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In numbers: Christmas dinner around the world

A feast of seven fishes or a bucket of KFC? Christmas meals around the world range from the traditional to the downright quirky

Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:40 BST
Photograph by Getty


The date of the oldest known recipe for glühwein, German mulled wine. It was found in the State Archives in Dresden.


The number of days Christmas desserts are left on the table in Provence. There are 13 of them, representing Jesus and the 12 apostles, while the three days represent the Holy Trinity.


The percentage of Danes who eat andesteg (roast duck) on Christmas Eve. The second most popular dish is roast pork, followed by turkey.

3.6 million

The number of families that eat KFC on Christmas day in Japan, a tradition established following a major marketing campaign in the 1970s.


The number of fish dishes in the Italian-American Christmas Eve tradition, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, usually featuring salt cod.

10 million

The number of turkeys consumed in the UK last Christmas.

23 December

The last day of Christmas fasting in Iceland, when fermented skate is served; many people eat out to avoid filling their homes with the pungent smell.


The number of dishes served for the Polish Christmas Eve dinner, representing the months of the year. No meat is allowed; festive foods include baked carp.

Read our latest cover story: Winter warmers: 18 hearty dishes from around the world.

Published in Issue 3 of National Geographic Traveller Food.

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