Christmas Around The World

By Lauren H.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like celebrating Christmas in another country? Have you ever actually celebrated Christmas in another country? There are some rich cultural traditions with parades, plays and other events.

In Mexico, they celebrate Christmas with an annual Pastorelas, which is a play presentation of shepherds on their path to see Baby Jesus. In Hong Kong, they celebrate with a festival called Ta Chiu. It means the festival of peace and renewal. It is Taoist, and a festival where priests read the list of townspeople from a piece of paper, burn the piece of paper after attaching it to a horse, and let the smoke carry to heaven so the gods remember them. This happens on December 27th.

Father Christmas

What is in a name? People in other countries even have different names for Santa Claus. In Egypt, they call him Papa Noel. In Germany they call him Weihnachtsmann(meaning “Christmas man”) and in the United Kingdom, they call him Father Christmas. Also, when it’s Christmas time in Britain, they say ”Happy Christmas” instead of “Merry Christmas”, but not all the time. It makes their Queen happy as it’s said that she has a fondness for the lilting common accents of the British people, giving out the additional accented syllable of “happy” as to the word “merry”.

Songs have a twist at Christmas time as well. The French carol “Minuit Chrétiens” which translates into “O Holy Night” is one of those songs. The Latin carol “Gaudete”, which translates into “Rejoice” is another.

Gift giving takes many forms. In Canada, they have a Sinck Tuck Festival where they exchange gifts and dance. They also commonly open their presents on Christmas Eve, or just their stockings. They also eat odd named treats, like Chicken Bones. (Spoiler: They aren’t actually chicken bones.)

The United States is known for their Christmas day parades, but that doesn’t mean other countries don’t host them as well. In Australia, in the city of Melbourne, they host the Myer Christmas Day Parade. In Nova Scotia, the Christmas Parade of Lights is held in the city of Halifax.

Christmas is celebrated differently in all parts of the world. Diffferent countries add their own unique touches to what we call Christmas. So, have yourself a Merry Little Christmas and/or whatever holiday you celebrate this season.

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