Holiday traditions differ globally

Christmas traditions are very different around the world.

Christian Nicholson

Christmas traditions are very different around the world.

In the U.S. there are several traditions that are celebrated every Christmas. Little children get excited for Santa to bring them toys on Christmas Eve, open presents the next morning, then families eat a big Christmas dinner later in the day. This is the usual family tradition in the United States. However, around the world Christmas has several different meanings and traditions that go along with it. Here are some different traditions and interpretations of Christmas around the world:

In Africa, Christmas day is a large celebratory service for the birthday of Jesus. Here, most people stay with their families to celebrate the holiday, but in Africa the whole community gathers together and marches around the town to celebrate. Before they celebrate, however, the community will gather and attend a church service where everyone must place a gift on a raised platform in memory of the birth of Jesus. They have their Christmas feast outside amongst their friends and family, and enjoy the warm weather, as December is summer for Africa. In Africa, Santa Claus is referred to as Father Christmas and much like here, the children hope he will bring them toys on Christmas Day.

In Germany, Christmastime is a very beautiful holiday; most Germans go all out with decorations and make their home look beautiful with extravagant Christmas decorations. Germany’s version of Santa Claus is nothing like ours. They call her Christkind, a female angel who delicately visits each child’s home and brings them baskets of toys. They also have a more modern Santa figure, called Christmas Man, who is also said to bring toys to the children.

In Italy, the Christmas season lasts for three weeks, starting eight days before Christmas. Christmas Eve and Day are more of a celebration of their religion; they fast for 24 hours before Christmas Eve, and then enjoy a celebratory meal afterwards. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are very solemn as they reflect on the birth of Jesus. The children do not receive their presents until January sixth, and their version of Santa is an ugly, yet kind witch who rides on a broomstick and delivers toys to the good children of Italy.

There are many different interpretations of Christmas and what it means, and they each have their own special way of showing the different cultures and traditions around the world.