Christmas On The World
Chicken bones and barley candy are unique sweets eaten by Canadians during Christmas. Barley candy is a local treat on a stick symbolically snapped with Christmas like cinnamon and with creamy milk chocolate inside.
America is a meeting pot of cultures, many other Western traditions have influenced Christmas celebrations in the US. A customary Christians Eve dinner can be comprised of Italian pasta, Polish sausages aside from the must-have turkey or ham with cranberry sauce. Some states even have stores that sell and display Christmas decors all year round.
Christmas tradition among Brazilians is very much similar to other cultures like that of Americans and with the British. Their version of Santa Claus is called “Papai Noel” or “Bon velhinho” which means “good, old man”. Christmas meals can mean a huge barbecue party with magnificent fireworks display
Since majority from Argentina are Catholics, Christmas celebration starts early during Advent in the first weeks of December, because of strong Catholic influence, houses are beautifully adorned with wreaths and the nativity scene is a well-known display beside Christmas trees. During Christmas Eve, skies are filled with floating bright paper lanterns.
- United Kingdom
Celebrating Christmas with family is important in UK, with the entire family decorating the house and Christmas trees which the British popularized. Children write their requests to Santa but instead of mailing these letters, they are sometimes thrown into the fireplace where Santa can read the messages through the smoke from the chimney.
Many families enjoy a special rice pudding called ‘ris a la mande’ during Christmas Eve dinner. In this unique delicacy made of almonds, all but one almond are chopped into pieces and the person who finds this whole almond receives the price. After dinner, many Danish families dance around the Christmas tree aside from opening presents.
Since many Japanese aren’t Christians, Christmas is regarded more as a celebration of happiness that a religious one. Children parties are usually held with fried chicken and a special Japanese Christmas sponge cake being served. Christmas Eve is also considered a romantic occasion for many couples.
- South Korea
Christmas is widely celebrated in Korea due to its huge Christian population. Most of the Western traditions have been infused, with Christmas lights brightly lit across churches, malls and throughout the city. Santa Claus may be seen as wearing blue, aside from the traditional red and is also fondly known as “Santa Grandfather”.
It is ironic although much of Christmas trees and decors are made in China, only few people celebrate Christmas there – mostly in urban cities like Shanghai and Beijing. One growing tradition is giving of apples because the world “apple” in Chinese sounds similar to “silent or quiet night”
Most Vietnamese regard Christmas Eve as more important than Christmas day itself. Christmas Eve dinner is called “revellion” and an elongated chocolate cake, “buche de Noel”, is served for desert. Because this desert is already a Vietnamese tradition during Christmas Eve, it’s a more popular gift to give over other types of Christmas presents.
Because Australia is the “land down under”, Christmas comes during the summer holidays. It is often said that when Santa goes to Australia, he lets his reindeer take a break and uses kangaroos instead . Also, since the weather is extremely hot this time of the year, Santa changes his usual clothes for less warmer ones.
Interestingly, Christmas in Egypt is celebrated on January 7, not December 25. 40 days before this date, Coptic Orthodox Christmas where 15% of the population belong perform the Holy Nativity Fast in which they abstain from eating meat products except fish. On the eve of January 7, Christians attend a special liturgy across churches.
Among homes in Zimbabwe, only the main room is often adorned with Christmas decorations like ivy plants. They likewise have their own native Christmas cards with some, depicting wild animals of Africa.
And as chicken is considered an expensive food, it’s often part of the dinner table during this special occasion.
- South Africa
Like in Australia, Christmas comes during the summer in South Africa and is a public holiday. Yet much of its celebration has British influence because of its history. Singing Christmas carols is popular and so is camping out. One unique food served is its Christmas pudding or “Malva pudding” which is a traditional South Africa desert.