We like to make sure we’re prepared for festive bookings as early as possible here at Superbreak. I especially do too, when summer is drawing to a close and I need something new to look forward to – and the addition of our new Christmas Breaks & New Year Breaks pages have got me wondering how other countries celebrate Christmas and what might make for an exciting new experience this December.
It looks as though many countries have different celebrations to us here in the UK, with fantastic traditions forming part of the events taking place in each country. I loved reading about Spain‘s Christmas traditions, where Christmas Dinner is actually eaten on Christmas Eve. This is the beginning of Christmas for Spanish people, who get together with their entire families to enjoy a feast the night before Christmas, staying up until after midnight before even getting started.
Christmas Day is spent in church for many Spanish people and, interestingly, it’s not Santa Claus that brings children their Christmas presents, it’s the Three Wise Men who are believed to visit on January 6th and give gifts to children that leave their shoes on the doorstep on the night of the 5th. Christmas continues for some weeks following December 25th and is a period filled with celebration and foody indulgence – sounds like a pretty excellent break to me, especially as it would mean you could still enjoy Christmas at home before heading off to start the year in style in a new location.
While I was researching the types of food and dinner other countries prefer, I came across a little snippet about how they do Christmas Dinner in Italy – it’s no shock if a feast can last for more than four hours in this European country! The meal consists of at least seven different courses, including two puddings and then a cheese and chocolate course too. Well, they do say Italians love food…
Christmas in Germany has got to be a world class affair. If the Christmas Markets that pop up around the UK every year are any testament to a German Christmas, then it’s definitely somewhere I wouldn’t mind visiting for a short break this December. Like the Spanish, German children put their shoes or boots outside their front doors and St Nicholas fills them with either treats or twigs depending on whether the child has been naughty or nice. This happens a month earlier than in Spain, however. My favourite thing about German Christmas has got to be their title for the big dinner they have on Christmas Eve – “Dickbauch”, which means “fat stomach” – and this comes from a belief that those who do not eat as much as they can on this night will be haunted by demons during the night.
Finding out about how other cultures do Christmas is certainly inspiring, maybe I should try out some of the tastiest sounding traditional dishes over the next few months in preparation for the big day. Stay tuned for more Christmas tid-bits as I hunt down the most unusual and nicest sounding Christmas treats!