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This traditional soup is the first thing that comes to mind when Catalans think of holiday meals. We then throw in enormous macaroni-type noodles, as well as a heaping load of meat and vegetables. It can be served one of two ways.

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Primarily as a two-course meal with the meat and vegetables followed by the broth. Alternatively, it can also be served all at once.

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This is how most Catalan families eat it on Christmas day. This stuff is incredible and not to be missed at Christmas time, or anytime for that matter!

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This is without a doubt our favorite Catalan Christmas food! This is a nougat bar made of honey, egg whites, sugar and almonds, and you will see it everywhere throughout the holiday season and in some cases, all year-round!

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Rolled wafer cookies are another big part of Christmas time in Barcelona. They usually come after a big meal, with a glass of cava , and are used to dip in the cava. Crunchy and with a hint of lemon, these cylindrical wafers were supposedly invented by a nun who was interrupted while making communion crackers.

In fact, there are so many typical Catalan Christmas sweets, that the list is endless! Want to know more about traditional Catalan food? Join our lovely guide Raquel as she visits one of our favorite authentic restaurants in the beautiful neighborhood of Gracia. Everyone has their own Christmas Eve traditions , whether it's making cookies to leave out for Santa or having a feast that lasts until the early hours of Christmas Day.

Read on to see how much Christmas Eve traditions differ and take inspiration from countries across the globe. Most churches also hold candlight services or midnight mass , which often include reenactments of the Nativity.

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Others only open one and save the rest for Christmas Day. According to Great British Chefs, traditionally, the meal consisted of meats butchered and prepared months ahead before winter, and today, Nova Scotian-lobster and scallops have been added to the menu. The fast typically lasts until after evening service or when the stars come out.

After the fast, some might eat a traditional Russian dish called kutya. Kutya consists of grains, honey, and poppy seeds, shared from the same bowl to symbolize unity. No meat is allowed. Oftentimes, a house blessing is also part of the Christmas Eve tradition — a priest will sprinkle holy water in each room and pray for everyone to have a safe and blessed year. But as in many other countries, they'll also often attend a church service or midnight mass.


The broadcast consists of a reading of nine Bible passages interspersed between modern and ancient hymns. In Spain, Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena. As part of the celebration, many families have a huge meal together that typically centers around turkey, lamb, or seafood. Catholics in Spain then might attend midnight mass, or Misa del Gallo, to celebrate the birth of Jesus with music consisting of guitars, hand drums, and tambourines. The traditional dinner includes a meat such as duck or goose, as well as side dishes like foie gras and oysters.

A huge seafood and pasta dinner is tradition for Italians on Christmas Eve , and celebrates the vigil before the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. The time between St. Martin's Day on November 11 to Christmas Eve on December 24 was traditionally a time of fasting in Christianity , so German families ate something simple. According to China Daily , sales volume on Christmas Eve is its highest for the whole year.

Christmas apples wrapped in cellophane are a popular holiday gift in China , which is said to be because the word "apple" sounds similar to "Christmas Eve" in Mandarin. Whereas many picture Christmas as a cozy, snowy holiday, Australians experience Christmas in the middle of summer. Australians often have cold Christmas dinners , and on Christmas Eve, fish markets are packed with people hoping to stock up on seafood before the holiday. Apparently pavlova is also a must as a Christmas dessert.

Beginning on December 16, children in Mexico go door-to-door asking if there's a symbolic "room at the inn," and on Christmas Eve, they are invited in to celebrate.