BY THE DIVERSITY STORY
Christmas can commonly be identified with splashes of red and green and adorned trees. However, for many other regions in the world, Christmas looks different and Christmas is celebrated differently. Swipe to learn how various regions in the world spend their December 25th
Image From: bokksu.com
In Japan, Christmas isn’t seen as a religious holiday but rather as a romantic holiday.
Christmas is a chance for couples to exchange gifts and spend time together.
In addition, couples may visit Tokyo Disneyland to experience the Christmas decorations and parades.
Kentucky fried chicken became the staple meal after a successful marketing campaign in 1974. For dessert a fluffy strawberry shortcake topped with whipped cream and strawberries is served.
Different types of advent calendars and christmas countdowns tend to be popular in Denmark. The advent calendar made by TV2 is called the julekalender and all of the profits of this specific calendar go to a children’s charity called Julemærkefonden.
Children in Denmark believe in the Julemanden (a figure similar to Santa Claus) who lives in Greenland and has nissers (a figure similar to elves) to help him make the presents that he delivers to other people.
Besides the typical tree display, children place their cleaned shoes filled with straw under the tree, with the hopes that Santa (called Tonton Nwèl) will replace the straw with presents.
Many families stay up until early in the morning celebrating, and children are usually allowed to go out.
Some go to a Midnight Mass church service, where people go home afterward to eat the main meal called the “Reveillon,” which can last until dawn of Christmas morning.
Christmas day is much calmer, as people are resting from the celebrations of the night before.
Image From: Visit Rova
On Christmas Eve, it is tradition to eat rice porridge and plum fruit juice for breakfast, buy and decorate the tree, and to go to cemeteries to visit the grave of family members.
A common Christmas Eve dinner eaten in the early evening is a leg of pork with mashed potatoes, vegetable casseroles, or cured salmon.
Santa is also known as Joulupukki, which means Christmas Goat, since the gift giver gradually changed from the Goat to Santa.
Image From: Business Day Ghana
Christmas is celebrated starting on December 20th to the first week in January.
Different language groups all have individual Christmas traditions (66+).
On Christmas eve, there are often Nativity Plays (plays about the birth of Jesus), choirs, and dancing. Fireworks and parties are very common as well.
On Christmas day, people dress in brightly colored traditional clothing and attend church services. They then return home and exchange gifts.
Foods traditionally eaten are okra soup, porridge and meats, rice, and fufu (a type of yam paste).
Image From: Soma Pilipinas
Starting on December 16th, many people attend early morning masses (called “MIsa de Gallo” or “Simbang Gabi”) until Christmas day. Christmas celebrations then continue until the first Sunday of January.
Christmas customs combine Western and traditional Filipino customs. Western traditions include Santa Claus, Christmas trees, cards and carols. Traditional Filipino customs include the Christmas decoration parol, or lanterns made with bamboo frames.
The evening of Christmas Eve, people attend mass then participate in Noche Buena, a midnight feast. Noche Buena includes dishes like lechon (roasted pig), ham, bibingka and puto bumbong (rice cakes), and fruit salads.
Image From: Vietnam Advisors
Since Vietnam was once a part of the French Empire, there are still French influences in Vietnam, specifically in the country’s Christmas traditions.
While not many people in Vietnam are Christians, the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam’s largest city) are crowded with people on Christmas Eve.
To celebrate, people throw confetti, attend Midnight Mass services, and listen to Christmas music.
In Vietnam, Santa is called “Ông già Noel”, which translates to “Christmas old man”.
Image From: USA Today
In Germany, a large part of the Christmas celebrations is Advent (the period of four Sundays before Christmas that celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world).
German homes use several different types of Advent calendars, which often include compartments with little presents in them.
Christmas trees are also very important in Germany, and in families with young children, the mother of the family will often secretly decorate the tree as a surprise.
Germany is also well known for its Christmas markets, which sell food and decorations.