Christmas Around the World

Worldwide, Christmas is a time of celebration and festivity. The way in which cultures around the world celebrate is unique and diverse. Many customs are common, but some are unique and individual to the countries and parts of the world in which they celebrate.

Here are just a few of the unique ways that people celebrate around the world. This is not a complete list, as that would take days, this is just a few facts that you may not know about Christmas around the world.

In Japan, Christmas is a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration. It is considered to be a romantic day, much like we have in North America on Valentine’s day. What has become a treat to many Japanese families as their Christmas meal: a bucket of KFC fried chicken.   

In Croatia, locals celebrate Christmas with an Advent wreath made of straw or evergreen. The wreath has four differently colored candles that symbolize hope, peace, joy, and love. Children make sure their boots are clean and placed at the window for St. Nicholas to fill with treats.

In Australia, Christmas is really in the middle of their summer,so locals will frequently choose to celebrate Christmas with a lunchtime barbecue on the beach.Friends and family gather to indulge in in a large festive meal before participating in a game of cricket or taking a dip in the warm ocean waters.

In Argentina, the celebrations are loud, like a firecracker! On Christmas Eve after a late dinner, fireworks are lit just after midnight.  Some people continue the festivities late into the night and many into the next day. For children,families often light paper lanterns and send them into the night sky on Christmas Eve.

What does Christmas in the Caribbean look like? Well, in Jamaica it is a time of non-stop celebrating with festivals, shopping and more. Most towns host a Grand Market, a community fair packed with food vendors, crafts, and music. Jamaicans also drink a sweet ginger drink called sorrel and of course, no holiday is completed without a rum-soaked fruit cake.


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