The Way Different Parts Of The World Celebrate Christmas
Christmas is in a few week from now, and the whole world is getting busier and busier. In the Philippines, lights and sales are shining left and right while the street gets crowded. How does the rest of the world celebrate Christmas though?
Here are six countries that celebrate Christmas differently:
In Australia, Christmas is the start of the summer holidays. While the rest of the world celebrate indoors, you’ll see Australians camping for Christmas. To get into the Christmas spirit, Australians also go out to sing carols on Christmas Eve. Moreover, they decorate their homes with wreaths and ornaments, gardens shining bright with Christmas lights. They have their local celebration, in towns or cities, called Carols by Candlelight service, wherein local bands and artists sing Christmas songs. Since it’s summer in Australia, words pertaining to winter are changed into special Australian words.
Since only a small percentage of China are Christians, Christmas is often only celebrated in major cities. These cities get into the Christmas mood with the place decorated with lights and ornaments. Only a few have Christmas trees, and when they do, they are decorated with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns. Moreover, giving apples on Christmas Eve has become a popular tradition. The reason for this is that Christmas Eve in Chinese (“Ping An Ye”, which means “silent night”) closely resembles the Chinese word for apple (“Ping Guo”).
A traditional food during Christmas in Japan though is the Christmas cake – a sponge cake whipped with cream and strawberry. But since Christmas is not an official holiday in Japan, the Japanese folks head to work when the date falls on a weekday. In this manner, Christmas in Japan is a celebration of happiness more than a time for religion. Much like Valetine’s Day, Christmas Eve has become a romantic day for couples as they spend the day together.
Much like the Filipinos, people in Spain celebrate Christmas by going to church for the Midnight Mass (also known as “La Misa De Gallo”). After the midnight mass, people are seen walking through the streets with torches, playing the guitar, tambourines and the drums. They could be heard saying, “Esta Noches es Noche-Buena, Y no Es noche de dormer.” In English, “Tonight is the good night, and it is not meant for sleeping.” On Christmas Eve, the Spanish have their Noche Buena as well, serving Pavo Trufado de Navidad, which is turkey stuffed with truffle mushrooms.
The United Kingdom
In the UK, Christmas is a time for family. From decorating the home to the Christmas tree, every family member holds a special role. The main Christmas meal, on the other hand, is eaten on the actual Christmas day, either at lunchtime or the early afternoon. On the table are roast turkey, vegetables, bacon, and sausages, served with cranberry sauce and bread sauce on the side. Moreover, having a White Christmas has also become a big thing in the UK. Since it doesn’t snow often during the season, many anticipate (or even play a game) if December 25th would have at least a single snowflake.
Since the United States of America is a melting pot of different cultures, Christmas is celebrated differently, depending on the family tradition. This is why “Happy Holidays” is more greeted than “Merry Christmas” to respect every culture present in the country. Generally, though, every household gets into the Christmas spirit when the Christmas trees stand upright and decorated. The house is also decorated with Christmas lights and statues of Santa Clause, the Snowman, and raindeers. The parks, trees, and buildings are also decorated in major cities.
While the differences on how Christmas is celebrated between countries are evident, it is apparent that Christmas is truly a time for family, friends, happiness, and love. So let’s not forget those who mean most to us this Christmas. Show your love. Celebrate. Be happy!
Enjoy the Christmas season, everyone. And to all, Happy Holidays!