COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS: Day 2 of 7
CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD
It’s no surprise that all around the world people are gearing up for Christmas, what might be a surprise is how they celebrate it! Everywhere you go, Christmas is celebrated differently and traditions are different. What sparked this post for me is when I remembered that the southern hemisphere of the world is having summer right now, so Christmas is associated with summer for them! Super weird to me, but to them, a cold Christmas is weird!
Here are how some nations across the world celebrate Christmas
For Australians, Christmas comes at the beginning of summer holidays! Schools are out from mid December to February. People spend Christmas time outside, camping, around a fire, at the beach, barbecuing, etc. People still use trees and lights to decorate. Santa doesn’t use reindeer here, he’s said to use kangaroos!
Brazilians celebrate Christmas much like the UK and US, except that it’s really hot around Christmas. Nativity scenes are set up across churches and front yards. Most people go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, followed by a fireworks display, and then some go to church again Christmas afternoon. Christmas plays are also popular.
Like many Asian countries, Chinese families don’t really celebrate Christmas because the Christian population is very small, however, Christmas decorations and lights can be seen all around big cities. For American and European tourists, there are usually decorations set up, especially around tourist filled shops and areas.
In Costa Rica, Christmas comes at the end of the school year and start of summer vacation. Apples are popular around this time. After Midnight Mass, the main Christmas meal is eaten. There are tons of fiestas, parades, bull runs, dancings & singing, and street parties leading up to Christmas.
In Ethiopia they still use the old Julian calendar, so they celebrate Christmas January 7th! A lot of Eastern European countries are this way! Many people do a special Advent fast where they eat basically vegan for 43 days before Christmas. People wear traditional white garments and go to mass Christmas Eve from about 6 PM to 3 AM Christmas Day.
In France, a nativity scene is often used to decorate the house. French nativity scenes also include butchers, bakers, policemen, and priests sometimes. One of the biggest Christmas markets in Europe is in North Eastern France!
In Ghana, Christmas is celebrated from the 20th of December to the first week of January. December is the start of the cocoa harvest in Ghana, so theres plenty of chocolate! On Christmas Day, churches are very full. People dress in traditional colorful clothes and bring traditional foods for a Christmas feast.
In the Soviet Union days, Christmas was not celebrated much because no religious holiday was and New Year was the big thing. Now, Christmas is still much smaller and quieter than New Year. New Year is when people spend lots of money, gather, feast, and drink. Christmas, which is January 7th, is celebrated differently depending on family, but it’s not a big deal to many.
Christmas in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada are all similiar, and probably what most of us are used to. Christmas is a very important time in these cultures and similiar ones, the streets and homes are decorated inside and out. There are light displays and ice skating alll over town. People spend this time with family. Since there’s a huge mix of cultures in these nations, Christmas Eve and Day are different for everyone. Some people go to church, some party, some just gather with family.
I really hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I enjoyed writing it! My eyes are so open now to how different Christmas is for everyone, I hope you feel the same!! I hope we feel equally enlightened. How do you celebrate Christmas??
Thank you so much for reading, please check out more posts, and I’ll see you tomorrow for my next one!!