Even though Christmas is one of a few holidays that is celebrated worldwide and almost in every country on Earth, it still has its unique traditions which differ from country to country. You’d be also surprised to get to know that some countries like China where there is only 1% of Christian population celebrate this holiday as well.
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As you might know how Christmas is celebrated generally in the world, with this article we will try to focus your attention on some unique traditions that you haven’t heard about before.
Christmas in Australia
Christmas is probably the most favorite time of a year for Australian pupils and students as this is the time of the longest holidays. Vacations start in the mid-December and last till the beginning of February. Nevertheless, it is also quite a busy time for people who do volunteering and charity works as Christmas is the hottest period in Australia and there are many forests burning. So it turns out that instead of lighting on the garlands on one’s Christmas tree people go combating the fire.
Santa Claus here is dressed a way less hot clothing and his mates are not reindeers from the Pole but Australian kangaroos. Traditional dishes consist mostly of seafood such as prawns and lobsters so fish markets are overloaded with people queuing to buy their fresh seafood for Christmas day.
Read about unique Xmas traditions in Brazil on the following page.
Christmas in Brazil
This is probably the most favorable country for workers when Christmas time. It’s common in Brazil to get a “13th salary” at the end of the year – in December you get twice the normal amount of pay for that month! The idea is to help boost the economy around Christmas. This has been going on for decades and most people don’t even question that other countries might not do it!
It is also very popular to play a “Secret Santa” game also known as Amigo Secreto. It is characterized by giving small gifts all through December using a pretend name. On Christmas Day, people reveal who their Amigo Secreto was.
Read about unique Xmas traditions in France on the following page.
Christmas in France
If you are a sugar hound, you better go to France during Christmas time. It is essential to prepare 13 different desserts for Christmas Eve. All the desserts are made from different types of fruit, nuts and pastries.
Another French tradition is to burn cherry wood for Christmas. When older times this cherry wood was called Yule Log and was represented by an entire tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony.
The largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room! The log would be lit from the remains of the previous year’s log which had been carefully stored away and slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was considered important that the re-lighting process was carried out by someone with clean hands. Nowadays, with the invention of the central heating it has become very difficult to burn a tree inside your house!
Read about unique Xmas traditions in Italy on the following page.
Christmas in Italy
As almost all of Italians are fierce Catholics they celebrate this holiday in a very due-to-the-Bible way. It is necessary to have a Nativity crib scene at your home. It is represented by the crib with the newborn Jesus Christ, Holy Mother and Joseph figures inside. You can also find Three Kings going on the camels following the Star of Bethlehem in order to give a bow to the Holy Child.
One Old Italian custom is that children go out Carol singing and playing songs on shepherds pipes, wearing shepherds sandals and hats. As to the cuisine, no meat is eaten for Christmas. Instead, there should be 7 fish dishes on the table. Some think that seven represents the seven days of creation in the Bible, other say it represents the seven holy sacraments of the Catholic Church.
Read about unique Xmas traditions in China on the following page.
Christmas in China
There is around 1% of Chinese population who are Christians so Christmas is almost not celebrated in this country. It is a funny fact that almost all of the artificial Christmas trees and Christmas decorations we have at our homes are made in China but people who make them don’t know what are they and what for.
Still, there is one small tradition in China to give apples on Christmas Eve. Many stores have apples wrapped up in colored paper for sale. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called ‘Ping An Ye’ (which means quiet or silent night) and the word for apple in Chinese is ‘Ping Guo’ which sounds similar. Some people go Carol singing, although not many people understand them or know about the Christmas Story. Jingle Bells is a popular Carol in China.