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Here’s What Christmas Dinner Looks Like In Different Countries

Christmas dinner is without question one of the most memorable meals of the year. In good ol' England where I live, most people, regardless of whether they're dining in Buckingham Palace or a more modest abode, will be tucking into turkey will all the trimmings (no matter how much they recoil in horror at the sight of a sprout) and then a Christmas pudding.

Elsewhere in the world, however, Christmas dinner takes many different forms - and one country's version of tradition can appear, well, bizarre to another. But no matter how odd a certain place's Christmas dinner might seem on a first glance, the one thing which each country's festive meal shares in common is this: it's bountiful and looks darn delicious.

Are your skills lacking in the turkey carving department? Check out the video below and fret no more:

To shed light on what our friends elsewhere in the world will be tucking into this Yuletide, our friends at Buzzfeed asked their community what a traditional Christmas dinner looks like in their country and the results are mouthwatering.

1. Switzerland

"In Switzerland we stick some meat pieces on a super-long fork and dip it in boiling bouillon soup to cook it, kind of like a hotpot! It's served with french fries or potato chips, and a variety of sauces for the meat." - twistley

2. Venezuela

"I'm from Venezuela and our traditional Chrismast dinner is 'hallacas', which is pretty much like a tamal; roasted pork or turkey; 'pan de jamón', which is bread stuffed with Christmas ham, raisins, and olives; and 'ensalada de pollo', which is a chicken salad with potatoes, carrots, and peas. For dessert we have 'torta negra', which is chocolate cake with rum-soaked fruits." - gabb19

3. Barbados

"In Barbados we have turkey, ham, and sweet potato pie in sugar and pineapple juice. There's also rice and peas, salads, macaroni pie, and American-style stuffing if you like that stuff. For dessert we have Bajan rum black cake (which is our version of fruit cake and it's a million times better) with ice cream, cheesecakes, or pudding bread." - tammyakeliat


"In Botswana the standard Christmas meal is rice, salads, and fried chicken. This meal is actually served in important ceremonies like weddings, parties, or any grand festivities." - mommagen

5. Denmark

"In Denmark we eat 'flæskesteg', which is a pork roast with crackling. With this we eat potatoes, warm red cabbage, gravy, small caramelized potatoes, and chips. For dessert we have 'ris’a’la mande' - a rice porridge with almonds, whipped cream, and vanilla in it." - mettekirkk

6. Portugal

"In Portugal the traditional Christmas meal is called 'Consoada' and is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve. It consists of boiled bacalhau (dried salted codfish), boiled potatoes, boiled eggs, boiled onions, boiled chickpeas, boiled cabbage, and other greens accompanied with a dressing made of chopped raw onion, garlic, and parsley. This dish is also accompanied with olive oil, and a lot of it! Another traditional dish is "polvo à lagareiro" (grilled octopus) accompanied by 'batatas a murro', which translates to 'punched potatoes', that are oven-roasted with garlic, parsley, and olive oil. And there are sooooo many more Portuguese Christmas sweets!" - ritasfsilva

7. United Kingdom

"In Britain we traditionally have a turkey (but sometimes people may have a goose or chicken) with cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, pigs in blankets (small sausages wrapped in bacon), roast carrots, roast potatoes, parsnips, and the best of all, gravy! Just before the dinner you pull a cracker with someone else, and it has a really bad joke, a hat, and little toy inside." - someoneunfollowedme

8. Poland

"In Poland we eat borscht, which is beetroot soup, with dumplings." - k3007xx

9. Finland

"In Finland we have ham, potatoes, a lot of different types of fish, and then we have these things called 'lanttulaatikko' (pictured) which are kinda like casseroles. Potato salad is also quite popular and some people eat meatballs, too. For dessert we just have traditional gingerbread cookies, plum jam tarts in the shape of a star, and we love to drink glögi, which is quite similar to mulled wine but with cardamom." - lauramakinen

10. Jamaica

"In Jamaica rice and peas is a given with either gungo peas or a small red bean called Jerusalem or Christmas peas, along with Christmas ham in most households. Other meat options include curry goat, chicken (usually fried or fricasseed), and roast beef. Sides include baked macaroni and cheese, fried ripe plantains, and potato or pasta salad. Sorrel is our traditional Christmas drink and white rum is usually added." - nikkijamaica

11. Guatemala

"In Guatemala we eat tamales, but these can be black or white/red. The red ones are savory and the black ones are sweet. We eat them right before midnight, because at midnight the whole country sets off fireworks in honor of the birth of Jesus." - meganrothwell

12. Mexico

"In Mexico, tamales are the staple dish for any Christmas dinner. My personal favorite are bean tamales, but the most popular ones are made with chicken. Champurrado is also a delicious chocolate drink made from corn. Some other popular dishes include pozole, buñuelos, and la rosca de reyes (pictured)." - valentinaevangelista


"In the Netherlands we usually gourmet during holidays and I think most families have a gourmet set at home. It’s like a grill plate with little pans you put on the dinner table. Everybody gets their own little pan and wooden spoon. You basically grill miniature meats like sausages, slavinken, and hamburgers or small pieces of fish and vegetables at the table. Every supermarket sells ready-to-go gourmet meat or fish plates." - katootje

14. New Zealand

"In New Zealand we eat whatever can fit on the BBQ, followed up with a pavlova of course. I love how laid back it is." - soyhada

15. Norway

"In Norway the Vikings celebrated Yule before they became Christian - at the same time we now celebrate Christmas, so a lot of our foods comes from the Vikings' traditions. For example, we have a strange thing where we place cod in lye so it becomes jelly-like and then we rinse it, like, 20 times before serving it with melted butter and bacon. We also eat dried cooked lamb head, and dried lamb rib that's been boiled with sticks for eight or more hours. Since the 1700s it's become a status symbol to have at least seven types of Christmas cookies in the house, and they all had to be homemade, so that's a tradition we've kept. Oh yeah, and we celebrate Christmas on the 24th and we open presents on the same night." - gabsfever

16. Philippines

"In the Philippines, Noche Buena, the mother of Christmas meals, usually starts at 12 am Christmas Day. Yes, we stay up all Christmas Eve so we can feast come midnight. The star of the meal is usually the fiesta ham. For carbs, we serve rice and Pinoy-style spaghetti. Many of us also serve chicken, in either fried or roasted form. For dessert, we serve fruit salad which is nothing like the fruit salad elsewhere. Ours is a weird mix of grapes, apples, cherries, and tropical fruits like papaya and pineapple, and we dress it generously with a sweet mix of all-purpose cream and condensed milk. And if there's room for more, we may serve leche flan - a close cousin of crème brûlée." - willievergettoseeyou

17. Russia

"Russians celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7. Unlike New Year's, which is basically just a big party, tradition calls for Christmas to be a family affair, held either at the parents/grandparents' house or that of the eldest offspring. And it also marks the end of a fast, so lots of meat and fish dishes make it to the table. The most traditional dishes are stuffed roast goose, pork tenderloin with apples and cabbage, and some form of coulibiac (pictured). It’s basically a closed pie with fish, rice, and hard-boiled eggs inside." - katerinaa3

18. Slovakia

"In Slovakia we eat potato salad with mayonnaise, pickles, and breaded fish or meat, and sauerkraut soup with sausages and smoked pork." - krizovatka82

19. Sweden

"Sweden also celebrates Christmas on the 24th. On the traditional Christmas dinner table you'll find ham, meatballs, sausages, spare ribs, different kinds of herring, lox, Jansson's temptation (a potato casserole with anchovies), red cabbage, brown cabbage, Brussels sprouts, some lye fish (very smelly), and in the south it's traditional to eat smoked eel. To top it off, you have Christmas porridge and an array of cookies and sweets. We also have a Christmas soda called Julmust." - cefroberg

20. Japan

"At some point a long while back, US soldiers stationed in Japan were looking for a touch of home around christmas time. Unable to find any turkeys, or even whole roast chickens, lots of them ended up settling for KFC to at least get some poultry.

KFC's higher-ups noticed this, as did the Japanese people. Kentucky Fried Chicken started a hugely popular ad campaign called "A Kentucky For Christmas", framing their store as the place to be on Christmas. After all, it's where the foreign Christians were going.

Interestingly, due to the store's christmas popularity, the KFCs offer a special christmas menu. Instead of fried chicken, you can preorder entire roast chickens, chicken legs in wine sauce, and other more upscale dishes. Honestly, I'm not even sure you can get fried chicken on christmas. They're probably too swamped making other stuff."

So, how does your traditional Christmas dinner compare to the meals on this list? One thing's for sure, if I had all 19 of these meals at my disposable on Christmas Day, I wouldn't just be carrying one food baby - I'd be having twins!