnut, lemon zest, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Panettone
You can enjoy this Italian sweet bread made with fruits and nuts as bread or muffins, depending on your preference.
Amaretti
These simple almond cookies are perfect for the holidays.

Sweden
While Christmas Eve is celebrated with food and gifts, a bigger celebration in Sweden is St. Lucia’s Day on December 13. The children dress in white dresses and carry candles all day.

Swedish Meatballs
You are probably thinking about IKEA, right? Well these delicious meatballs are a Christmas must-have, so if you can’t make the trip to IKEA, try making them at home.
Risgrynsgröt
This classic rice pudding is perfect as a Christmas dessert.
Lussekatter
Lussekatter translates to “Lucia cats” and these delicious buns are enjoyed on St. Lucia’s Day.

Greece
When celebrating in Greece, you will find that Christmas is a very religious holiday. Families attend midnight mass and hang sprigs of basil to ward off the Killantzaroi (evil spirits).

Kourabiedes
These Greek butter cookies are molded into a crescent shape, baked, and then given a generous coating of powdered sugar
Christopsomo
Christopsomo means “Christ’s Bread” and is baked on Christmas Eve. This sweet bread is then enjoyed during Christmas Day dinner.
Baklava
Often made with the whole family, baklava calls on the spirit of the holidays.

Poland
Advent begins the Christmas season in Poland. On Christmas Eve, people fast until the first star is seen in the sky. The giant feast to break fast is called Wigilia and is celebrated with friends and family.

Chrusciki
Thanks to orange zest, sour cream, and whiskey, these bowties of fried dough deliver surprising flavor in each bite.
Makowiek
This Poppy seed cake is a delicious dessert for the holidays.

Russia
The Russian holiday season runs from December 31 to January 10 thanks to the Russian Orthodox calendar (which follows the old “Julian” calendar). Like Poland, Russians fast on Christmas Eve and then share a feast in a “common bowl” to represent unity.

Russian Tea Cakes
Butter cookies seem to be a popular holiday tradition, but these Russian Tea cakes add walnuts for a new flavor and texture.
Russian King Cake
This decadent, three-layer cake consists of poppy seed, cocoa, and walnuts for a dessert masterpiece.

Canada
Thanks to a diverse population in Canada, there are French, English, and German traditions being carried on. However, the common ground is the spread of food that is eaten on Christmas Eve.

Shortbread Cookies
Nothing screams the holidays like these shortbread cookies.
Nanaimo Bars
These bars layer a sweet and crunchy base, rich custard and a layer of chocolate to top it off.

Australia
For those who love the warm weather, you may want to visit Australia during Christmas. Occurring during one of the hottest months of the year, many celebrate outdoors with Christmas carols and barbeque lunches.

Pavlova Meringue with Raspberries, Banana, and Passion Fruit
With this dessert, you can expect a crunchy exterior with a gooey, flavorful interior.
Sugar Plum Pudding with Anise and Cajeta
This fruity bundt cake is finished with a caramel glaze and a must for an Australian Christmas.
Christmas Mince Pies
These bite sized treats are originally from Great Britain. These treats are small, easy, and can be made with any fruit.

Mexico
Christmas in Mexico starts on December 12 until January 6. During this time, children perform nine Posadas, which are performances that tell the story of Joseph and Mary. Presents aren’t received until January 6, also known as El Dia de los Reyes. This is also the day when the holiday feast is consumed.

Bacalao
This dish may seem out of the ordinary (as we’ve been discussing a majority of desserts), but this salted cod is a staple for a Mexican holiday feast.
Tamales
Tamales are a Mexican holiday tradition, whether eating them during the holidays or making them together with family.
Snowballs
Yet another butter cookie, however, these add chocolate chips and flavorful nuts for an exciting twist.

Share your own holiday traditions and/or recipes with us and your peers on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.

For a light meal before you indulge during the holidays, visit the Brick Market & Deli – Your Neighborhood Deli.