Le Cordon Bleu Logo

Christmas traditions in the world

The students of Le Cordon Bleu Paris tell us about the Christmas traditions and end of the year celebrations in their country.

Felipe Altermatt Noël Chili

Felipe Altermatt dive us in Christmas magic in Santiago de Chile

I come from Santiago de Chile. South America. We celebrate Christmas, is probably the best holiday of the year with our national day on September 18.

We are in summer during Christmas so the weather is very nice. All the stores, main streets, houses and parks get ready to receive Santa Claus or Viejito Pascuero as we call him in Chile.

The families join for a special dinner during the night of the 24 of December, usually each member brings something for the dinner, so there is a lot of food usally. Turkey is the classic guest for this type of event, but we also like to cook a lot of salads, ceviche that is raw fish cooked in lemon juice and differents desserts. It basically a banquet and every year is different.

Gifts are delivered by Santa at 12 am on the 25 and 20 min before midnight all the kids go out to search for Santa in the streets. When they return from there quest all the presents are all ready next to the Christmas Tree. The Magic of Santa.

Specific culinary tradition could be a cake that is call Pan de Pascua.  it is a cake made from batter,it is similar to a sweet sponge cake flavored with ginger and honey. It usually contains candied fruits, raisins, walnuts and almonds. Pan de Pascua was originally introduced to Chile by German immigrants, the Chilean version combines characteristics of the German Stollen and the Italian Pandoro.
There is also a drink that is very popular during this festive season name Cola de Mono, i know that sound very funny but it is similar to a White Russian. It contains mainly Schnapps, milk, sugar, coffe and cloves.

But in my family we do like more the Pisco Sour that is also a very popular drink that is used for every great festive season. The base is Pisco, a liquor and the cocktail term sour in reference to sour citrus juice and sweetener components.

Felipe, Restaurant Management Diploma student

Danielle Imperato États Unis

A Christmas feast in the United States with Danielle Imperato

I'm from the United States and we do indeed celebrate Christmas in my family, it's a very big deal!
My family is Italian-American, so we celebrate Christmas Eve with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. This means a meal complete with 7 (or more!) types of seafood.  We start with an appetizer of caponata mixed with tuna.  Then we have a course of clams and mussels.  The main dish is a seafood pasta.  Sometimes we change this from year to year, but we have a mix of shrimp, squid (calamari), and fish.  By dessert, we're usually so full that we snack on nuts, fruit, and some small Christmas cookies that my mom makes.  This is one of my favorite nights of the whole year!

Danielle, Cuisine Diploma student

Akshat Nautiyal, Diwali en IndeAkshat Nautiyal, Christmas or Diwali in India?

I come from India. We have more than 5 major religions in our country and Christianity is one of them. However Christianity prevails only in some parts of the country and is not so prominent in the northern part where I come from. It is indeed a national holiday as India is a secular country.

However India being a majority Hindu country we consider "diwali" as our main festival. During this time we celebrate by going to our family relatives and praying to God and then we have dinner... During this day we don't eat meat but we eat a lot of Indian sweets... For example.. "Jalebi" "Kaju katli" “Halwa” and others.

Akshat, student of the Bachelor of Business in International Hospitality Management

Naniko Kldiashvili, joyeux Noël GeorgieNaniko Kldiashvili, Mery Christmas from Georgia

I come from Georgia, Tbilisi (city).
In my country Christmas is celebrated 7th of January, because of the Georgian Orthodox Church, they use the old "Julian" calendar.

People in Georgia celebrate Christmas Day with activities such as having a family dinner, attending a Christmas liturgy and visiting relatives and friends. There is a 40-day Lent preceding Christmas Day, when practicing Christians do not eat any meat. The Lent period ends with the first star in the night sky on January 6 – a symbol of Jesus Christ's birth. Many Orthodox Christians go to the church to attend a Christmas liturgy that evening. On Christmas Day, many people will go on a 'Alilo', a parade in the streets. They are dressed in special cloths and costumes to celebrate Christmas.

There are lots of culinary Traditions for the New Years and Christmas Table, which we call "Supra". As I already mentioned above, The Lent Period for the Christian Orthodox countries finishes on 6th of January, which means that people can eat all sorts of kind of meat and dairy products. One of the most special Christmas dish in Georgia would be Christmas "Gvezeli" which is made from Pastry, cheese and eggs. Each part of the country of course adapted its own way of making "Gvezeli" and serve them alongside many other Georgian dishes.

Naniko, Grand Diplôme student