Christmas In Every Country

We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! You think that Christmas is the same in every country? Think again. Here are the facts of how every country celebrates the joyous holiday of Christmas.

United States

  • Santa Claus was born in the US in the 1860s. He was named this as he had a white beard and a belly, so he was named Santa Claus as this was the Dutch word for St. Nicholas, Sintaklaas.
  • This first Santa Claus was still known as St. Nicholas, he did smoke a pipe, and fly aroud in a wagon without any reindeer. But, he did not have his red suit or live at the North Pole, he did however bring presents to children every year.

England

  • One of England's customs is mummering. In the middle ages, people called mummers to put on their masks and acted out Christmas plays. These plays are still performed in towns and villages.
  • In England the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day. Because boys used to go around collecting money in clay boxes. When the boxes were full, they broke them open.

The Netherlands

  • In the Netherlands, the Dutch eagerly await December 5th for it is on this day that they celebrate the coming of Sinterklaas Avond or St. Nicholas Eve. Whose legends of generosity and kindness are well known. In the Netherlands, the Christmas tree is called the Paradise tree.

Germany

  • Children leave letters on their windowsills for Christkind, a winged figure dressed in white robes and a golden crown who distributes gifts. Sometimes the letters are decorated with glue and sprinkled with sugar to make them sparkle.
  • The German Christmas tree pastry, Christbaumgeback, is white dough that can be molded into shapes and baked for the decorations.

Italy

  • The Christmas season in Italy goes for three weeks, starting 8 days before Christmas known as the Novena.
  • In the week before Christmas, children go from house to house dressed as shepherds, playing pipes, singing and reciting Christmas poems.
  • On Christmas Day, 'Babbo Natale' (Santa Claus) might bring them some small gifts, but the main day for present giving is on Epiphany.

France

  • On Christmas Eve, children leave their shoes by the fireplace to be filled with gifts from Pere Noel. In eastern Frace, he is accompained by Le Pere Fouttard, a man dressed in black.
  • He might be the same person as Zwarte Piet in Holland.
  • In the north of France, children are given gifts on December 6th, which is St. Nicholas Day instead of Christmas Day.

Russia

  • In Russia, the religious festival of Christmas is being replaced by the Festival of Winter. In the traditional Russian Christmas, special prayers are said and people fast. Sometimes for 39 days until January 6th, Christmas Eve, when the first evening star appears in the sky.
  • Christmas tree is called Yelka, decorated with flowers and colored lights. Christmas dinner includes a variety of different meats; goose and suckling pig are favorites.

China

  • The Christian children of China decorate trees with colorful ornaments. These ornaments are made from paper in the shapes of flowers, chains, and lanterns. They also hang muslin stockings hoping that Christmas Old Man will fill themwith gifts and treats. The Chinese Christmas Trees are called, "Trees of Light." Santa Claus is called Dun Che Lao Ren, which means "Christmas Old Man."

Japan

  • Only 1 per cent of Japanese people believe in Christ. In Japan, Santa is known as Santa - San (Mr. Santa). Another Japanese gidt bringer is Hoteiosho, a Japanese god of good fortune from Buddhism and not really related to Christmas.
  • Some says, he brings presents to each house and leaves them for the children. Some think he has eyes in the back of his head, so children try to behave like he is nearby.

Korea

  • Grandpa Santa is popular with kids in Korea (Santa Harabujee) and he wears a red or blue santa suit. People in Korea usually exchange presents on Christmas Eve and instead of piles of presents, one present (or a gift of money) is customary.
  • Restaurants are busy on Christmas, as it is considered a romantic holiday for couples and even theme parks as well as their shows have special Christmas events. For non - Christian Koreans, Christmas is a popular shopping day.