Fun and Unique Christmas Traditions from Around the World
While Christmas is celebrated all across the globe, countries celebrate the occasion quite differently. A number celebrate the event as a religious holiday while it’s more of a commercial appeal for others. That said, here’s a look at the fun and unique Xmas traditions in other countries:
Although only about 1% of those in China are Christians, Christmas is widely celebrated in the country albeit in a more commercial manner. While those in the West celebrate by spending time in with family, people in China go out and spend time with friends – they watch movies, sing karaoke or go shopping. Couples, on the other hand, treat the occasion as a romantic holiday and hit ice skating rinks and amusement parks.
The celebration of Christmas in the country is a legacy left by Europeans. This is a day when people go home to their villages to celebrate with their families. Usually, the day starts out with a religious service – especially in areas with a strong missionary influence. In other areas, the day is marked by merrymaking. Music also plays a big part in the celebration: people put speakers outside their home and blast their favourite tunes, be it holiday songs or traditional African music.
KFC is a big part of Japan’s Christmas tradition. On Christmas Eve, lots of people line up at various KFC branches to get their Christmas menu. Like China, only a few of the population are Christian but nonetheless, the occasion is still celebrated, just differently.
Saint Nick may allegedly hail from the country and while he receives tons of letters, people actually celebrate the occasion by spending time with their loved ones. While the home is the usual celebration spot, it’s not unusual for families to book a village or cottage in the countryside. Just like other Christmas traditions around the world, food plays a central role with pork roast being the main dish. At the end of celebrations, a sauna is had to relax the body.
Being a multicultural country, the festivities bear heavy ethnic influences. Since Brazil was a former Portuguese colony, it retains some of the Christmas customs of its former master. Among these is the creation of a nativity scene which is displayed in houses and churches.
On Christmas Eve, children go from house to house singing kalanda, which is the equivalent of Christmas carols. Rituals also figure significantly in a Greek Christmas. One of the most well-known is displaying a wooden bowl with a wire suspended over it; the wire has a cross wrapped in a spring of basil. The cross is dipped into holy water and sprinkled around the house to keep mischievous spirits (killantzaroi) away.
It’s tradition to display the Nativity scene until the 2nd of February (La Chandeleur), which is forty days after Christmas. At midnight on Christmas day, families eat a special meal together. On 6 December, children wake up to find their shoes filled with treats; those who have been naughty will find a bundle of twigs tied by a ribbon.
Feel free to add a comment...