Christmas changes greatly from one country to the other because of location, weather and religion. Some people celebrate Christmas Eve, others Christmas day and for others the holiday season actually begins on Christmas day and the days leading to it are not as important.
Here in Costa Rica, we celebrate Christmas Eve with a big family dinner that includes a roasted turkey or a roasted ham or both, tamales wrapped in banana leaves, about 3 side dishes, and many desserts. After dinner children go to bed early so they can wait for Santa or Baby Jesus to leave them their presents under the tree. On Christmas day people get together with more family and eat a lighter version of the previous night's meal.
In Australia the holiday season is during the summer vacation, so they have surfing Santas and lots of outdoors activities. The most important tradition is called Carols by Candlelight where people gather to sing carols under the clear sky filled with stars. They celebrate Christmas Eve with a dinner and on Christmas day children open the presents that Father Christmas has left for them under the tree.
In China, the few people that celebrate it put up a tree called the "tree of light" which is decorated with lanterns, flowers and red paper decorations that symbolize happiness. They call it Sheng Dan Jieh, in many cities is a great excuse to decorate with colorful ornaments and Santa is considered a good luck figure.
Italy has many traditions that are deeply rooted in religion as they observe the 4 candle Advent Calendar and pray to the "presepio" or Nativity scene for nine days until Christmas. Children write letter to their parents where they express their best wishes for the season and sing carols at their church on Christmas day. This is one of the most important places for celebration for catholics, because they attend the events organized by the Vatican and ancient local churches.
Have a great day!
I loved reading about how people celebrate it in different parts of the world. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
I simply cannot ever imagine spending Christmas on a beach in the heat. It's funny, growing up in Northern Europe, I cannot get it out of my head that Christmas is supposed to be cold and (in a perfect world) snowy - not that that would actually happen in London. Still, it's really interesting to find out about other countries' traditions. xoReplyDelete
I'd love to live with surfing Santas! That's so neat!ReplyDelete
Thanks for this awesome world round-up!
Lovely! Happy Holidays to you dear! xx -TajReplyDelete
In Spain the main celebration is Jan 6-day of the 3 Kings. Children wait for the 3 Kings to bring their gifts on the night of the 5 Jan rather than Santa Claus.ReplyDelete
Hope you have a wonderful holiday in Costa Rica xx
I love reading about the different traditions! Thanks for sharing! ( a Christmas card is on its way to you!)ReplyDelete
Surfing Santas, lol, that sounds great. I'll have to celebrate Christmas in Australia one day.ReplyDelete
Loved reading the different traditions surrounding Christmas. Here in SA, its summer and most people will have a BBQ (or braai as we call it) on the beach or at their homes, with friends and family, a very casual affair. Your traditions in Costa Rica sounds lovely!ReplyDelete
i really like all of the traditions and how they are celebrated around the world. my family does midnight mass and a big celebration on Christmas Eve and then a smaller lunch on Christmas day.ReplyDelete
I love learning about different cultures. We do Christmas Eve as well....its my favorite!! WIll you be in CR? or going back home?ReplyDelete
Look at the hat in the sand! Lovely photo. Thanks for posting and feel free to drop by me too when you have time.ReplyDelete
Great pictures! Costa Rica is my favorite place I vacationed and I have traveled to many places around the world. Hope to go again!ReplyDelete
I would love to spend Christmas in the sun sometime (soon!) xoReplyDelete
Tamales are some of my favourite Christmas foods and being in Texas, we get a lot of them around this time of yearReplyDelete