The World of Christmas Traditions

The World of Christmas Traditions

Tatiana Osoblivaia


Language and Culture


The World of Christmas Traditions

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... or isn't it? Throughout the world, the way that people celebrate Christmas varies widely. From Feasts of Seven Fishes to KFC dinners, no two Christmases are alike. In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the most unusual Christmas traditions from around the globe and see how they compare to our holiday celebrations. Who knows, you might find a new tradition for your family.


Christmas in Japan

Did you know that Santa Claus is known as "Santa Kurohsu" in Japan? And instead of coming down the chimney, he comes through the front door! On Christmas Eve, children leave their shoes out so that Santa can deliver presents to them. Popular gifts for kids include apples, mandarin oranges, and Nintendo video games. Adults, on the other hand, instead of receiving gifts from their families, prefer to receive donations to charities on their loved one's behalf.

Japanese families generally don't exchange gifts until New Year's Day, but they do enjoy celebratory meals and often attend special church services on December 25th. In Japan, popular Christmas foods include fried chicken and strawberry shortcakes.

Fun Fact: approximative less than 1% of the population in Japan is Christian, yet Christmas is still widely celebrated throughout the country.


Christmas in Germany

If you thought your family had a lot of holiday traditions, wait until you hear about German Christmas celebrations! Families in Germany set up Advent calendars and Nativity scenes called Weihnachtspyramiden (literally translated to "Christmas pyramids") in early December. They also enjoy baked goods like gingerbread cookies and stollen (a fruitcake). And on Christmas Eve, it's customary for children to leave their shoes out so that the Christkind (a baby angel who delivers presents) can fill them with goodies overnight.


Christmas in Italy - The Feast of Seven Fishes

If you're Italian (or married to an Italian), then you know that the Feast of Seven Fishes is a large part of Christmas Eve celebrations. This meal usually consists of seven different seafood dishes and lasts for hours. While the origins of this Feast are unknown, there are several theories about how it started.

One theory suggests that the meal originated to honor Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. Another theory posits that the meal was originally just a light evening meal served before attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. No matter its origins, the Feast of Seven Fishes has become a big part of Italian-American culture and is something many people look forward to every year.


Christmas in Australia and New Zealand (Christmas Down Under)

In Australia and New Zealand, where it's summertime during December, people enjoy barbecues and picnics on Christmas Day. That's right—brisket and shrimp salad instead of roast beef and plum pudding! In Australia, where it is summertime during December, Santa is riding his sleigh pulled by six kangaroos instead of reindeer. Families like to go to the beach, play cricket, or participate in other outdoor activities. As for Santa Claus, since it's so hot down under, he ditches his heavy coat for light clothing like shorts and a t-shirt. And instead of leaving socks for presents by the fireplace, Australian children put outside a shoe or boot for it.

Fun Fact: The world's largest outdoor Nativity scene is located in Gatton, Australia, and features over 500 figurines.


Christmas in Norway

In Norway, one popular Christmas tradition before going to bed on Christmas Eve is hiding all the brooms one can find in the house. According to Norwegian folklore, this prevents mischievous witches from stealing them.

Fun Fact: Norway produces more than half of the world's supply of fake snow.


Christmas in Peru

In Peru, Nativity scenes are called "pesebres" and are often very large and elaborate. One popular tradition is making a "baby Jesus" out of candy which children then get to eat on Christmas Day. Fun Fact: More than 70% of Peru's population is Catholic.

No matter where you celebrate Christmas or how you choose to do it, the important thing is that you're surrounded by loved ones and make happy memories together. From our team at translation company PoliLingua, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Whatever you need to translate, no matter what language, our multilingual team is ready to offer professional translating solutions for every occasion.




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