The holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness, and Christmas is a festival that brings people closer, irrespective of their geographical or cultural differences. But how is Christmas celebrated in various parts of the world? This article takes you on a global tour of Christmas customs and traditions that make this holiday so universally beloved yet uniquely celebrated.
The United States: The Melting Pot of Traditions
In the U.S., Christmas is a blend of traditions from various cultures. From the German Christmas tree to the British Christmas carols, the holiday is a true melting pot of customs.
Mexico: Las Posadas
In Mexico, the nine days leading up to Christmas are celebrated with “Las Posadas,” a series of processions that reenact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter.
Australia: A Sunny Christmas
While most of the world associates Christmas with winter, Australians celebrate it in the summer. Beach parties and barbecues are common ways to celebrate Christmas Down Under.
Japan: A Kentucky Fried Christmas
In Japan, where Christmas is not a national holiday, it has become a tradition for many to eat KFC on Christmas Eve, thanks to a successful marketing campaign.
Ethiopia: Following the Julian Calendar
In Ethiopia, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, following the Julian calendar. The day is marked by special church services and a game similar to hockey called “Genna.”
Italy: La Befana the Christmas Witch
In Italy, children await the arrival of La Befana, a kind witch who brings gifts on the night of January 5th, known as Epiphany Eve.
Philippines: The Longest Christmas Season
The Philippines boasts the longest Christmas season, starting as early as September. The “Simbang Gabi” or Night Mass is a significant event leading up to Christmas Day.
Sweden: The Feast of St. Lucia
In Sweden, December 13th marks the Feast of St. Lucia. Young girls dress in white gowns and red sashes, carrying candles to symbolize the light of Christ.
The beauty of Christmas lies in its universal appeal, yet the festival takes on unique forms and meanings in different cultures. Whether it’s the serene church services in Ethiopia or the lively beach parties in Australia, the spirit of Christmas is celebrated in countless beautiful ways around the globe. So this holiday season, let’s embrace the diversity that makes Christmas truly special. 🌍🎄🎅