Published on December 13th, 2019 | by Sam Rose
Christmas Around The World – How Is It Celebrated?
At this time of year, it’s not just families in the UK who gather in order to celebrate Christmas! Join us as we provide an insight as to what Christmas around the world looks like!
Roast Turkey dinner.
All these things are what you would probably associate with Christmas and the Christmas season.
But you may be surprised to learn exactly how Christmas around the world in other countries is often marked or celebrated!
Take a look at a how just a few of these other countries prepare for the Christmas festivities!
Christmas Around the World
Can you imagine having Christmas during the Summer season?
Well believe it or not, that’s exactly what happens over in Australia.
Due to the festivities beginning during the summertime, it’s common for Australians to host a large BBQ or a beach party for the family rather than a sit-down Roast Turkey dinner!
The Christmas season in Australia is also highlighted by ‘Carols by Candlelight’, an event that gathers musicians both with amateur and professional backgrounds who play Christmas songs in most of the city centres and in the towns.
Due to Christmas being held in the searing heat of Summer, children are told that Santa doesn’t use his reindeer or wear his traditional outfit during Christmas time in Australia.
Instead, they are advised that he employs the use of six Kangaroos to navigate across the country instead and wears beachwear in order to adapt to the climate!
Our next country to celebrate things a little differently in our look at Christmas around the world is France.
The first main difference is that Christmas Eve in France is known as St. Nicholas Eve and takes place on the 5th of December, rather than the 24th of December.
Instead of leaving out stockings in order for Santa to leave presents in, children in France are said to leave their shoes outside during the night of December 5th, with the hope that they will wake up the next morning to the sight of them being filled with small gifts.
The season of Christmas also has a different name too, as many in France refer to it as ‘Noel’ and Santa Claus is referred to as ‘Pere Noel’.
In some parts of the country, families will bake something that has the traditional name of a ‘Three Kings Cake’.
It is said that the cake is baked with a bean inside, and whoever is lucky enough to find it is referred to as the ‘King’ or ‘Queen’ for the day!
Germany is known to be the birthplace of the Advent calendar and some also believe it to be where the Christmas Tree originated from too, with history linking it to being created in Germany during the Middle Ages.
Much like France, Germany also holds St. Nicholas Day on the 5th of December and the evening sees children leaving their boots and shoes outside of their house doors with the hope that Father Christmas will fill them with small presents and other treats.
The country of Germany also likes to celebrate Christmas through hosting outdoor Christmas Markets.
These are markets which have now become popular in other parts of the world and is where independent traders and towns folk will sell everything from traditional German food and drink to delicate glass ornaments and homemade Christmas decorations.
Children are told to watch out during Christmas time though however, as Father Christmas has been said to be accompanied by a figure named Black Peter – his purpose is to scare children that haven’t been behaving over the course of the year!
The story of the Nativity and Nativity scenes are known to be very important during Christmas time in Italy.
Much like in France (where scenes featuring figurines referred to as crèches are treasured by families), Nativity scenes and nativity themed ornaments are known to be passed down from generation to generation.
The theme of family continues to run through to Christmas Day, but unusually, their choice of meal is a little different than you might expect!
It is known that many Italians will avoid eating meats and cheeses the night before Christmas and even on the day itself!
Instead, families are expected to gather and consume a feast which is given the name of ‘Esta dei Sette Pesci’, meaning The Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Whilst we know a Yule Log to be a festive dessert here in the UK at Christmas time, some Italian families will burn a log of the same name on their fire on Christmas Eve, all the way through into the early New Year.
Not only does Italy celebrate Christmas Day, but they also mark Epiphany – traditionally told to be a night where the figure of Befana will bring presents for children who have hung a stocking over the fireplace.
Our last country we’re featuring in our look at Christmas around the world is Spain.
In Spain, the holiday of Christmas is celebrated by traditional families much earlier in the year on the 6th of January.
Those in Spain refer to this as the day that the Three Kings will come to present gifts to children, with the event being linked to the journey referred to in the nativity story of when the Three Wise Men traveled to see the baby Jesus.
More modern families in the country have come away from this tradition however, and instead celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, bringing up their children to believe that it is actually Papa Noel (Father Christmas) who will come to bring them gifts.
Perhaps bizarrely however, Christmas doesn’t just mark a season of gift giving for children – it also signifies the start of a countrywide lottery known as the Christmas Windfall!
Starting on the morning of the 22nd of December, numerous lottery winners are revealed throughout the course of the day, with the event being so popular that is broadcast on radios and television throughout the country!