The View National Express Autumn 2017 - 93

Y U LS EL TU IGD EH EF A
ED
A ISNT G
S ◆

Epiphany
on 6 January is
another day of revelry
in Greece, with festivals
across the land boasting
music, dancing and
more food.

WORDS: Trish Lesslie

GREECE
On Christmas Eve, children
traditionally go out singing
'kalanda' (or carols), playing drums
and triangles as they sing. The kids
may also carry model boats decorated
with nuts which are painted gold,
an ancient custom hailing from the
Greek Islands. It's also customary to
give the carol-singing children money
as well as nuts, sweets and dried figs.
Greek families tuck into lamb or
pork for their main Christmas meal.
It's usually roasted served with a
spinach and cheese pie and various
vegetables. Loaves of Christopsomo
(which translates as Christ's Bread)
is made on Christmas Eve. The
round, sweet bread is flavoured with
cinnamon, orange and cloves.
Other seasonal foods include
baklava, a sweet pastry made of
filo pastry filled with chopped nuts
and sweetened with syrup or honey,
kataifi, a pastry made from a special
form of shredded filo dough and
flavoured with nuts and cinnamon,
and theeples, a kind of fried pastry.
In Greece, New Year's Day is also
the feast day of St Vasilis (or St Basil),
as well as the day when presents are
traditionally opened.

ACROSS
THE GLOBE
JAPAN

Although Christmas Day isn't an
official holiday in Japan, there is
a surprising seasonal tradition.
After hearing of Western expats
turning to bargain buckets when
they were unable to source
a turkey in Tokyo, fast-food
chain KFC launched a clever
marketing campaign in the
70s to convince the Japanese
that Christmas and fried
chicken are inextricably linked.
Popularising the idea with the
slogan 'Kentucky for Christmas!',
people queue for a festive
bucket on 25 December, served
with Champagne and cake.

AUSTRALIA

While many Australians enjoy
traditional British Christmas
fare on the big day, a picnic or
barbecue in the garden or on
the beach are just as popular
Down Under - not surprising
considering the holiday falls in
the middle of the Antipodean
summer. There's usually a
Pavlova for dessert or Christmas
pudding. Back in the days of the
gold rush, a gold nugget was
often hidden inside the pudding
instead of a coin.

PUERTO RICO

The national festive dish is roast
suckling pig known as lechón.
Its cooking process needs the
constant attention of at least
two people, slowly turning the
beast on an outdoor spit. A
coconut shell full of coquito
helps: a festive Puerto Rican
spin on eggnog made with
coconut milk, condensed milk
and a hearty dash of rum.

93



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