Hello! We all know about our typical habits for Christmas, but what about the other countries? Let’s take a look!
The United Kingdom
In Great Britain, families often celebrate Christmas together. Most towns and cities are decorated with lights. Children believe that Father Christmas or Santa Claus leaves presents in stockings or pillow-cases and they also write letters to Santa/Father Christmas listing their requests. Very popular dessert is the Christmas pudding. Did you know that one tale says that the pudding should be made with 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his followers?
Children have their summer holidays from middle December to early February, so some people might even go camping during Christmas. It’s not uncommon that outside on the Christmas Eve is about 30°C. Santa Claus often goes to the beaches and he gives people gifts.
Many of the traditions and celebrations come from France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Norway and Ukraina. Similarly to us they send Christmas cards to their friends and family. Canadians like to decorate their houses with Christmas trees, lights and other decorations. There are often Christmas stockings hung by the fireplace, ready for Santa.
Italians always have a living Christmas tree and they open presents around midnight on the 24th of December. One old Italian custom is that children go out to sing carols and to play songs.
In Poland on the Christmas Eve they only have vegetarian food and in many families they put on the table another set of cultery if someone comes. Based on a legend they believe that on the 24th and 25th of December animals can talk.
Turkey, seafood and many popular sweet desserts all this must not be missing at Christmas dinner. After the midnight service, one old tradition was for people to walk through the streets carrying torches, playing guitars and beating on tambourines and drums.
A big part of the Christmas celebrations in Germany is Advent. Several different types of Advent calendars are used in German homes. Christmas trees are very important in Germany. They were used in Germany for the first time during the late Middle Ages. If there are young children in the house, the trees are usually secretly decorated by the mother of the family.
Christmas it’s always a quieter and smaller holiday in Russia after the big New Year celebrations. New Year is the biggest time for spending lots of money and a lot of drinking and eating. Christmas is much more religious and private. New Year is also when ‚Grandfather Frost‘ (known in Russia as ‚Ded Moroz‘) brings presents to children.
After holy mass the whole family celebrates Christmas, they also invite homeless and lonely people to celebrate with them. Children will not get their presents until the 6th of January.
Only about one percent of the people are Christians, so most people only know a few things about Christmas. In China Santa Claus is called ‚Shen Dan Lao Ren‘. Children make colorful paper ornaments which are part of the decorations. Celebration also involve good food and giving presents to each other.
Christmas has been widely celebrated in Japan only for the last few decades. In Japan, Christmas is known as more of a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration. They have priest called „Hoteiosha“ who gives children presents. One of the traditions is having a Kentucky fried chicken.
People celebrate Christmas by throwing confetti, taking pictures and enjoying the Christmas decorations and lights of the big hotels and department stores. Lots of cafes and restaurants are open for people to enjoy a snack!
Thanks for reading! Have a great holiday.
Author: Tímea Hoangová 1.C