christmas around the world

Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Living in the UK, we celebrate Christmas by putting our trees up and decorating our homes in December, kids get excited at the thought of Santa Clause coming on Christmas Eve (24th December) and if they are well behaved, Santa will have left them a pile of presents on Christmas morning.

How we celebrate is not necessarily how other countries celebrate Christmas.

Here, we look at how Christmas is celebrated across the world.

Christmas In Belgium

On the sixth of December, people in Belgium celebrate saint nicholas, which is a different holiday to Christmas. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Day (25th December. De Kerstman or Le Père Noël, as Santa Claus is known in Belgium, does bring presents for the children.

Christmas morning is celebrated by eating a sweet bread, called ‘cougnou’ or ‘cougnolle’ the shape of which is supposedly similar to the shape of baby Jesus.

Brazil’s Traditions At Christmas

Christmas in Brazil is usually hot and sunny. Father Christmas is referred to as “Papai Noel” and their traditions are similar to us here in the UK. People who can afford to, celebrate with Chicken, Turkey or Ham and is served with beer. Tree’s are decorated.

For poorer people in Brazil, Christmas trees are plastic, and for some are just a long branch from a tree which is decorated with cotton wool to resemble snow. They will eat Chicken, rice and beans, but will also drink Beer.

A Traditional Finnish Christmas.

A traditional Finnish Christmas is very special. They believe santa claus lives in the North of Finland and people from all over the world write to Finland to contact Santa Clause.

In Finland, people clean their homes ready for the three Holy days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day. On Christmas eve, people eat porridge followed by a soup made of fruits. They will then decorate a spruce tree at home. At midday the Christmas peace declaration is broadcasted on radio and TV from the Finnish city of Turku by its Mayor. In the evening, a traditional christmas dinner is eaten which consists of stews and casseroles. Once this has finished, people then go to church and the graveyard. After all of this, families then share their presents with each other, as father christmas arrives while they are out.

France, Germany, Hungary & Romania

In France, Germany, Hungary and Romania, they all share a very similar Christmas tradition.

Children must clean and polish their shoes, and place them either next to their door or next to their window. In these shoes, small red bags will be placed inside them which will be filled with small goodies, such as pens and sweeties.

Some of these countries also have a tradition that has a small golden stick placed next to their shoes if they have misbehaved throughout the year. Don’t worry though this is simply for humour and not for real punishment!

Canada & The United States

Both in Canada & America, their Christmas traditions are typically similar to the UK. They celebrate with Santa Clause and with an extravagent meal on Christmas Day. However, for many canadians and americans, they originate from different countries, such as Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and Italy. Therefore many celebrate in the way their relatives and ancestors would.

For the main part however, Christmas is straightforward in both Canada & America. They have Christmas parades where crowds gather to watch christmas characters pass them by and cheer when they throw small gifts to the children. Many put their Christmas trees up very early. Once thanksgiving is by with, many people put their tree’s up and decorate their homes for the festive season.

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