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Christmas Foods Around The World

Christmas food is steeped in tradition, and families around the world celebrate Christmas very differently at their dinner tables.  It’s really interesting to see the difference in Christmas Foods in countries around the globe.

Here are all the Festive foods around the world that are eaten on Christmas Day…


A pie called Byrek with a hidden coin inside.


A traditional polenta called ‘Funge’, is served with rice, french fries, fried chicken and turkey.


Many different sandwiches such as ‘Pan de atun’ (special tuna sandwiches) and also sliced veal with a cream, anchovy and tuna sauce called ‘vitel toné’.


Bulgur wheat salad called ‘Tabbouleh’.


Out in the sun with the barbecue, they also like turkey and cold ham.


Butter-fried carp, then for dessert ‘Sachertorte’ which is a famous cake from the capital.


Chicken and vegetable curries with rice and vegetable side dishes.


A traditional porridge called ‘Kućcia’ and pancakes with many sides.


Rice and beans with a potato salad are eaten on Christmas day in Belize. For dessert, there is usually black fruitcake and Belizean-style eggnog called ‘Rumpopo’.


Seafood served with potato croquettes as well as turkey or chicken.


A soup consisting of meat and potatoes, corn and vegetables. For afters, they might have fruit.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cabbage leaves wrapped around minced meat and served with rice.


A stew called ‘Seswaa’ made of shredded beef or goat is plated atop a porridge of maize.


Brazilians love to eat Chester on Christmas day, which is a bird renowned for its large, meaty chest, hence the name.


A bean soup along with stuffed cabbage leaves. For dessert, they enjoy pastries with compotes alongside various fruits and nuts.


Foods such as grilled squid, fish amok curry and a ‘Khmer’ red curry can be eaten on Christmas day.


Canadians typically have turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables. All topped off with gravy and cranberry sauce.

Canada, French

Tourtière which is a baked pie with various types of meat or seafood, depending on the region.


Turkey, a sweet easter bread served with ‘Cola de Mono’ – a strong alcoholic beverage.


The Christmas feast in China is very similar to their Spring Festival feast, with roast pork, dumplings, spring rolls and rice.


Slow-roast pork, tamal and ‘Ajiaco’ which is a type of chicken soup.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Okra soup, ‘Fufu’ ( a rice and yam paste) and some sort of meat.

Costa Rica

Roast pork, particularly the legs of the animal, salsa and Christmas cake for dessert.


Roast poultry, and a traditional thin, flat pasta called ‘Mlinci’.


In Cuba, the Christmas table is adorned with a whole roast pig. There are numerous sides accompanying this roast beast. Such as black beans, rice and cassava with garlic.

Czech Republic

Pork or veal schnitzel. Traditionally they might eat fried carp with potato salad.


Roast duck, or pork with boiled potatoes, braised cabbage and gravy.


Ham, beef, baked chicken, salad with red beans and macaroni pie.

East Africa

Shredded meat stew containing goat and beef, served with Mandazi, the doughnut of Africa.


Roasted leg of pork with a beer and garlic marinade, served with potatoes, salads and rice.


An Egyptian meat soup called ‘Fatta’ with bread, rice and boiled lamb.

El Salvador

Tamales, turkey, stuffed pork and chicken bread are usually eaten on Christmas day in El Salvador.


Roast potatoes, pork and black pudding.


Spicy meat stew called ‘Wat’ with eggs and vegetables.


Christmas ham, various casseroles of vegetables. Salads of pickled and boiled vegetables.


Turkey with chestnut stuffing, cooked in a pan with apples and chestnuts.


Rabbit, goose or duck served with sausage stuffing, red cabbage and potato dumplings.


Semolina, rice with potatoes or plantains.


Yiaprakia which are Grecian stuffed cabbage leaves dressed with a lemon sauce.


Reindeer, lamb or grouse in wealthier homes. Traditionally they would eat fermented seabird with whale blubber.


Banana leaves stuffed with pork or chicken tamales, served with sweet Christmas rice.


Pepperpot is a cinnamon-spiced stew of beef and pig trotters. Garlic pork is also eaten in Guyana on Christmas day.


Haitian patties are a chilli-infused pastry snack with minced beef and onions, this is eaten on Christmas day. For the main meal, Diri Kole is eaten which is a meal of rice and beans. Fried plantain is also eaten and to top it off, a creamy coconut rum cocktail called ‘Kremas’ is enjoyed on the day.


Stuffed roast pork leg. The stuffing consists of ground meat and potatoes.


Traditional fisherman’s soup with breaded carp and potato salad. For dessert, they will have a sweet bread called ‘Bejgli’,  which is walnut and poppy seed, which is rolled.


Legs of lamb or smoked lamb boiled and then served with a white sauce and vegetables.


Roasted meat as well as cured meat. They like various sweet treats such as walnut fudge and Christmas cake.


‘Ayam kodok’ which means frog chicken. Don’t worry, it’s just a chicken stuffed with minced meat.


A traditional spiced stew called ‘Harissa’ is eaten which contains chicken.


Roast turkey, boiled ham or the traditional Christmas goose.


Goat, beef or lamb for the main meal, accompanied by goat’s cheese, figs and dates. A special biscuit called ‘Mamoul’ is filled with date paste and eaten.


Various pasta dishes are cooked on Christmas day such as lasagne or tortellini. Italians like to eat panettone with gulps of hot chocolate too.


Jamaicans like to eat curried goat on Christmas day, as well as peas and Christmas ham. A traditional alcoholic drink is egg punch which is similar to egg nog.


Japanese people pre-order KFC for their Christmas dinner, it is so popular because turkey cannot be found in the country.


‘Plov’ which is a dish seasoned with cumin, containing beef, carrots and rice.


Barbecued goat or chicken is eaten with a flat bread called chapati.

Korea, South

‘Bulgogi’, which is a type of barbecued beef with kimchi.


Bacon rolls, pies with cabbage and sausage. Gingerbread for afterwards.


Wild boar, fish or pork or the traditional minced meat ‘Kebbeh’ pie, served with a yoghurt sauce.


Goat soup and fried greens.


Herring or traditional fish dishes, beetroot soup and mini pastries for dessert.


A traditional meal of black pudding and potato salad called, ‘Träipen mat Gromperenzalot’. Don’t ask me how to pronounce that…


Kidney bean soup, baked fish with ‘Ajvar’, a red pepper dip.


Pork or Chicken with rice, a traditional Christmas cake for afters.


Fried chicken, roast chicken and curry. Or just a special meal.


Throughout Christmas day, the ‘Maltese Christmas log’ is eaten. A compressed sausage-like dessert. It contains cherries, chocolate, biscuits, nuts and whisky.


There are many dishes eaten on Christmas day in Mexico. Such as creamy pasta, mashed potato, pork tamales, and Pozole, a pork stew.


Jellied meat and cabbage rolls are eaten on Christmas day.


Mongolians will eat a traditional dumpling called ‘Buuz’ along with various salads.


A cured ham called prosciutto, gherkins and olives. Then there’s the Russian salad which is a combination of peas, potatoes, ham, eggs and carrots topped with mayonnaise and sour cream.


Many Namibians like to share barbecued meats among the family and the local community. Generally, ‘Bacalhau Cozido’ (boiled cod fish) is eaten with various side dishes.


Tibetan dumplings will be eaten on Christmas day, they are called ‘Momo’s’. These are stuffed with spiced meat. Other foods such as rice and lentil dahl can be eaten too.


Roast hare, goose, venison or turkey is eaten with side dishes of vegetables. There is also a tradition of cooking meats and vegetables in miniature hotplates at the dinner table.

New Zealand

As it is summer in New Zealand at Christmas time, the heat affects the menu. There are seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as seafood and meat. Dessert generally consists of pavlova which is a meringue pie containing fresh fruit and cream.


A stuffed chicken, Valencian-style rice with freshly baked bread is eaten on Christmas day. Also, ‘Nacatamal’ is eaten which is a savoury stuffed parcel.


Jollof rice with stews, roast meats and many side dishes. There are side dishes such as chickpea salads, tropical fried rice and soups.

North Africa

Roast turkey, and lamb tagine with vegetables, tomato, potatoes and couscous.


Pork or beef ribs with pickled cabbage, sausage, potatoes and lingonberry sauce.


A traditional feast day biryani curry is cooked as well as lamb or mutton in various curries.


On Christmas day in Panama, Panamanian tamales are eaten. These consist of banana leaf parcels with corn dough, chicken, raisins, pepper and olives stuffed inside.


Paraguayan Christmas starts with a barbeque, many foods are eaten on Christmas day such as pineapple, papaya, caramel and ‘Chipa Guazu’ which is a cornmeal bread dessert.

Papua New Guinea

In Papua New Guinea, the Christmas Day feast usually looks like this: the main dish is pork with sweet potatoes and rice.


Roast pork, turkey or chicken with salad and potatoes.


Philippino Christmas foods are things like roast pork and Morcon which is a roll stuffed with hotdogs, eggs, sausages and cheese.


Pols like to eat fried carp as the centrepiece of 12 Christmas dishes representing the days of Christmas.


‘Bacalhau com todos’ is the traditional Christmas dish in Portugal. It is boiled codfish, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs topped with a garlic, olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Puerto Rico

Plantain fritters with stewed shrimp are some of the foods eaten on Christmas day in Puerto Rico.


For those that do celebrate Christmas in Qatar, a  roast turkey is usually consumed on Christmas day.


Roasted pork or gammon and ‘Ciorba de perisoare’, a sour soup made with fermented pork meatballs and vegetables.


‘Pirozhki’ which are a yeasted dough bun, stuffed with various fillings such as minced meat, mashed potatoes or mushrooms. They can also be sweet and filled with jams, fruits or soft cheese.

Saudi Arabia

Those who do celebrate Christmas in Saudi Arabia will usually have a special Christmas cake on the day.


The quintessential Serbian Christmas dinner consists of roast pork, cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat, cold ham, roast potatoes, potatoes, and many desserts such as nut rolls, strudels and fresh and dried fruits.


Slovakians tend to have fish for the main meal. This is traditionally carp, however, salmon is becoming more popular. This would be served with a potato salad.


Christmas bread and pork are the main dishes in Slovenia on Christmas day. There is also a sweet dessert called ‘Potica’ which is a cinnamon nut roll.

South Africa

In South Africa, it is usual to find roast turkey, duck, beef or pork on the Christmas table. This would be served with yellow rice with raisins. For dessert, Malva pudding is served which is a caramelised sponge pudding with plenty of apricot jam.


As a starter, various kinds of seafood are served on Christmas day. A seafood soup or prawns and lobster are popular choices. The main dish would be roast meat or fish. For dessert, the Spanish like to have various sweet Christmas treats with sweet wines and liqueurs.


Swedes will spread the Christmas table with various dishes. Pickled herring and herring in a creamy mustard sauce are traditional.


The most popular dishes in Switzerland for Christmas are pork in a pastry wrapping, a meat fondue or roast ham in pastry.


Roast beef and turkey served with vegetables and rice. They also have mince pies, shared with the family.

Trinidad and Tobago

Baked ham, pork, chicken or turkey is served for the main course. This can be accompanied by Christmas rice, macaroni pie, beans and hops bread.


Kutia is consumed on Christmas day in Ukraine. It is a sweet stew or soup made with boiled wheat, seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

United Kingdom

Brits like to have a lavish roast dinner consisting of turkey or a variety of roast meats.  This is served with roast potatoes, parsnips, sprouts, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Pigs in blankets, and gravy. Sometimes, even Yorkshire puddings.

United States

Stuffed meats served with mashed potato, roast vegetables and gravy. Pumpkin pie is usually eaten afterwards!


In Uruguay, a meal of roast pork and lamb is consumed on Christmas day.


‘Hallacas’ is a traditional meal for Christmas day, it contains a mixture of beef, pork, and chicken. Into the mix goes capers, olives and raisins this is all wrapped in plantain leaves then boiled or steamed.


In Vietnam, there are many types of food that go into making Christmas Day special. Foods such as spring or egg rolls, sausage rolls with dried shrimp and roast turkey as well.

West Africa

Spicy stew served with rice, chicken, goat and a deep-fried snack called chin chin.


Chicken is a luxury at Christmas time, and so is often bought for the special day. This is served with various rice dishes.


Traditional Roast Turkey Christmas Dinnernner

Check out these 25 Interesting Christmas Food Facts



What foods are eaten on Christmas around the world?

A variety of weird and wonderful foods are eaten in different countries around the world at Christmastime.  Some traditional and some far from what us Brits would consider festive.  From KFC and Porridge to whale skin and blubber.

What is the most popular Christmas food in the world?

The tradition of Roast Dinners is eaten in many countries worldwide including Great Britain and the USA, making it the most popular Christmas food in the world. With Roast meats like Turkey, Beef, Pork, Chicken and Goose being the number one eaten item, followed by potatoes (roasted and mashed) being a close second.


Love Festive Food? Check out this Christmas Food Quiz


We hope you enjoyed this list of festive foods from around the world! If you know of any more we should add to the list, please let us know in the comments below…

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