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Christmas Turkey or Ham

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  • Christmas Turkey or Ham

    Here it has always been ham, probably due to the Scandinavian Yule boar tradition. However, I know some Anglo-Saxons prefer turkey on Christmas. Does anyone know the tradition behind the Christmas turkey?

    http://www.orkneyjar.com/tradition/yule/yule4.htm

    "Pork is a traditional Yule dish in Norway - probably a reminder of the time when the boar, an animal sacred to Freyr, the Norse god of Yule and fertility, was sacrificed at Yule and its flesh eaten as part of the feast.

    Being the sacred animal of Freyr, the boar has always had a strong association with Yule and represented the spirit of abundance and prosperity. Its sacrifice at the darkest time of the year was thought to help to ensure bountiful crops the following harvest.

    It is also possible that the boar represented the sun.

    In Scandinavian myth, Freyr possessed a magical gold boar named Gullinbursti (Golden Bristles). This creature was able to run as fast as any steed and glowed with a golden light that could drive away shadow and turn night into day.

    The solar attributes of this incredible beast, created by the dwarfs Brokk and Eitri, are clear. The midwinter sacrifice of a boar could also be seen to symbolise the death of the old sun, and the rebirth of the new.

    The boar also had a role in the swearing of sacred oaths.

    On Yule Eve, the best boar in the herd was brought into the hall where the assembled company laid their hands upon the animal and made their unbreakable oaths. Heard by the boar, these oaths were thought to go straight to the ears of Freyr himself.

    Once the oaths had been sworn, the boar was sacrificed in the name of Freyr and the feast of boar flesh began.

    The most commonly recognised remnants of the sacred boar traditions once common at Yule has to be the serving of the boar's head at later Christmas feasts."

  • #2
    Honeybaked Ham is the best

    I'd say pork is the standard fare across the Germanic and Celtic tribes. Look at how important the boar is within Celtic cultures too. York is ancient town that is named after pork (okay, boar).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Eki
      However, I know some Anglo-Saxons prefer turkey on Christmas. "
      Us Anglo Saxons (or part Anglo Saxons ) love turkey...it's the most common meat eaten here now (infact all over Britain) but goose was the most popular years ago, pre 1950's. The poor things would have tar put on their feet so they didn't get sore as they travelled long distances to towns to be sold! This method dates back at least a thousand years.
      Last edited by burto; 17 December 2006, 01:42 PM.

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      • #4
        We always had Ham when I was young. Baked, glazed, hot or cold. Turkey has become popular lately.
        Seafood is also very popular, as its summer down here. Prawns, Crayfish (lobster), Marron, Bugs etc...

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        • #5
          NorthAmerica's Turkey

          I'm an American, been here over 150 years, I believe-even if I'm Euro Breed I don't actually live in Europe and do all the traditions they do-as Americans have their own traditions. We were told(through history books) that the People dwelling in North America at the time of the Anglo-Saxons arrival showed them how to find FOOD on the land like CORN,which was never seen in Europe,and TURKEY POULTRY, which I believe wasn't in Europe either but GOOSE is. North America's Turkey is a bird found on the land as GOOSE is found in Europe. The dictionary says "Turkey is a large North American gallinaceous bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that is domesticated in most parts of the world". GALLINACEOUS means an order of heavy bodied birds,largely land dwelling,including PHEASANTS,TURKEYS,GROUSE,AND THE COMMON DOMESTIC FOWL. So says the Collegiate Dictionary I looked in.Americans eat it to commerate their arrival on the continent of North America,plus the bird has lots of meat and is very tasty-it isn't usually eaten all year round whole-so it is a feast food.

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          • #6
            Ham

            In the US Ham tends to be picnic food to me though it is increasingly being eaten for the Years End Holidays.But it seems common,cause you can get a ham any ol' time but not easily a Turkey.As for animal activists ,why is it OK to kill a pig but not a Turkey?? Life is Life ,no matter what form. I eat meat and veggies,so I'm gonna get my Turkey as I did for ThanksGiving which is the American Holiday commerating the English arrival from Britain.They were grateful for the food they had acquired including the big North American bird,locals had shown them how to get ,the story goes. I'm not a big porker myself though I tried ham,pork chops,pork roast,and shrimps. I'm still a Beef and Poultry person. Roast Pork was tasty but mild flavored AND CAUSES LOTS OF PHLEGM,Ham is basically tasteless to me and so is shrimp which tasted like nothing but cigarette butts to me which is great if you are a big cigarette smoker,but I ain't. I don't lust for Turkey but is seems like a nice reward for a weary family,which is how we all tend to feel at the end of the year,so we look forward to it.Turkey and lamb are seasonal here only for holidays mainly,but ham is available all year-it isn't thought of as only Holiday food.
            Last edited by Jambalaia32; 19 December 2006, 02:21 AM. Reason: Misspelled

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            • #7
              All true All true though I get off subject

              Originally posted by burto
              Us Anglo Saxons (or part Anglo Saxons ) love turkey...it's the most common meat eaten here now (infact all over Britain) but goose was the most popular years ago, pre 1950's. The poor things would have tar put on their feet so they didn't get sore as they travelled long distances to towns to be sold! This method dates back at least a thousand years.
              You're right I find that to sound accurate as word of mouth goes.The people from Scandanavia and Germany can't understand why any Germanic/half-Germanic type person would eat anything but pork.But they should realize that we do have different countries,destinies,circumstances, and acquired and preferred tastes.Also I don't think Scandanavis has land to have cows on,neither does ROCKY, SMALL, GREECE for that matter-I think they drink wine instead of milk because grapes can grow easier there,not to mention Racial Phenotype differences or taste preferences or nutritional needs which people tend to overlook.I think British people's liquor is Gin-my granddad drank it and I drank some of his -we both like it.I like Dutchy fruit BrandySchnapps too,and sweet muscat(grape variety) Champagne.But I don't drink it instead of milk like the Greeks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Eki
                Here it has always been ham, probably due to the Scandinavian Yule boar tradition. However, I know some Anglo-Saxons prefer turkey on Christmas. Does anyone know the tradition behind the Christmas turkey?

                http://www.orkneyjar.com/tradition/yule/yule4.htm

                "Pork is a traditional Yule dish in Norway - probably a reminder of the time when the boar, an animal sacred to Freyr, the Norse god of Yule and fertility, was sacrificed at Yule and its flesh eaten as part of the feast.

                Being the sacred animal of Freyr, the boar has always had a strong association with Yule and represented the spirit of abundance and prosperity. Its sacrifice at the darkest time of the year was thought to help to ensure bountiful crops the following harvest.

                It is also possible that the boar represented the sun.

                In Scandinavian myth, Freyr possessed a magical gold boar named Gullinbursti (Golden Bristles). This creature was able to run as fast as any steed and glowed with a golden light that could drive away shadow and turn night into day.

                The solar attributes of this incredible beast, created by the dwarfs Brokk and Eitri, are clear. The midwinter sacrifice of a boar could also be seen to symbolise the death of the old sun, and the rebirth of the new.

                The boar also had a role in the swearing of sacred oaths.

                On Yule Eve, the best boar in the herd was brought into the hall where the assembled company laid their hands upon the animal and made their unbreakable oaths. Heard by the boar, these oaths were thought to go straight to the ears of Freyr himself.

                Once the oaths had been sworn, the boar was sacrificed in the name of Freyr and the feast of boar flesh began.

                The most commonly recognised remnants of the sacred boar traditions once common at Yule has to be the serving of the boar's head at later Christmas feasts."
                DOESN'T NITE TURN INTO DAY NATURALLY? OR DOES IT STAY RATHER DARK UP THERE IN FINLAND? AN ENCYCLOPEDIA SHOWED IT WAS PITCHBLACK AT NOON THERE,WITH LOTS OF SNOW, BUT PRETTY.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jambalaia32
                  DOESN'T NITE TURN INTO DAY NATURALLY?
                  Of course it does. But the length of the day depends on the time of the year and the latitude. In northernmost Finland, sun doesn't set at all in mid-summer or rise in mid-winter.

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                  • #10
                    No one escapes.

                    In our family, it is turkey, roast beef and ham, no one escapes. My family loves food!
                    Maria

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                    • #11
                      Christmas turkey

                      This is what I found on the history of Christmas turkey:

                      "From the time of the ancient Egyptians, goose was the main course of Winter Solstice feasts. Henry VIII of England is credited with replacing goose with turkey, which is more meaty & flavorful. Turkeys were first introduced to Europe in 1519 by the Spanish, who learned of turkeys from the Aztecs (who domesticated the birds). Fruit from an exotic American plant -- the cranberry -- was also added to Christmas dinners."

                      http://www.benbest.com/history/xmas.html

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                      • #12
                        Are we limited to these choices?

                        I personally am not picky and like both equally, but I prefer to splurge a little around the holidays and have a New York strip and rock lobster tail! Does that have anything to do with being I1a?!

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                        • #13
                          Christmas in Finland??

                          I'm thinking to myself Do people in Finland even celebrate Christmas ? I figure we all assume they do. Maybe their yule pork has nothing to do with the American version of Christmas as we know it. And why we eat Turkey - "cause it available, it's fat , it's juicy,i t was on the land when we got here and it's good. That's why. Jambalaia32

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                          • #14
                            Beer and Gumbo for Christmas!!!

                            Originally posted by Paul_Sheats
                            I personally am not picky and like both equally, but I prefer to splurge a little around the holidays and have a New York strip and rock lobster tail! Does that have anything to do with being I1a?!
                            You can eat anything you want anytime you want.You can eat scallops,asparagus,potato salad, and frenchFrys for Christmas if you want, with mint,pumpkin cheesecake and pineapple Waldorf salad for dessert and wash it down with beer or champagne...if you want,I mean it's your holiday and your belly...but Turkay is the Tradition. I'm eatin' Turkey leftovers-Turkey a la King-with Whitesauce,cream mushroom soup,red and green peppers,and Turkey served over rice or noodles, recommended by my cousin.

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