Christmas traditions around the world are diverse, but share key traits that often involve themes of light, evergreens and hope. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world.
A manger scene is the primary decoration in most Southern European, Central American and South American nations. St. Francis of Assisi created the first living nativity in 1224 to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers.
Christmas traditions in England, Christmas cards first appeared popular in the England.
During holidays in the Victorian era, the British used to hang mistletoe branches from ceilings and doors.According to the belief, if someone stood under the mistletoe, they would be kissed by someone else in the room. It’s a tradition that’s still going on.
Christmas pudding, also known as fig pudding or plum pudding, is an English dish from the Middle Ages.
Itinerant musicians would travel from city to city, visiting the castles and homes of the rich. In return for their performance, the musicians hoped to receive a hot meal or money.
In the United States and Britain, children hang socks on a bedpost or near a fireplace on Christmas Eve, hoping that they will be filled with treats while they sleep.
In Scandinavia, like-minded children leave their shoes on January. This tradition can be traced back to legends about Saint Nicholas.
Christmas traditions; in France, Christmas is called Noel. This comes from the French phrase les bonnes nouvelles, which means “the good news” and refers to the gospel.
In southern France, some people burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. This stems from an ancient tradition in which farmers would use part of the log to ensure good luck for the next year’s harvest.
Italians call Chrismas Il Natale, meaning “the birthday.”
The tradition of decorating Christmas trees comes from Germany. Decorating evergreen trees had always been a part of the German winter solstice tradition.
The first “Christmas trees” explicitly decorated and named after the Christian holiday appeared in Strasbourg in the beginning of the 17th century. After 1750, Christmas trees began showing up in other parts of Germany, and even more so after 1771, when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited Strasbourg and promptly included a Christmas tree is his novel, The Suffering of Young Werther.
Most Canadian Christmas traditions are very similar to those practiced in the United States. In the far north of the country, Indigenous Inuits celebrate a winter festival called Sinck Tuck, which features parties with dancing and the exchanging of gifts.
Christmas traditions in Finland, many Finns visit the sauna on Christmas Eve. Families gather and listen to the national “Peace of Christmas” radio broadcast. It is customary to visit the gravesites of departed family members.
Christmas traditions, Norway is the birthplace of the Yule log. The ancient Norse used the Yule log in their celebration of the return of the sun at winter solstice. “Yule” came from the Norse word hweol, meaning wheel. The Norse believed that the sun was a great wheel of fire that rolled towards and then away from the earth. Ever wonder why the family fireplace is such a central part of the typical Christmas scene? This tradition dates back to the Norse Yule log. It is probably also responsible for the popularity of log-shaped cheese, cakes and desserts during the holidays.
In 1828, the American minister to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett, brought a red-and-green plant from Mexico to America. As its coloring seemed perfect for the new holiday, the plants, which were called poinsettias after Poinsett, began appearing in greenhouses as early as 1830. In 1870, New York stores began to sell them at Christmas. By 1900, they were a universal symbol of the holiday.
In Mexico, papier-mâché sculptures called piñatas are filled with candy and coins and hung from the ceiling. Children then take turns hitting the piñata until it breaks, sending a shower of treats to the floor. Children race to gather as much of the loot as they can.
Christmas traditions; in Australia, the holiday comes in the middle of summer and it’s not unusual for some parts of Australia to hit 100 degrees Farenheit on Christmas day.
During the warm and sunny Australian Christmas season, beach time and outdoor barbecues are common. Traditional Christmas day celebrations include family gatherings, exchanging gifts and either a hot meal with ham, turkey, pork or seafood or barbeques.