Hi my lovely readers!
Christmas is around the corner and I am certainly thinking about Christmas lunch already. I am spending Christmas in the UK this year for the first time alone with my partner. Normally, I would be in Germany or my parents would be here, but this is not possible this year.
Still, I am determined to make it a nice festive period and enjoy Christmas to the fullest as it is my favourite time of the year.
So, I was thinking of what to cook for Christmas lunch and I started to think about traditions. And one tradition popped into my mind, besides going to the Christmas Market, that my grandparents are living up to until this day – having potato salad and Vienna sausage (Wiener Würstchen) for Christmas dinner.
There are different Christmas traditions and a lot of people eat different things for Christmas dinner. My other grandparents always had carp every year, some eat goose and my parents always made a different roast each year including boar, pheasant, duck and so on.
WHERE DOES THIS TRADITION COME FROM?
Well, you might think that potato salad is not really a festive meal. I would totally agree. I actually have potato salad as a side dish when I have a BBQ. It is very popular in the summer, but for Christmas?
The tradition dates back to the war time, most likely WWII. People did not have much money back then and of course meat was expensive. Many people could not afford a piece of meat to make a roast and indulge in fancy veggies.
Food rations were in place and often you could not get what you wanted either because it was simply not available, you could not afford it or there was too little of it. People had to get creative with what they could afford and get and use simple ingredients to still make a dish that could fill hungry bellies on Christmas day.
My grandma told me once that the first time she saw a kiwi, she thought it was a different type of potato. This was around the 1960s in Berlin. That shows you how rare certain foods were, which we take for granted now as they are available whenever we want them.
Other people say it is a Christian tradition linked to the fasting period from St Martin’s Day on 11 November until 24 December. Therefore, a simple and easy meal should be served.
No matter where this tradition comes from, it is a Christmas tradition that is celebrated by many Germans across the country and apparently many other European countries year after year, too.
What are some Christmas traditions in your country? I would love to know.