In our journey we will arive in Malaysia. Although Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are the main religions in Vietnam many people converted to Christianity during the French colonial era. Christmas in Malaysia is celebrated next to the three important events: the Wesag day (Buddha’s birthday), the start of the luna year and the mid-autumn feast.
Most people eat a hot chicken soup on Christmas Eve, whereas on the table of the wealthy stuffed duck and a Western style Christmas pudding are served.
The Philippines are the only mostly Christian country in this part of the world. Christmas is announced on Christmas Eve with loud fireworks. On December 16th the inhabitants of the islands get up at 4am to go to the mass. During the following days groups of young people go from town to town to perform scenes from the life of Christ and to play music on handmade instruments. A highlight of the Christmas ceremony is the big procession with laterns made of colored shells which are carried through the streets.
Most people cannot afford a real evergreen tree for Christmas. Therefore a lot of Christmas trees are made of colored branches of different sizes. On December 25th Christmas is celebrated. After a festive midnight mass people linger home and enjoy the starry sky.
The women (and hopefully also a few men) spend the day preparing a large buffet that is called Noche Buena, „the good night“. It consists of chicken, rice soup, egg rolls, fish stuffed with ham, noodle dishes, fruits and many desserts. One of the most popular is Bibingka, pancakes made of rice flour, cheese and eggs. The pancakes are served on banana leaves, and are decorated with coconut and brown sugar. The dessert is enjoyed with ginger tea.
The recipe from Malaysia
- 90 g spelt or white wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar or more
- 1 pint of salt
- 2 eggs
- 200ml milk
- butter to fry
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 100 g whole cane sugar
- 40g coconut flakes
- confectioners’ sugar
- For the batter mix flour, sugar, salt, egg and milk well. Let rest for 30 minutes.
- In a nonstick frying pan bake in little butter 8 very thin pancakes.
- Preheat oven to 200 °C . Grease baking pan.
- For the filling melt butter on medium heat with whole cane sugar and mix constantly. Add coconut flakes and let simmer on low heat till the mixture is almost dry.
- Coat the pancakes with the coconut filling, wrap on two sides and finish as a packages. Set the packages in greased baking pan, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Heat the pancakes up in 200 °C for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Quelle: Christmas cooking Hanne Kruse Fonaverlag