Christmas traditions in Belgium are an interesting amalgamation of Dutch and French. Flemish and Walloon are two major languages in this European country that are spoken by the natives. In Flemish Christmas is called 'Vrolijk Kerstfeest' while in Walloon i.e. the French version, this festival is called 'Djoyeus Noye'.
The Myths of St Nicholas and Pere Noel:
It is because of these two separate cultures there are two Santa Clauses in Belgium. Kids and even adults welcome St Nicholas and Pere Noel. St Nick comes on December 6th, as this is his birthday and he has nothing to do with Christmas. Children wait for this mythological man and expect gifts from him just like kids wait for Santa’s gift in Yule. Traditions say St Nick visits those who speak in Waloon. Pere Noel on the other hand visits kids who speak French. According to myths, he comes with his friend Pere Fouettard in search of good kids and would distribute chocolates, candies and toys to kids.
Special Yule Belgium Cuisine:
Christmas special meals are prepared in almost all households. To begin with most people begin with a drink that is either an aperitif or nibbles. Traditionally and even today revelers prefer seafood as starters. They like baked fish, oysters, squids and variety of fish gourmet besides prawns and crabs. In the main course, an age old tradition of sharing stuffed turkey is followed among friends and family members. In dessert Kerststronk in Flemish and la buche de Noel in Walloon are traditional recipes. These are specially prepared cream rolls filled with butter creams and melted chocolates.
This is how the two cultures follow their own traditions and customs while celebrating Christmas in Belgium.