Traditional Christmas Meals Around the World

If your family celebrates Christmas, you likely have childhood memories of special meals that might only have been served on that one day. Around the world, different cultures celebrate Christmas in different ways. You might want to consider incorporating some of the following traditions into your own celebration.


Christmas Eve dinners are traditionally elaborate in Poland, consisting of 12 dishes that are representative of the 12 months of the year. They typically include a beetroot soup (known as barszcz), as well as mushroom soup, carp accompanied by hot sauerkraut, herring, pierogi, braised sauerkraut, vegetable salad, cabbage rolls, dried fruit compote, poppy seed cake, gingerbread, and kutia. Kutia is an ancient dessert that blends wheat grains, poppy seeds, honey, and dried fruits soaked in wine.


It’s traditional to fire up the barbecue on Christmas in Kenya. The barbecued meats typically include goat, sheep, beef, or chicken eaten with rice and served with chapati flat bread. It’s also common for Kenyans to brew their own beer, which they will enjoy on Christmas. Those who live in urban areas often serve a Christmas cake.


In Venezuela, the highlight of the traditional Christmas meal is the hallacas. Hallacas are similar to tamales. They are made from cornmeal with a filling of meat, peppers, raisins, olives, and pickled vegetables. The hallacas are then wrapped in banana leaves and boiled. It’s also customary to make hallacas in bulk and hand them out as gifts, much like the American tradition of giving Christmas cookies to family and friends. In addition to hallacas, Venezuelans often enjoy roast pork, savory bread, and a dessert made from brown sugar and green papayas called dulce de lechosa.

Whatever you plan on preparing for your own holiday dinner, you can find all the ingredients for it at Villa's Market – Nogales. This family-owned grocery store is known for delivering fresh produce and other goods at affordable prices. If you have any questions about their hours, location, or product availability, you can call their office in Nogales, AZ at (520) 281-9717.