It’s Christmas Time!

christmas around the world 3We’re currently celebrating Hanukkah (until December 10th)  and it’s coming up to Christmas and Kwanzaa as well as several other celebrations of the season.

Have you ever wondered how other countries celebrate Christmas? Here in the U.S., we generally gather family and friends on Christmas Eve and/or day for a gift exchange and dinner. Of course, Santa visits households secretly to drop off special gifts for good little boys and girls.

In the Philippines, they hold a colorful, giant lantern festival. In Japan, it’s celebrated with a “Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner”.  In Germany, St. Nicholas travels the country leaving chocolate, coins, oranges and small toys for the kiddos.

One of the most unusual traditions is in Norway. People hide their booms, as they believe witches and evil spirits come out to steal them for transportation!

Here’s another “different” tradition: in Venezuela, people use roller skates and blades to attend midnight services! We guess they are working up an appetite for the big holiday dinner to follow.

Greece’s tradition includes wooden boats. Children will carol in the streets with small boats decorated with nuts that are painted gold. The town square may also have a giant sail boat made from lights. This tradition goes back many, many years.

Santa must really enjoy his stops in New Zealand & Australia. There the kids leave out beer and pineapple chunks when he visits their homes!

South Korea has declared Christmas an official government holiday that people have off from work and school. There are a lot of decorations around the towns and some homes. The popular gift is money. Santa can sometimes be clothed in a blue outfit rather than red. The popular dessert is a sponge cake covered in cream.

Jamaica has a business and consumers dream: all night markets to buy and party at! Many people will purchase new clothes just to attend the “Grand Market” event. There are plenty of vendors hawking their holiday food and other items to buy. There is a continuous party all night. Another Jamaican tradition is that people paint their houses and hang new curtains.

These are just a small sampling of how Christmas is celebrated around the world. For more information on many countries, click here:

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