The world’s most important countries usually appear in main media, they influence global economies, lead scientific researches or take part in political and military alliances that influence other countries.
For better or worst, the countries mentioned below have important effects on other countries, even on Christmas celebrations. Check out how they celebrate Christmas and compare it with the celebrations in your own house. Are there any similarities? What foreign Christmas tradition would you like to adopt?
Christmas in the United States is celebrated on December 25th. However, the festive season begins just after Thanksgiving. It is known worldwide for its shocking decorations that are reflected in movies.
Christmas traditions are varied because the inhabitants of the country are subject to customs brought from other countries. So, more than half of the population celebrates Christmas as a religious holiday and the rest as a cultural event.
Santa Claus is the main figure of American Christmas and the Christmas tree is another element that must be present. It is a tradition that involves going out together as a family to buy the tree and then go home and decorate it.
Christmas in China is a custom that has been developing over the years by influence of western countries, but it is not as important as the Spring Festival or the Chinese New Year celebration.
The Chinese population does not know exactly what is being celebrated on Christmas, since only 1% of the population are Christians, that is why most of the population take it as Santa Claus’s birthday or the day of love and friendship.
In big cities like Shanghai and Beijing there are Christmas trees, lights and other decorations on the streets, department stores and shopping malls. At Christmas, people usually go out to dinner and as it is a foreign custom, they celebrate it eating pizza or other western dishes.
Japanese people tend to “japanize” any foreign custom. They like to celebrate western festivals like Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Christmas giving it a unique touch that identifies it.
Japanese cities and shopping malls are filled with colorful lighting and Christmas ornaments. The Japanese create wonderful light and sound spectacles known as “Christmas Illuminations” and make them in public spaces. Nevertheless, people don’t usually decorate their houses. They consider this celebration as a time of giving, enjoying the time with the family and eating special meals.
On December 24th the Japanese have a tradition to eat at KFC and due to the high demand it is necessary to make a reservation weeks in advance. So if you go to Japan and you are fond of chicken dishes, Christmas is the season when you’ll have more chances to find one, as it is not a very common meal.
As for December 25th, it is not a holiday so it is normal to work during the day and go out for a walk at night to see the light shows, dine in some good restaurant and finally eat some Christmas cake.
Christmas in India is celebrated by Christian communities, Santa Claus is known as “Christmas Baba” and it has become a meaningful tradition.
However, the most important holiday which could resemble Christmas or the New Year celebration in the Western World, is known as the Lights Festival “Diwali”. It lasts five days and the date may vary according to the Hindu calendar.
All the houses are light upcwith artificial lights, lamps, and candles, as well as the tradition of exchanging gifts with family, friends, neighbors and relatives. There are all sort of gifts, from traditional candies to household appliances and jewels with colorful wrappers.
Christmas is celebrated all over Europe and even though customs or traditions are not the same, they all agree that it is more a religious celebration than cultural, a celebration of reflection and family meditation. Keep in mind that it was in these countries where the idea of the Christmas tree, Santa Claus, the Christmas crib and the most famous carols originated.
It is common to decorate houses with Christmas items like trees, pyramids, angels, stars, candles, bells and the crown that must be present in Europe, because it represents family dignity.
In some countries like Spain, people ask baby Jesus for gifts, who comes on December 25, he leaves the gifts underneath the tree and goes away. And in other countries, such as Germany, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Finland, Santa Claus and his assistant Knecht Ruprecht (Krampus), are the ones who visit the houses to judge the children’s behavior.
Christmas in Russia has a 13-day lag since it is celebrated according to the Julian Calendar. In western countries we use the Gregorian calendar, this means our December 25th is nothing but a working day for Russian people.
The festival’s main character is “Ded Moroz” as known as the grandfather of the cold, who travels with his granddaughter “Snegúrochka”.
Cities are decorated with lights, Christmas trees and other decorations, ice skating rinks are prepared and during those days everyone delivers many gifts.
Christmas Eve is a family party where a lot of food is prepared, the tables are filled with salads, meat, caviar and typical Russian alcoholic beverages such as vodka, kvas or medovuja.
There are only a few days left for Christmas and New Year celebrations. In Traduality, we are making all the preparations to celebrate these holidays always remembering that the most important thing is sharing with our loved ones.
We sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019!