Five Traditional Christmas Dinners from Around the World

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Although we are accustomed to roast turkey, pigs in blankets, Yorkshire puddings, and stuffing, it is interesting to learn about some of the traditional Christmas dinners and dishes that are served annually in other countries around the world! There are tons of unique and scrumptious foods that are worth trying this festive season to add a little spice to your standard Christmas dinner. 

1. Australia

In Australia, Christmas takes place in the summer, leading many to swap out the typical roast dinner for a barbecued bird! This usually consists of either turkey or chicken, served alongside a range of sides, including classic roast potatoes, carrots, and a side salad or two. While the Australian Christmas dinner is seemingly similar to a British Christmas dinner, it undoubtedly has some differences, which makes it more of a barbecue and roast dinner hybrid.

photo of a group of people cheersing with beers on a warm beach wearing santa hats

2. Japan

In the 1970s, a KFC advert was released in Japan that showed a family eating fried chicken on Christmas Day –  this ultimately changed the way in which many Japanese families traditionally spend their Christmas each year. Since the release of this advert, many citizens queue up outside of KFC restaurants in Japan to purchase and enjoy their fast food Christmas meal. While this is a seemingly unconventional Christmas dinner, it definitely reduces the pressure of cooking an extensive meal on the day! 

photo of KFC fried chicken on a plate on a table surrounded by christmas decorations

3. Greece

The traditional Grecian Christmas dinner varies depending on the region. In the northern areas of Greece (particularly the mountainous parts), it is rumoured to consist of mostly comforting and warming dishes including soups and stews. However, in other regions, many Grecian people choose to enjoy lamb, which is typically cooked whole and on a spit, commonly served with potatoes, salad, and roasted vegetables. 

photo of a snow covered christmas tree with a grecian flag as one of the ornaments

4. France

It is somewhat unclear as to what the stereotypical French Christmas dinner looks like, with some saying that it is quite comparable to an English roast and typically revolves around a cooked turkey or other fowl. However, others have indicated that a French Christmas dinner consists of a variety of hors d’œuvre alongside numerous seafood dishes and small plates. Some of the most popular dishes include foie gras and a bûche de Noël, which is a delicious chocolatey dessert, also known as a Yule log! 

photo of a french yule log covered with red christmas currants and next to a sprig of pine leaves

5. Lithuania

Lithuanian Christmas dinners are spectacular and consist of a large number of sides and dishes for the family to tuck into. One Christmas tradition that differs from other countries is that Lithuanian people typically abstain from eating meat on Christmas day due to a Catholic tradition. This means that the majority of the dishes served are either fish or vegetable based, including kūčiukai, boiled beetroot soup, sauerkraut, potatoes and kūčia – a traditional grain dish that is typically paired with a sweet gravy.

photo of the lithuania capital citys city centre decorated for christmas with a vibrant glowing christmas tree and taken at sunset