Merry Christmas to everyone out there! Christmas is a festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Jesus and is celebrated every year on 25th of December. Here is the day we have all been waiting for a year.
Santa Clause plays a pivotal role during Christmas. During our childhood days, we used to believe that Santa will bring gifts for us and put them underneath our pillows. Many of us still believe it even today. Isn’t It?
The candles are lit by masses in front of God Jesus. Cakes are distributed among our loved ones. Christmas Day is often declared as a public holiday in many countries. Christmas is celebrated both by Christians and non-Christians. It is not only limited to Christianity. The tradition of gift-giving is a popular thing on the eve of Christmas. All the retail stores, flower shops, and gift stores start selling one week before the festival starts.
What is Christmas Eve?
Christmas Eve is the festival where everyone commemorates the birth of Jesus. Since tradition holds that Jesus was born at night, Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve to celebrate Jesus.
History of Christmas
Christmas mainly celebrates the birth of the Lord Jesus as we all know. There are four different gospels in the Bible that talk about the birth of the Lord Jesus. All the gospels describe a different part of Jesus’s birth.
The Gospels say that many years before the birth of Jesus, the prophets told the Jewish people that God would send them a Messiah who would help them to recover from their sufferings. Therefore, the Christians believe that the Messiah was no one else but Jesus himself.
Mother Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem as they had no house to stay in. His father Joseph gave the name Jesus to the baby as the angels said. The baby Jesus was visited by a lot of visitors who gave the little child lot of expensive gifts, incense, and a precious herb called myrrh.
All these parts of Christmas were remembered on 25th December (the day when Jesus was born) and celebrations used to take place all over the work to remember our long-gone Messiah ‘Jesus’.
Christmas Eve Colors!
Talking about the celebrations of Christmas Day, people used to wear Red colors on Christmas Day. But, did you know that the chief colors of Christmas are green and gold, including red?
The Red color symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ when he was suffering Crucifixion. Crucifixion is the process of capital forfeit where the sufferer is dragged and tied to a wooden rod-like structure and left as it is until the person dies of weariness. Jesus was also tortured in that same way and later he died of pain.
The Green color indicates lasting life just like an evergreen tree that does not shed its leaves even in winter.
The Gold color is related to the gifts given to Jesus by the Magi, the priests of Zoroastrianism. The gold color is a symbol of royalty.
Celebrations during Christmas
People often visit the church on Christmas Day and light candles in front of God Jesus. This is because of the belief that Jesus Christ is the leading light of the world. Carol service is one of the popular rituals that is celebrated in every church throughout the world where people light candles in front of the Lord Jesus and read the Bible.
Christmas is somewhat incomplete without a Christmas tree. People used to decorate their Christmas trees with candy canes, bells, stockings, candles, angels, and much more. The Christmas tree is the most attractive sight of Christmas Day.
Christmas dishes and gifts are one of the most valued attractions of the eve. People gift their loved person with precious presents and also delicious dishes were prepared for a dinner party which one enjoys with their family, relatives, and friends.
Christmas dishes from around the World
Bacalhau – Portugal
This dish is popular in Portugal. Bacalhau is considered a Christmas recipe and is the main dish of the Christmas season. The word bacalhau refers to salted and dried cod and the cod is made by boiling water with potatoes and vegetables. Bacalhau is often served with sweet potatoes, yams, and fresh bread.
The name Bacalhau has been given to three different types of fish i.e. Gadus morhua, Gadus macrocephalus, and Gadus ogac. These fishes are generally found in cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean and after being caught the fish is cleaned and dried over a period of nearly one year before it becomes edible.
Cappelletti in Brodo
Cappelletti is the main dish of Italy. During the festive season of Christmas, it is a must for Italians. Cappelletti is a small meat-filled pasta bonnet that resembles round dumplings. Dishes sprinkled with the flavor of cheese are served hot with wine. The preparation of this dish takes a little longer time than usual but it is not that difficult. Italians used to enjoy this dish much because it is a soupy dish that one can have during the winter season to beat the cold.
It is one of the main dishes of Britain. Christmas pudding is an important inclusion in the traditional Christmas meal. It is also known as Plum Pudding and it is a sweet and dried pudding traditionally served during Christmas dinner. The pudding consists of raisins, sugar, butter, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bread crumbs. The pudding is basically drizzled with brandy or rum and set on fire before serving.
The pudding can be eaten with sauce, cream, ice cream, or with sugar.
Hallacas is the center of food prepared during Christmas. It is one of the staple dishes of Venezuela. It has a different flavor, texture, and taste. The dish mainly consists of corn dough with stuffed beef, pork, or chicken along with other ingredients like raisins, onions, garlic, olives, and green peppers. Hallacas are culturally important to millions of Venezuelans.
Hallacas are wrapped in banana leaves and then boiled and cooked. It is a vegetarian dish and has lot of regional variants from Venezuela.
European countries have elaborate meal plans known as Julbords. It is one of the main dishes of Sweden and the Swedish people enjoy it with full love and grandeur. It is mainly a Christmas buffet that offers a variety of dishes including pickled herring, cold cuts, desserts, elaborate fish platters, and traditional drinks.
Julbords need a spacious place for a large number of dishes to accommodate and often people go to restaurants to have the mouth-watery dishes over there.
It is part of the main course during Christmas in Spain and Latin America. Lechon is mainly an entire roasted pig. The meat is cooked for a long period of time until it is tender and flavorsome. It is usually served with a gamut of veggies, sometimes almonds, and other sweet dishes.
Here, in this dish Pork is treated as the main Hero! As all the ingredients revolve around the roasted pig to give it a sublime flavor and make it perfect for consumption.
Famous Christmas Cakes from around the World
GALLETE DE ROIS
This cake is popularly served throughout France. It is mainly baked with almond paste. During Christmas people used to serve this pastry cake to their guests but it comes out to be the main recipe on New Year’s Eve. This cake largely celebrates the arrival of three wise men in Bethlehem.
Black forest cake is a spongy cake with lots of cherries served on the top and garnished with cream all around. It is one of the main cake dishes in Germany. It is decorated with lots of whipped cream, chocolate chips, and sometimes strawberries.
The name Black Forest has been derived from a liquor of that region known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch (Wasser). This liquor is basically made from tart cherries and because of this ingredient it gives the cake a cherry-like flavor.
Revani is a Turkish dessert present in their cuisine since the Ottoman empire. The name of the cake was given when the Ottomans conquered the city of Yerevan (now Armenia). Revani is a Persian name but is also used in Greek culture for a long time.
It is a simple dessert that is prepared by using Semolina sponge cake and a lot of light syrup.
Tres Leches is a Mexican dessert in which the main ingredient is Milk. This dish is known as Tres Leches because it has been prepared with 3 kinds of milk.
Once made the Tres Leches cake can be preserved for nearly three days as the topping of the cake is garnished with cream. It can be stored in a refrigerator and before serving you can add some berries or honey to it.
Dendee cake is an important dessert in the United Kingdom (UK). The cake is mainly baked with lots of almonds, cherries, sugar, eggs, and honey. The cake was popularly made and marketed in British India and also in independent India after 1947.
The focused ingredient of the cake is almonds as the topping of the cake is only decorated with them which makes it look quite yummy and delicious.
Panettone is an Italian sweet bread, especially from Milan and it is usually prepared during Christmas and New Year’s Eve to enjoy the delicious recipe along with other sweet dishes. The main ingredients used to bake this cake are flour, raisins, and candied fruits.
The word Panettone derives from the word Panetto which means a small slice of bread. The cake can be traced back to the origin of the Roman empire which enjoyed only sweetened cakes with honey.
Christmas, therefore, is celebrated with full grandeur and merry-making to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Jesus. On this day everyone exchange gifts with their families and relatives and also enjoy a grand party at home or a restaurant.