Tis’ the season to be jolly! The festive season is well and truly underway which means it’s time to start thinking about what dishes you will be serving for your Christmas feast, or better yet, where you will be going for your Christmas lunch. We have one essential thing to say – a Lebanese feast at a restaurant for Christmas day 2019 is the only way to celebrate this beautiful occasion.
Lebanese tradition and cuisine are boastful of love, joy and flavoursome food. The festive season also boasts similar characteristics, encouraging people to come together and share the love over an abundance of food. If you haven’t experienced a Lebanese feast for Christmas, we encourage 2019 to be the year to do so! Whether you are going to prepare yourself at home or visit a restaurant that is open on Christmas day, you can’t go wrong with Lebanese cuisine – here’s why.
Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is:
We can all agree that everyone loves the holiday season for numerous reasons – but the one reason we can all agree on is food. Lebanese food is the perfect way to celebrate your Christmas celebrations, especially when it comes to ‘mezza’. With so many choices to select from, Lebanese mezza is a sight for sore eyes and a definite crowd-pleaser. Whether you are visiting a Lebanese restaurant in Parramatta for Christmas or are going to host lunch at dinner at your place, we have a few suggestions that you should include. Some of our favourites and must-haves include:
- baba ghannouj,
- vine leaves,
- kibbeh naye and
In true Lebanese tradition, there must always be something on the table to eat. The great thing about these mezza options is that most of them can stay on the table, leaving people to snack on them throughout the festivities.
Christmas’ in Sydney means rolling out the barbeque or having a couple of bottles of beer with your food. A traditional main course option is the chicken, lamb or kafta skewers paired with a variety of mezza options, as mentioned above. Another popular Christmas option is the chicken mansaf, which is a spiced risotto with herb-roasted nuts and a minted, yoghurt sauce. There is no strict rule on what you should serve or eat during this time. However, many traditional Lebanese families like to stick to the classics.
The festive season calls for a Lebanese sugar hit. Many families also like to bake Lebanese Christmas cookies or semolina slices in the shapes of Christmas ornaments, adding to the Christmas cheer. One traditional Christmas Lebanese dessert is called meghleh – cinnamon and rice pudding, topped with nuts and coconut.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
- Dabke: this traditional dance is performed throughout the whole year but in particular Christmas time. The dabke requires friends and family members to join hands in a circle or semi-circle and stamp their feet in time to traditional music. A lot of the time, families perform the dabke together during festive holidays as a way of celebrating and having fun. The dabke is passed down throughout history and from generation to generation, performed in almost every Lebanese household.
- Feast: as mentioned above, a feast is a must and a hallmark of Lebanese culture. Serving an abundance of delicious food during the festive season is just the normal thing to do. During this period, families fill their tables with a range of traditional dishes and mezza where family and friends sit around and indulge the whole day!
- Baba Noël: in Lebanon, Santa Claus is commonly referred to as Baba or Papa Noël – a throwback to Lebanon’s French cultural influence. The ‘Santa Claus’ in Lebanon does not travel down the chimney and leave presents for children when they are asleep, rather they come through the front door and greet children in person. This is a Lebanese tradition that many families still partake in.