For many people, a traditional feast with loved ones is the best part of Christmas.


  • In Japan, Christmas is the season for fast food. The tradition began in the 1970s when Japan’s first KFC opened.
  • At this time, there were not many Christmas traditions in Japan, but this one quickly caught on and became incredibly popular.

Since then, many Japanese families have enjoyed fried chicken at Christmas and often order from a restaurant two months before the holiday.


  • Germany is known for its popular Christmas food, including stollen. This is a fruit cake stuffed with marzipan and dried fruit. This classic pastry dates back to the 15th century when it was given as a Christmas present.
  • The Christmas goose is another important Christmas tradition in Germany.

They stuff the goose with apples, prunes, chestnuts and onions, and season the dish with marjoram and wormwood. This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages.


  • At Christmas in Greece, many delicious traditional dishes are prepared. Avgolemono is the most popular Christmas dish. This is a chicken and rice soup with egg yolk and lemon.
  • Greeks often cook roast lamb or pork for the festive table.
  • Dessert in Greece is baklava. It is a sweet pastry with cinnamon, chopped nuts and sweet honey or syrup.
  • Melomakarona is a Greek-favorite Christmas cookie made from cloves, cinnamon, and orange peel, topped with walnuts.
  • Some people fast around Christmas for religious reasons, which makes the meal even more special.

Costa Rica

  • Tamales are a favorite food among Costa Ricans and are traditionally prepared for Christmas. Each family has its own special recipe, which is inherited. Usually this dish is made from corn dough and stuffed with ingredients such as pork, beef, chicken, carrots, potatoes, raisins, rice, garlic or onions.

Similar versions of tamales can be found throughout Latin America, including hallaki in Venezuela. For dessert, Costa Ricans like to eat a Christmas cake with rum and candied fruits, as well as drink homemade eggnog.


  • On Christmas Eve, the Swedes have a huge feast called a julboard. This buffet includes cold cuts, salmon, herring, potato casserole, red beet salad, liver pate, cheese, pickles and more.
  • For dessert, the Swedes prepare rice pudding and saffron buns. This sweet, buttery treat is traditionally served to the family by the eldest daughter. Swedes consume the most sweets in the world, averaging almost 16 kilograms per person per year.


  • On Christmas Eve, Mexican families traditionally gather to eat tamales, posoles, bacalaos, and bunuelos. But on January 6, they celebrate El Dia de los Reyes, which means the feast of the three kings.
  • At the peak of Christmas, families eat a special royal cake, inside of which the figure of the Infant Jesus is hidden. The one who finds the figurine first will become the «godfather» of Jesus this year.


  • Traditional Christmas dishes in Italy vary, but panettone is one of the most popular desserts throughout the country. This sweet bread stuffed with chocolate, raisins, candied fruits and nuts weighs about 1 kilogram. It is placed in the middle of the table so that the whole family can break off a piece and share during the celebration.
  • In southern Italy, the traditional meal is the feast of the seven fishes.
  • Families eat seven seafood dishes such as fried squid and shrimp, baked cod, baccala, octopus salad, shrimp cocktail and linguine with clam or lobster.