Christmas Traditions From Around the World

Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated all around the world - but in many different ways. Each culture has it’s own traditions and customs that have been passed down the generations. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting Christmas traditions from around the world.

Argentina

Since Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas comes in the middle of summer and the weather is warm. The houses are decorated with green, gold, red and white flowers and garlands. Christmas trees are decorated by the 8th of December and sometimes people will put cotton balls on their tree to look like snow. In Argentina, the main Christmas meal is eaten on Christmas Eve and it is usually a huge barbeque feast that includes roasted pork, goat or turkey as well as salad, stuffed tomatoes and Christmas puddings. Midnight on Christmas Eve is celebrated with fireworks.

Bangladesh

Although only 0.3% of the population of Bangladesh are Christian, December 25th is still a public holiday here. Christians who live in the main cities will go home to visit their families and they will decorate their houses with “Nishan” which are strings made with hundreds of small pink paper triangles. It is also traditional for everyone to have Christmas dinner together at the local church - a meal that is called the “Preeti-Bhoj” which means “Love Feast.”

The Czech Republic

The Czech Christmas meal is also eaten on Christmas Eve and it often consists of fish soup and fried carp with potato salad. In the Czech Republic they have a tradition of “Little Jesus” who brings presents during the dinner. When Czech children are eating their dinner they will hear a bell ring, which means that “Ježíšek” has left some presents under the tree. The presents will then be opened after dinner. The family will then go sing Christmas carols by the tree and goto church at midnight - or on Christmas Day.

Iceland

Christmas is known as ‘Yule” in Iceland, which comes from the ancient winter solstice celebrations and also includes New Year. Celebrations begin on Christmas Eve at 6pm and children open their presents after the evening meal. On Christmas Day, which is known as Joladagur, extended families will get together and feast on a leg of roast lamb or a sea bird called Rock Ptarmigan. They will also eat a type of bread called “leaf bread” which is made of thin layers of dough that is cut into delicate patterns and fried. Another Icelandic Christmas tradition is the Yule Lads. They are mischievous magical people who come down from the mountains and have whimsical names like “Pot Licker”, “Door Slammer”, “Window Peeper” and “Candle Beggar.” They play tricks on people and leave little gifts for children inside their shoes. If the child has been naughty - they will receive a potato and a note telling them to be good. What Christmas traditions are there in your country? Let us know in the comments below.