Favored city of great civilizations and empires,
Istanbul at certain seasons is the scene of festivities
among the many religious communities that make up
her rich cultural mosaic. December is the month
when Catholics and Orthodox Christians celebrate
one of their two most important holidays, Christmas.
Christmas in Istanbul is celebrated differently
by the Greek Orthodox, the Armenian Orthodox and
the Armenian Catholics.
NEW YEAR’S EVE DINNER
We learn about Christmas dishes prepared by Istanbul’s
Greek Orthodox community from Sula Bozis’s
book, Istanbul Lezzetleri. Istanbul Greeks begin
their Christmas preparations far in advance. The
principal feast is on New Year’s Eve, when
both hot and cold ‘mezze’ appetizers
are customary. Those that can be made outside the
home are procured from special shops in Galata and
The most interesting among them incorporate the
Cappadocian-style Anatolian ‘pastrami’
popular especially with Turks and Armenians.