As the Christmas season approaches around the world, people will begin reflecting on their lives, show gratitude for their blessings, and demonstrate their love for those close to them by giving them gifts. The only issue here is that this is what we in America tend to do.
Although there are certain aspects of our version of Christmas around the world, it is by no means the only version. Therefore, the following includes a list of countries from around the world and how they celebrate Christmas each year.
The United Kingdom
As one of the closest nations to the United States (in terms of history), many people are curious if anything is different across the pond. The answer to that is not much. Since Christianity is very similar to that which is practiced in the United States, much of the traditions are the same. The Christmas tradition was actually not celebrated in the UK for many years until Prince Albert suggested celebrating the holiday after taking a trip to Germany.
Contrary to popular belief, Japan does actually celebrate Christmas. However, it should be noted that the tradition is fairly new to the land of the rising sun. Because there are not too many Christians on the island, Christmas is celebrated as more of a fun holiday than anything else. A similarity to the U.S includes presenting gifts to your loved ones on Christmas day. However, Christmas eve is actually taken much more seriously, and it is often reserved for your significant other rather than your family.
Remaining in Europe, Spain is another country many are curious about. The people of Spain will (on a normal year) make their way to midnight mass or ‘La Misa Del Gallo.’ Christmas Eve in Spain is called Noche Buena and is often the most important day for the Spanish. During this time, children will go around their towns and cities and take part in ‘piden el aguinaldo,’ which is the equivalent of Christmas caroling in the U.S. However, due to Covid-19, this tradition may not take place this year.
Although only a small portion of the population (15%) is Christian, it is the uniqueness of their celebration that helped them make this list. Unlike the United States, Egyptian Christians celebrate Christmas on the 7th of January. In addition, their celebration includes over 43 days before the actual celebration of Christmas on the 7th of January. During this time, they will avoid eating animal products. This time is called the ‘The Holy Nativity Fast .’Much of these differences are due to Egyptians being apart of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Although Italy’s traditions are similar to that of the U.S, there are certain things they focus much more attention on than us or the rest of the world. One, in particular, includes the nativity scene. Although the nativity scene is celebrated in the U.S, it is often not as focused on as it is in Italy. The tradition of celebrating the nativity scene was first introduced by St. Francis of Assisi in the year 1025.
As you can see from the above information, there are a number of ways that the Christmas holiday season is celebrated around the world. We highly encourage you to research further into these countries, and there is so much more to learn about their traditions.