For example: In France, many families prepare a banquet of seven savoury courses and 13 desserts (symbolising Jesus and his 12 disciples).

Among the most popular desserts is nougat with honey and pistachio, fritters called fougasse and pumpkin pie.

In Japan, Christmas Eve is considered a romantic day, in which couples enjoy an evening together while single people go to parties in the hope of finding the love of their lives.

In Mexico, Christmas celebrations begin nine days early.

Every evening from December 16, many Mexican families organise Las Posadas, a religious celebration in which it’s customary to break the piñata, a papier-mâché container filled with lollies and candied fruit.

In Poland, Christmas Eve is called the Wigilia, and no food is eaten until the first star appears in the sky.

Italy is no exception: in the Belpaese, Christmas Eve dinner is always based on seafood.

Here is a menu to enjoy on the evening of the 24th.


You can’t go wrong with our recipe for egg and shrimp canapés – they’re a bite-sized slice of heaven.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something light and fresh for your summer celebrations, you can try our prawn and avocado salad.

First course

Pasta is a traditional first course for Italians, so why not follow suit?

This recipe for spaghetti with sea urchins will be sure to surprise and impress guests.

Main course

For a refined and tasty main course, serve up tuna with green polenta.


Duchess potatoes are a classic side dish that go well with any main.

Pretty as a picture, these potato bites will be snapped up quickly!


For a fresh and fruity end to your meal, try this recipe for mandarin cake.

This fluffy treat will go down perfectly with an espresso.