Christmas Around the World


Christmas is a very popular holiday. However, not everybody celebrates the same way. Christmas is a great way to learn about other cultures and how they celebrate. Around the world, many people celebrate in many ways, and here are some of the ways I found most interesting.

In Japan, they have only very recently started celebrating Christmas. They don’t see it as a religious holiday but more of a day to spread cheer and joy. They celebrate by going out to eat or ordering in. Many people even eat KFC.

In Poland, they start their Christmas Dinner by sharing the Oplatek. This is a small wafer that has the nativity scene on it. They pass it around each taking a small piece and eating it together as a family after sharing a season greeting. Some people even let their pets have some of the Oplatek.

In Slovakia, they celebrate by eating carp. Instead of buying from the market, they let it live in the bathtub for a few days. They do this because they feel that the scale brings luck for the next year.

In Greece, they decorate not only Christmas Trees but also boats. They do this to celebrate the men coming home from their sea voyages. King Otto decorated the first Christmas tree in 1833 next to a large boat that was also decorated. Many cities still decorate boats as well as trees.

In Germany, they do their shopping way cooler than we do. Many Christmas markets appear all over and they sell many handmade gifts made by merchants. They also sell wine and bratwurst to snack on while shopping.

In Singapore, they also set up Christmas displays but they go all out with it. They set up some of the most celebrated displays with so many sparkling lights!

Advent calendars originally started in Switzerland. They go a little further than we do though, as some parents make the calendars and build up to Christmas with the biggest gift coming Christmas Eve.

In Iceland, they have two unique ways of celebrating that I think so so cool. On Christmas eve they give books and chocolate so that people can stay up late reading and snacking! They also have 13 different Sants that visit each house that has different qualities. While everyone is in their rooms reading the Santa’s come and leaves gifts but they leave them in the child’s shoe if they leave them on the window seal.

As you can see other cultures celebrate in many different ways but in the end, it all comes down to celebrating family and friends.