Christmas 2015: Simple Ways to Celebrate

This is a little late. However, many Christmas celebrations last until January 6 (or later in Eastern Europe), so this article is still on time in some parts of the world.

Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated in some way, shape, or form in almost every country in the world. Here are seven traditions, one from each of the continents, for you to adapt for your own use.

  • In the 24-hour sunlight of the Antarcticantarctica-277335_640 summer, the scientists take time off work to cook a meal from their frozen rations, sing Christmas carols, and call home to their friends and families. Making themed costumes to wear is another popular tradition among the scientists at the pole. The holiday is often celebrated together by the staff of multiple national scientific facilities, allowing for the exchange in food and traditions. While exchanging presents isn’t a custom that lends itself well to Antarctic exploration (due to the lack of shops), there is one annual custom for which the frozen landscape is absolutely necessary. Every Christmas Day, the scientists load into their vehicles and participate in a “Race around the World”, where they drive three times around a two-mile loop circling the South Pole.
  • In Australia, Christmas is a summerthe-sea-657043_640 holiday that is often celebrated with beach-side seafood barbecues. However, because of its (Northern Hemisphere) English heritage, many decorations, depictions of Santa Claus, and Christmas carols still reference winter weather. Recently there have been more “local” Christmas adaptations to the traditional cold-weather depictions, such as saying that when Santa comes to Australia he changes into shorts and flip-flops and trades in his sleigh for a truck pulled by kangaroos.
  • In Brazil, decorating houses with stringsmagi-328743_640 of Christmas lights is common, and many communities hold decorating contests. Houses are often decorated with Christmas trees and nativity scenes. Santa Claus visits Brazil as well, and Christmas dinner consists of turkey, fried cod, fruits and vegetables, wine, and a French-toast like dessert.
  • In Japan, Christmas is an unofficialstrawberry-cake-169295_640 secular holiday that is often presented in media as romantic. Popular customs include electric light displays, Christmas trees, eating KFC, and a “Christmas Cake” made of sponge cake and decorated with whipped cream and strawberries.
  • In Nigeria, people return from the cities to their ancestral villages to spend time with their families. Large feasts are served with a variety of meats dishes and rice on Christmas Eve, and people celebrate with dancing and fire crackers. Children are often given new clothes, and wealthier relatives give monetary gifts to less fortunate members of their family and community.
  • In Poland, Christmas is celebrated fromchristmas-baubles-1043175_640 December 1st to January 6th. Christmas trees are decorated with glass ornaments, and presents are brought by St. Nicholas on December 6th. After a day of fasting, the family gathers for a feast on Christmas Eve after the first star has appeared in the night sky. Common dishes include fish and borscht, with poppy-seed cakes, dried apples, and edible Christmas ornaments for dessert. The floor underneath the table is covered in straw as a reminder of the manger.
  • As for the United States, here is how I1506901_10208122885210560_5040639946628913853_n spent Christmas this year: For the Winter Solstice, my husband and I went to my parents’ house to sing Christmas carols around the piano. Then, on Christmas Eve, my husband and I made chicken soup and brought it to his grandparents’ house for Christmas Eve dinner. The next day we opened gifts with his family in front of their Christmas tree. After Christmas dinner, we celebrated my husband’s birthday. The next day we returned to Wisconsin and celebrated with my parents, and we will continue to celebrate with other friends and family until Epiphany.

Happy Holidays!

Posted December 27th, 2015 by Admin
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One Response to “Christmas 2015: Simple Ways to Celebrate”

Pam On December 27th, 2015

Fun reading! It is especially interesting to me what the food traditions are around the world.

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