Christmas in Latvia: Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is the highlight of the Christmas season. Latvians enjoy an elaborate dinner on this day, usually featuring roast pork, sausage, bacon, or even pig’s head (see also boar’s head). Another prominent dish, a barley mash called koca, kukis, or kikas, gave rise to a Latvian nickname for Christmas Eve, which may be referred to as "Kukis Evening.” Other typical Christmas Eve dishes include beans, peas, sauerkraut, beer, gingerbread, cookies, and fruit. Some say that the beans and peas became midwinter favorites because their round shape symbolized the longed-for sun. After dinner Latvians exchange their Christmas presents. In some homes Father Christmas arrives in time to distribute gifts and ask the children how well they have behaved during the year.