As a Canadian I cherish all of the wonderful holiday traditions my
family has passed down from generation to generation.
In North America we have some pretty universal symbols of Christmas.
A Tree, Turkey Dinner and Santa Claus.
I love to travel and experience other parts of the world so I started wondering
what does Christmas look like in other countries? What are their traditions?
Santa Figure – Hoteiosho
Decorative Symbol – Not every home has a tree but there are
Christmas tree’s in the communities throughout the country.
They will also decorate with familiar items like garland and mistletoe.
Japan was introduced to Christmas by Christian Missionaries so it is now widely observed.
It’s less of a religious event but a time to spread happiness.
Food – Tamales
Santa Figure – Nativity Scene is much more common than a Santa-like figure
Decorative Symbol – A Poinsetta Flower
In Mexico Christmas is celebrated from December 12th to January 6th.
On Christmas Eve there is a tradition called Postada and it is a ritual of going
from home to home looking for shelter and being turned away until you end
up at the home that has the Nativity Scene and that is the home where the
Christmas festivities will take place. Church, fireworks and a
piñata are the common activities for celebration.
Food – Fish
Santa Figure – Babbo Natale
Decorative Symbol – The Nativity Scene is the more common symbol of Christmas
On Christmas Eve Italians eat a Fish meal and avoid other meat and dairy.
They then go to Church and come home to have Panettone an Italian Christmas Cake and Hot Chocolate.
Food – Roast turkey with chestnuts or roast goose, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison and cheeses.
Santa Figure – Pere Noel
Decorative Symbol – Nativity Scene & Yule Logs
Some parts of France have a tradition that they eat 13 different
types of Dessert ranging from fruit to nuts to pastries.
Food – Turkey stuffed with Truffle Mushrooms on Christmas Eve and Seafood on Christmas Day
Santa Figure – The Three Kings
Decorative Symbol – Nativity Scene
Christmas in Spain varies from region to region. Spain celebrates Epiphany.
Parades are a very common holiday tradition.
Food – Carp or Goose are often served for the main Christmas meal. Stollen is a popular fruited yeast bread that is eaten at Christmas.
Decorative Symbol – Christmas Tree & Advent Calendars
Germany has some of the worlds most elaborate Christmas markets
selling traditional blown glass ornaments and other Christmas items.
Food – A feast of Curries
Santa Figure – Father Christmas
Decorative Symbol – Decorated Mango or Banana Tree’s
In India it’ that only 2.5% of the country observes Christmas.
Because they have a population of 1 billion thats still 25 million people!
Food – WAS ~ A thick and spicy stew
Santa Figure – Yágena Abãt
Christmas in Ethiopia is celebrated on January 7th.
They also take part in a 43 day fast leading up to Christmas where one vegan
meal is served per day. Gift giving isn’t a common part of Ethiopian
Christmas traditions. It is said that one of the wisemen was
from Ethiopia so he is widely celebrated.
Food – BBQ
Santa Figure – Santa & His Six White Boomers
Decorative Symbol – Christmas Tree & Wreaths
Christmas is toward the end of the summer in Australia so it
is a time to be with family outdoors. Many families have
bonfires and try to make sure they are home and together.