Christmas celebrations from across the globe
Mexico~ Christmas trees are becoming more popular in Mexico, but the main, most important decoration is still the Nacimiento (Nativity Scene).
Norway~ Christmas Eve is the time when presents are exchanged. The gifts are sometimes brought by Santa Claus (called ‘Julenissen’ in Norway). Presents are also brought by the small gnomes called ‘Nisse’.
China~ Christmas is not that widely celebrated in the rural areas of China, but it’s becoming better known. Only about 1% of people are Christians, so most people only know a few things about Christmas. Because of this, Christmas is only often celebrated in major cities.
Germany~ Christmas Eve is the main day when Germans exchange presents with their families. Children write to ‘das Christkind/Christkindl’ asking for presents. The letters to Christkind are decorated with sugar glued on the envelope to make them sparkly and attractive. Children leave the letters on the windowsill at the beginning of or during Advent.
Italy~ The Christmas celebrations start eight days before Christmas with special ‘Novenas’ or a series of prayers and church services. On Christmas Eve, it’s common that no meat (and also sometimes no dairy) is eaten. Often a light seafood meal is eaten and then people go to the Midnight Mass service. The types of fish and how they are served vary between different regions in Italy.
America~ People in America like to decorate the outsides of their houses with lights and sometimes even statues of Santa Claus, Snowmen and Reindeer. The United States of America has many different traditions and ways that people celebrate Christmas, because of its multi-cultural nature.
Japan~ It is not seen as a religious holiday or celebration as there aren’t many Christians in Japan. In Japan, Christmas in known as more of a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration. Christmas Eve is often celebrated more than Christmas Day.
Morocco~ Generally the New Year and Christmas celebrations are not celebrated with the same splendor as other festivities of Morocco. Christmas in Morocco is not widely celebrated, as they are Muslim not Christian. People in Morocco do not habitually participate in the festive spirit of Christmas.
United Kingdom~ Children write letters to Father Christmas (Santa) listing their requests, but sometimes instead of putting them in the mail/post, the letters are tossed into the fireplace. The draught carries the letters up the chimney and Father Christmas/Santa reads the smoke. COOL!
Canada~ Midnight mass is the central celebration of French Canadians on Xmas eve, where they display a nativity scene beneath a Christmas tree. After the mass, the family has a huge banquet as part of the Christmas traditions of Canada. Gift-giving occurs on New Year’s Day. The traditions centered on Christmas gifts in Canada vary a lot between families. In some families, Santa Claus brings gifts; he travels on a sleigh pulled by reindeer, enters homes via the chimney and leaves presents and candy in Christmas stockings or in a pile under the Christmas tree. In other families, individual members exchange carefully selected gifts.
Every country has its own way of celebrating or not celebrating Christmas. I celebrate with my immediate and extended family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Merry CHRISTmas to all and to all a phenomenal New Year!