Christmas is celebrated around the world with a lot of joy and fervour. Every year on December 25, Christians gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. While an elaborate Christmas feast is an important part of the celebrations, within each culture, you’ll find a plethora of traditions, customs, and rituals that revolve around food.
No celebration is complete without special foods, especially desserts. This is the case with Christmas too. From plum cakes to pies and puddings, a variety of sweet meats are prepared to celebrate this special occasion. Each household has their own way of welcoming Jesus Christ to this world, be it the Panettone Cake of the Italians or the Stolen Cake of the Germans.
One such tradition that has been practised for ages is the Finnish Rice Porridge. In this Scandanavian nation, Christmas morning kickstarts with a sweet rice pudding, called Riisipuuro, that is served for breakfast. A cross between a pudding and a porridge, the dish doubles up as a dessert too on many occasions. The uniqueness of the rice porridge lies in the fact that the rice is slow-cooked over medium heat and steamed well before being served.
Another interesting aspect about this holiday breakfast dish is that sugar is not added to the porridge while it is being cooked. Instead, the sugar granules are sprinkled on top of the bowl so that you have a sweet crunch while digging into it. Moreover, people also turn it into a fruity treat by adding fruit broth to the bowl. But the lingering question is what makes it so special for Christmas?
The Significance Of This Tradition
Riisipuuro is made with rice and milk and topped with some butter and cinnamon for flavour. However, an important element that is added to the bowl before serving it is an almond. The nut is carefully placed in the centre of the bowl, in such a way that the porridge covers it entirely.
Now when it is served for breakfast, everyone is eyeing each other to see who finds the hidden almond first. It is said that whoever gets the almond can make a special wish, which will be granted. Another belief states that finding the almond is a sign that the person will have good fortune. And we saved the best one for the last, which links this tradition to getting married in the near future.
It is believed that whoever finds it first has a chance of getting married sometime soon after time. Which one of them really holds true, we’d never know but what we do know is that this rice porridge is worth every bite. Apart from attracting good luck and good fortune, it also comes packed with a delicious taste and is a perfect Christmas breakfast that will keep you warm through the cold days ahead.