How 5 randomly selected countries celebrate Christmas
Many New Zealanders have a barbecue for Christmas lunch and this is becoming more popular. The food cooked on the barbecue is often ham slices or even venison or some other kind of exotic meat. Shrimps and other fish are also barbecued. White bait fritters are also popular.
One popular present for Christmas in New Zealand are 'jandals'. These are flip-flops/thing sandals - the name 'jandals' comes from combining the two words 'Japanese Sandals'. They've been popular in New Zealand since the late 1950s
Traditional, historic, Christmas food in Ireland include a round cake, full of caraway seeds. One is traditionally made for each person in the house. Now it's more common to have a Christmas Cake like those in the UK, a rich fruit cake covered with marzipan and decorated with icing.
And an addition to turkey for Christmas dinner, sometimes spiced beef (spiced over several days, cooked, and then pressed) is eaten. This can be served hot or cold.
The main meal Christmas is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve, often about 10pm or 11pm. It might be served in the garden or be a barbecue! Some popular dishes include roasted turkey, roasted pork (in northern Argentina, some people will have goat), 'vitel toné' (slices of veal served with a creamy anchovy and tuna sauce), stuffed tomatoes, salads and lots of different sandwiches like 'pan de atun' (special tuna sandwiches), 'sandwiches de miga' (sandwiches made of thin white bread without the crusts - they can be single, double or multi-layered!) and 'torre de panqueques' (a sandwich 'cake' made from several layers of tortillas with different fillings).
The Christmas day meal is usually prepared on Christmas Eve. The Christmas Day breakfast includes ackee and saltfish, breadfruit, fried plantains, boiled bananas, freshly squeezed fruit juice and tea. Dinner is usually served in the late afternoon and this may include turkey, chicken, curry goat, stewed oxtail and very importantly rice and peas.
Jamaican red wine and rum fruitcake is traditional and is eaten in most homes. The fruits in the cake are soaked in red wine and white rum for months before Christmas.
There are some rather unusual foods eaten at Christmas time in Greenland. 'Mattak' is whale skin with a strip of blubber inside. It is supposed to taste like fresh coconut, but is often too tough to chew and is usually swallowed. Another Christmas food is 'kiviak'. This is the raw flesh of little auks (a type of arctic bird) which have been buried whole in sealskin for several months until they have reached an advanced stage of decomposition! Although it sounds strange, it is a delicacy in Greenland.
Other popular foods in Greenland include 'suaasat' which is a soup/stew, barbecued caribou/reindeer, lamb, razorbill, ptarmigan and fish either as raw sushi or cooked. Popular desserts are berries and apples with a crisp Topping and special Christmas porridge that's served with butter and topped with sugar and cinnamon. Lots of Danish pastries and Christmas cookies are also eaten!
It is traditional on Christmas night that the men look after the women, serving their food and coffee and stirring the meal for them. Games follow the Christmas meal, including one in which an object is passed from hand to hand round a long table under the cloth. It is supposed to be repulsive: round, clammy and rough in texture; such as a frozen egg, wrapped in strips of wet fox fur!