Christmas Around the World

The great thing about Christmas is that all countries and cultures have different ways of celebrating it! There is no standard way to celebrate Christmas, and the possibilites are endless!

From traditional Christmas decorations to modern and quirky ideas, Christmas is definitely a time to be creative and imaginative.

Here we present to you Christmas Around the World…a quick look at how different places celebrate Christmas.

Christmas in JAPAN:

Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, but Christmas traditions have become very popular in the last few years!

The traditional Japanese Christmas food is the Christmas cake, usually made of sponge cake, strawberries and whipped cream. Traditionally, the father of the family buys this cake on his way home from work on the night of the 24th.

In recent years, Christmas dinner has traditionally come to be a KFC dinner! KFC Japan´s Christmas marketing campaign has come to be a staple, and many Japanese families believe that Westerners enjoy a KFC meal for Christmas dinner as well!

Christmas in BRAZIL:

In Brazil, Papai Noel comes all the way from Greenland to bring the children presents, wearing silk clothing due to the summer heat! 

Christmas dinner normally includes ham, turkey, colored rice, vegetables and fruit.

People deocrate their homes with nativity scenes, or presépio, and fresh flowers from the garden. It is normal to have fireworks in the skies and huge ‘Christmas trees’ of electric lights in the big cities, such as Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo.

Christmas in RUSSIA:

In Russia, Christmas is usually celebrated on January 7th. Some people fast on Christmas Eve and don’t eat until the first star has appeared in the sky.

The New Years celebration is sometimes considered more important than Christmas. This is when ‘Father Frost’ comes to bring presents to children. He is always accompanied by his Granddaughter.

Christmas in SPAIN:

During Christmas, most people in Spain go to midnight mass on the evening of the 24th.

December 28th is the ‘Dia de los Inocentes’, which is very much like April Fool’s day in the UK or the USA.

On New Year’s Eve, or Nochevieja, it is tradition to eat 12 grapes with each chime of the clock.

Instead of opening presents on Christmas day, it is tradition to open them on January 6, or ‘Fiesta de los Tres Reyes Mages’ (The three Kings). The Three Kings bring the children presents, and the night before, children leave out a glass of cognac for each king and some water for the camels. In Madrid, they hold a parade for the Three Kings.

Christmas in the PHILIPPINES:

Christmas is the most important holiday in the Philippines. Filipinos celebrate with a mixture of Western traditions (American, English, Spanish), but retain many old Filipino traditions as well.

On the night of the 24th, it is traditional to attend a midnight mass, followed by a midnight feast, called Noche Buena (like in Spain).

It is normal to decorate with Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and figurines of Santa Claus, because he brings presents to the children on Christmas day. However, the most popular Filipino Christmas decorations are ‘parols’, lighted star lanters that can be seen everywhere during the holiday season.

Christmas in JAMAICA:

Jamaicans consider Christmas to be a very special time, and play Christmas carols on the radio throughout the season.

Many people paint their houses and hang new curtains and decorations up.

Jamaican red wine and rum fruitcake is traditional and eaten in most homes. The fruits are soaked in rum and red wine for months before Christmas!

Do you have any countries you would like to add? Post in the comments below your own Christmas traditions!!

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