Besides New Years, Christmas is the most celebrated international holiday. According to Pew Research Center, there are about 2.2 billion Christians in the world, making up nearly one-third of the world population.
This means that about one-third of the entire world celebrates Christmas in some capacity. Just think about all that holiday cheer!
Christmas is traditionally the celebration of Jesus’ birth on December 25th and customarily includes exchanging presents, hanging lights, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, and eating meals with family and friends.
These are some of the core practices of celebrating Christmas but many cultures add their own unique twist when it comes to observing this meaningful holiday.
Christmas Food Traditions
Some of the most interesting differences in how various cultures and regions celebrate Christmas is through their food and drink traditions. You are probably familiar with turkey in the U.S. and maybe you’ve heard of tamales in Latin America but what about rum punch in Jamaica, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Japan, or prawns in Australia!
Whatever it is, you can bet each region has its own holiday delicacy. In order to reveal some of the most interesting holiday meal traditions, Kitchen Cabinet Kings put together a list of top 20 Holiday delicacies from around the world.
If that list got you wondering about other cool and unusual Christmas traditions check out the Philippines’ Giant Lantern Festival or the Parrandas Festival in Remedios, Cuba. If you are looking for more bizarre traditions, look up Catalonia’s defecating figure in their nativity scenes and Austria’s Krampus who goes around beating naughty kids.
Another country’s unique traditions to explore is Africa. In Ghana, people dress up in elaborate costumes and parade around on Christmas day. In Kenya and Uganda, people celebrate in much less commercial ways than many other countries.
Usually, the only gift given is a new outfit for church. On Christmas day in South Africa, many indulge on deep-fried caterpillars of the Emperor Moth.
Traditions may differ around the world but nothing brings people together like food and the holidays, no matter where you’re from or your cultural background. Wherever you call home, there is probably a unique traditional dish, dessert, or drink you look forward to having every Christmas.
Did your favorite dish make the list? Or maybe you saw something you just have to try (personally, France’s Buche de Noel instantly made my mouth water.)
If you decide you want to travel for the holidays next year, use this list and try some of the unique Christmas dishes from the region you find yourself in.