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How People Around the World Celebrate Christmas: World Christmas Customs

Updated on April 21, 2015

Christmas Gifts, Food and Greetings from around the World

Christmas is celebrated all over the world every year during the month of December and different people have different customs. Here are some Christmas gifts, food and greetings from around the world. At the bottom of this "how people celebrate Christmas, world Christmas customs" article, feel free to add your customs and anything you want other people to know about Christmas celebration in your country.

Festive gifts

Christmas Celebrations in Australia

In Australia they Santa's name is Santa Claus and during Christmas, children gift with cakes, milk and a bottle of beer. Christmas food includes roast meat, vegetables, fruit cakes and puddings. During this time, temperatures go as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit thus people eat cold foods like meat, tropical fruits and the main meal is always lunch.

Christmas gifts in Australia are usually left under the Christmas tree and opened the following morning and decorations in shops and homes are usually comprised of Christmas trees, tinsel and special lights while tradition Australian carols are sung on Christmas Eve and after Christmas, Boxing Day, two sports namely cricket test match and the Hobart Yacht race take place.

Christmas Celebrations in Brazil

During Christmas in Brazil, the festive greeting is usually Feliz Natal and Santa is dressed in red with a silk suit and boots and he is referred to as Papai Noel or father Noel. The common food during Christmas is usually roast turkey and vegetables or chicken, beans and rice. Occasionally, wine and beer and in some places, eating time is 9 pm or around midnight on Christmas Eve. Brazilian Christmas gifts include donations to charity which are never enough for all children.

Custom Brazilian songs are generally Christmas carols and they have unique decorations; people from the South use snow which is simulated with pieces of cotton on pine trees and in the North, nativity scenes are common.

Christmas Celebrations Greece

Most Greek exchange Christmas gifts on Saint Basil's Day which is celebrated 1st of January and their Christmas greeting is Eftihismena Christougenna and their Christmas food comprises of specially baked cakes and to honor Saint Basil, these cakes come with golden coins hidden inside. Cakes are cut at midnight and whoever gets a piece with the golden coin has luck the whole of the following year.

Christmas Celebrations Hungary

In Hungary, Baby Jesus is believed to deliver presents on Christmas eve and at the sound of bells, angels are believed to have delivered the Christmas tree and gifts .Customarily, on every night of 5th day of December, children leave their shoes at the door step and at night Black Peter and Mikulas fill these shoes with gifts for well behaved children.

Christmas Celebrations Israel

Chag Semeach or Happy Chanukah is the Christmas greetings and Santa is believed to give gifts through grandparents, parents and other family members to children. Oil among the Israelites is very important thus most of the foods are cooked with it potato latkes or pancakes being very popular. In Israel, Christmas gift giving lasts for eight days just like Chanukah who lasts for eight days and every child gets a present each night.

Christmas decorations in Israel consists of pictures of the Jewish army which captured the Holy Temple and Jerusalem from Antiochus, the Assyrian Greek King, the Jewish stars, silver and blue garlands and Chanukah gelt or chocolate coins. Most of the decorations are found around the house.

In Israelites Christmas customs, the menorah or candelabra is lit everyday for the eight day, day one; one is lit and on the second day two are lit and this goes on till the eighth day. After lighting the 'candles' the festival meal is then served to the family, games are played and gifts opened.

Christmas Celebrations Japan

The Japanese call Santa ; Santa Kurohsu and does not appear in person but in adverts looking like an old man carrying a big sack full of gifts and Christmas greeting is Kurisumasu Omedeto. Food is dictated by family custom but turkey is consumed on Christmas Eve and day and Japanese Christmas cake is also eaten. Most gift shops sell men, women and children merchandise and Christmas day is always perfect for exchanging gifts.

For decorations, Christmas in Japan is characterized by artificial Christmas trees which are decorated with gold paper fans, small toys, lanterns and paper ornaments. A good luck amulet for good luck is put at the front door and children exchange birds of peace to avoid war.

Christmas Celebrations Mexico

Christmas greetings in Mexico goes like - Feliz Navidad and from the 15th of December, some colorful lanterns start to appear as every night people walk from house to house till Christmas Eve. This is called La Posada or the procession to the neighborhood and families invite each other to their homes for guest parties.

While adults eat and drink, the children play the piñata game which is trying to open the papier-machine with a stick while blindfolded and once this is opened, candies and other small gifts fall our!


Hope this helps you get ideas on how to celebrate Christmas with a different custom and make your families, relatives and friends enjoy.

How do you celebrate Christmas in your country?

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