Christmas Dinner around the Globe

To get you in the mood for the festive season, all4ielts has devised some reading practice on Christmas dining traditions around the world with some true, false and not given statements.

True / False / Not Given

 1.      In England, families always have a big festive meal together on Christmas Eve ___.

 2.      Roast Turkey is eaten by around three quarters of UK households at Christmas time ___.

 3.      In eastern Europe, people traditionally do not eat animal products in the run-up to Christmas ___.

 4.      In Poland, people only eat roast carp on Christmas Eve ___.

 5.      KFC first brought the idea of Christmas to Japan in the 1950s ___.

 6.      At Christmas time in Japan KFC restaurants serve a special dish - Kentucky Fried Turkey ___.


The Festive Fish

Across central and eastern Europe people eat their main festive meal on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day and the centrepiece of this meal is carp, a large river fish.

 In the lead up to the holiday, people from Poland to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and eastern parts of Germany buy a carp and keep it in the bath until Christmas Eve.

Meat and dairy products are forbidden during the long fast that precedes Christmas in this region. In Roman Catholic tradition, fish forms the last big meal of the fast period after which people can once again eat meat.

Carp became the most popular Christmas fish because it was easy to keep in the village pond. Unlike the Anglo-Saxon Christmas turkey, which is usually roasted, there are many different ways in which Polish people cook their festive carp. It can be roasted whole, cut into steaks and fried with onions or braised in a creamy almond sauce.


Turkey and Trimmings

In England families gather together on Christmas Day to eat a big dinner consisting of roast meat with all the trimmings such as roast potatoes, parsnips, sprouts, stuffing and gravy. Since the 1950s turkey has been the most popular choice for the festive feast.

In the UK, the majority of families (76%) serve up a succulent roast turkey as the centre piece of their festive meal at Christmas. Some 10 million turkeys are eaten by UK households at this time of the year.

Before turkey took over the Christmas dinner table, other birds such as geese, ducks or pheasants were popular. Vegetarians will often have a nut roast in place of turkey, served with all the trimmings.

This meal is followed by Christmas Pudding, a concoction of dried fruits and brandy – by tradition, a silver coin was placed in the pudding and the person who got the coin in their serving would have good luck for the coming year.


Kentucky Fried Christmas

Japan, where less than 1 % of the population is Christian, has a surprising Christmas dining tradition. The festive season in Japan is not complete without a visit to KFC, yes you read that right – since the 1970s the Japanese have been eating Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken to get in the festive mood.

 KFC introduced the concept of Christmas to the land of the rising sun in 1974 via an advertising campaign which urged people to eat its fried chicken as a seasonal treat. The campaign was a huge success and the Colonel can be spotted dressed as Santa Claus greeting customers to Japan’s KFC restaurants over the Christmas period.

 The chicken eating tradition has become so popular that you’ll need to book a table months in advance to be sure of getting your fill of fried chicken, followed by a Christmas sponge cake covered in cream and strawberries - another seasonal treat in Tokyo and beyond.



Picture taken from here  


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