Winter dishes in Estonia tend to be hearty and filling in order to provide energy and warmth in the cold weather. The food served at a Christmas dinner is no exception, and staples include verivorst (blood sausage), sült (jellied head cheese), hapukapsas (sauerkraut), oven-roasted potatoes, and pork. Special Christmas bread is baked along with gingerbread, often an activity for the whole family. Apples and mandarin oranges are also enjoyed as Christmas treats.
Christmas Dinner Traditions
The Christmas meal itself, eaten on Christmas Eve or the night of Christmas, is an important family event originating from pagan times. There were to be seven, nine or twelve servings of food to bring good luck and plenty for next year's harvest. Food was to remain on the table all night long, and it was forbidden to peek under the table, for this was a sacred place where spirits dwelled and any food dropped was left there.
Christmas Dish Recipes