Christmas Traditions Around the World

Wow! It is hard to believe that this weekend is December 1st already. I don’t know about you, but I’m not even close to ready for Christmas. All around the world people are gearing up for whichever holiday it is that they celebrate. Did you know that there are many different ways to celebrate? There’s:

-      Christmas – one of the most widely known celebrations around the world. While Canadians and Americans celebrate with Christmas trees, visits from Santa, and many dream of snow Australia celebrates Christmas during their summer where it’s tradition to decorate a “Christmas Bush” (a small Australian tree with green leaves and red flowers), and go to the beach or go camping.

-      Hanukkah – the eight-day Jewish celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. With this tradition, celebrations revolve around the lighting of the menorah candles.

-      Kwanzaa – while each family celebrates in a different way, celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. During each of the seven nights, families gather and light one of the candles on the Kinara and discuss one of the seven principles of African culture.

And we can’t forget about Boxing Day and Ōmisoka. Ōmisoka or New Year’s Eve is considered to be the second-most important day in Japanese tradition as it is the final day of the old year and the eve of the New Year’s Day, the most important day of the year.

What kind of plans do you have for this holiday season? How will you spend time with your family and/or friends? Maybe this year you want to take a moment to discuss with your family the ways different countries celebrate – are there any pieces of their celebrations that you would like to add into yours?