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Are you looking forward to your nice traditional Christmas dinner? It is easy for us Brits to assume that everybody celebrates Christmas the same way that we do. But the reality is that most countries have their own unique take on Christmas – whether it is by celebrating the festivities on a different day or serving up a totally different Christmas meal!
Suckling Goose and Shoe Treats in Germany
Although Germany is traditionally seen as being very similar to the UK in many ways, Christmas there differs greatly. Celebrations start on 6th December, known as St. Nicholas Day. On the night of 5th December children put their shoes outside the door, and the spirit of St. Nicholas, who is the patron saint of children, goes from house to house filling the shoes of all good kids with treats and sweets. And the bad kids? They get a shoe full of twigs. Nice. On Christmas Day, the Germans carry on with a banquet which usually starts on Christmas Eve. Instead of serving up a plump Turkey, a suckling goose is the traditional meat on offer.
Anyone for Rooster?
Despite being within throwing distance of the UK, France has always done things its own way and Christmas dinner is no different. Although traditional meals vary household to household, most meals start off with a festive aperatif, such as a glass of champagne or a kir royale. Snails, oysters or smoked salmon is then next on the menu, followed by capon served with either a raisin or chestnut stuffing. Capon, so I am told, is rooster which has been raised specifically to be eaten. No need for the grizzly details here.
Eat and Eat Well in Spain
There seems to be a theme of eating and celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve developing and Spain is no different. Christmas Eve is called La Noche Buena which I have expertly translated to mean “The Good Night.” Unlike in the UK, each Spanish region has its own distinct specialities meaning there is no real uniform Christmas meal. In coastal areas fish such sea bass or salmon is served whereas in central areas such Madrid roast lamb and suckling pig are much more common. To the shock of any children reading this, Spanish kids do not get the majority of their presents until the Three King’s Day on January 6th neither!
Had enough of traditional Christmas celebrations? Why not book a city break or a all inclusive holidays aboard and experience Christmas with a twist?!
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Ricky is a keen traveller and writer who shares a passion for both. Ricky has travelled extensively, visiting various countries in Europe and South East Asia along with Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Ricky is a resident blogger for travel specialists Beat the Brochure, and in his spare time enjoys playing football and following Chelsea FC. Google Visit his Google + page for more information.