Christmas Traditions from Around the World



The way your family celebrates Christmas is influenced by the traditions that have been handed down from one generation to the next. While there are some similarities, many countries celebrate Christmas in their own, unique, way.

Italian-American families celebrate Christmas with The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It is a Christmas Eve meal that includes seven courses, all of which must include fish or seafood. Common types of fish eaten during the feast include: cod, clams, calamari, sardines, and eel – but other types of fish are also acceptable. This tradition seems to have started in Southern Italy. Italian immigrants brought it to the United States in the 1800s.

In Ghana, Christmas is celebrated from the 20th of December to the first week of January. Typical foods eaten at Christmas time include peanut soup, fufu (a yam paste), okra soup, and a meat (which could be chicken, goat, sheep, beef, or pork). People attend church on Christmas day wearing colorful, traditional, clothing.

Children in The Netherlands leave a shoe by the fireplace and sing Sinterklass songs. They hope Sinterkass will visit during the night and leave them some presents. This tradition includes leaving some hay and carrots in their shoes for Sinterklass’s horse. In return, Sinterklass will leave the child some sweets or small presents on December 5th.

Christmas is celebrated in Mexico from December 12th to January 6th. Between December 16th and Christmas Eve, children perform Posadas. Children are given candles and a board, with painted clay figures of Joseph and of Mary riding on a donkey. The children go from house to house, singing a song about Joseph and Mary asking for a room in the house.

Christmas trees are very important in Germany This tradition started in the Middle Ages. In families with young children, the mother of the house secretly decorates a tree that is outside. The Christmas tree is traditionally brought inside on Christmas Eve. Some families read the Bible and sing Christmas songs like O Tannenbaum and Stille Nacht on Christmas Eve.

In Japan, Christmas is seen as a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration. Christmas Eve is considered to be a romantic day where couples spend time together and exchange presents. Fried chicken is a popular meal eaten on Christmas Day. The Japanese Christmas Cake is a sponge cake decorated with strawberries and whipped cream.

Related Articles at FamilyTree.com:

* Christmas Day Dinner – Traditional

* Cultural Christmas Customs

* Hometown Traditions at Christmas Time

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