Christmas in Europe: 2021 in Faro
After a year’s interruption due to the pandemic, the 28th edition of ‘Christmas in Europe’, a meeting organised by the AEHT (European Association of Hotel and Tourism Schools), was able to take place from 1st to 5th December 2021 in Portugal, in the Algarve region. On this occasion, the Faro School of Hospitality and Tourism welcomed 13 delegations, i.e. some sixty young people and their teachers, from various European countries such as the Netherlands, Russia, Slovenia and Latvia. Among them was a delegation from the EHTL made up of four students and two teachers who made an honour of representing Luxembourg’s customs and traditions in a dignified manner during this festive period. Throughout the programme, the procession, stands, buffets and performances were an opportunity to share the culture and gastronomic specialities of the four corners of Europe, in a spirit of discovery and mutual enrichment. It was like taking a long journey and coming together in one place. The list given by Martine DAHM, EHTL cookery teacher, gives an overview of the typical Luxembourg dishes that visitors and participants had the opportunity to discover: Riesling pâté, Kachkéis, Kniddelen mat Speck, Ierbsebulli, Mettwurscht, Fierkelsgelli. On the sweet side, Thierry VEZAIN, pastry teacher, mentions the caramelised apple crumble, the Mont-Blanc and the orange and mulled wine Yule log. A profusion of specialities representative of different European regions, but without excess. Indeed, the spirit of Christmas, made up of generosity, sharing and benevolence, also requires that we think of the most needy. Therefore, all waste is avoided, if only out of respect for the food. Fabiena, one of the involved and deserving EHTL students who was able to take part in the adventure, describes the experience with enthusiasm: “The meetings, the gastronomy, the conviviality, the folklore, the costumes, the gala dinner, I enjoyed everything. Not to mention the beautiful region we had the opportunity to visit: I particularly enjoyed our boat trip to the island of Farol. The Algarve, renowned for its 300 days of sunshine a year, offered glorious weather to the participants who were able to explore the old town of Faro, the cliffs of Lagos and the fort of Sagres to the west; and to the east: Vila Real de Santo António, where the largest Nativity scene in Portugal is displayed, with no less than 5,600 figures!