Travel Inspiration

Christmas around the World

Merry X-Mas to all of my Readers – enjoy the time with your family and beloved ones! I'd like to use this post to show you how different this special time of the year is celebrated in a few different countries. For this i'm glad to found some friends of mine that were willing to write a few lines about the typical traditions in their country.

1) Germany – by Linda from Flensburg

Christmas Tree © by dimodi
In Germany, we celebrate Christmas at the 24th of December which is a usual working day. Nonetheless, most of the day is packed with last preparations like driving home, buying last-minute-gifts or preparing dinner. In the (late) afternoon, lots of people go to church – even those who never do so during the rest of the year. Afterwards, the whole family meets up in the living room which is dominated by a decorated Christmas-tree. The main attractions of the evening are gift giving and a big dinner – which could either be sausages and potato salad, canard with red cabbage, fish or something completely different. Later that night, especially young people take the advantage of being back home to catch up with some old friends at a pub.
The 25th and 26th of December are public holidays that are mainly used for meeting up with family members and eating loads of delicious, home-made food.

2) Norway – by Petrine from Oslo

IMG_0127 © by jansolve
In Norway, Christmas morning (24.) usually starts out with the classic “Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel”, where an elderly man does all the voices (no wonder dubbing was never popular in Norway). Most of us, no matter how unchristian and secularized we usually are, go to church this day, because it is “cozy” (allthough “boring” is probably a more suiting expression). For lunch we eat “Christmas grout”, rice boiled in milk, served with sugar, cinnamon and a dash of butter. We also add one peeled almond in the grout, and whoever gets this wins a marzipan pig. What people eat for dinner varies, but it tends to be a hassle to make and very unhealthy. I suspect the only reason people like these christmas dishes, is that we only get them once a year, thank God for that. Some time after dinner, the present opening session begins, a session that was a lot more fun when i was 8. After this, the grown ups usually get drunk. This part was a bit traumatic when I was 8, but is the best part now.

3) Chile – by Tilo from Germany (expat for 2 years in Concepcion) & Claudia from Concepcion

Plaza de armas / Santiago © by krebsmaus07
Basicly christmas time in Chile is similar to most western traditions. Santa Claus is dressed in red and can be recognized by his long white beard and a big present bag. Strange for me was to celebrate Christmas in summer time. Local malls are playing songs about sledging through winter landscapes, building snowmen and people all around you are wearing shorts and shirt enjoying temperatures of 25 degrees and more. Due to summer season people spend the time on the beach or the family comes together for a tasty BBQ. Boxing day is on december 24th on midnight. Children of the neighbourhood inmediately meet to show each other what the “Viejo Pascuero” brought. The usual artificial chrismas tree is decorated on the first days of december and will be kept until january. Only the 25th is an official holiday in Chile.

4) Japan – by Richi from Tokyo

[email protected] Midtown © by cytech
In Japan, we celebrate all kinds of traditional festivals. For religious people, it might seem strange, but there is a reason.
Although we have buddism, there is no majority religion – the majority is: without any religion ;)

So, Christmas is more for the children and the lovers, and we celebrate them not only because of the christianity, but just to enjoy the romantic atmosphere(in my opinion). The roads are filled with decorated trees and couples. On the christmas eve, the restaurants and hotels are full and the next morning children recieve gifts from santaclaus!

5) Mexico – by Diego from Xalapa

Julljus © by Jonas N
In Mèxico there are a lot a diferen kinds to celebrate Christmas party. Basically, the way is always the same like other “popular parties”: meet your family and eat as much as you can. Habitual drinks are “ponche”, wine and beers; but, whatever, Christmas party isn't so new year party.

About food, well, that depends to each family. Someone, bread.. someone, nothng..just like latinoamerica ;)

6) USA – by Jessica from New Work

Rockafeller Tree © by LabyrinthX
American holiday traditions, like American culture itself, is a mashup of customs and practices from around the world. Instead of having both Sinter Klaas and Saint Nicholas, we have just one jolly fellow called Santa Claus. He embodies the spirit of giving, and brings presents to all the children who were good that year (naughty ones receive coal instead of presents!). Santa rides a sleigh that is drawn by eight tiny reindeer, and Rudolph – the most famous reindeer of all – leads the way because he has a red nose that is so bright.
On Christmas Eve, children leave a plate of cookies for Santa to snack on and sometimes (as in my family) a few carrots for the reindeer as well. On Christmas morning, people gather with their families to eat a huge feast, open presents that were left under the tree by Santa, then fall asleep watching movies like “It's A Wonderful Life.”

Thanks to all Guestwriters – merry xmas!

What's your favourite christmas tradition?

Share your opinions with the readers by adding a comment!

Featured Image taken from Flickr by Affiliate.


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