Have you ever wondered how different countries and nationalities celebrate the holidays? Learn more about some of the different Christmas traditions from around the globe.
The United States
Most Americans celebrate the holiday by spending time with family and friends as well as attending religious services. Some of the more popular Christmas traditions in the United States include exchanging gifts, decorating homes with Christmas lights, and making a festive meal of turkey or ham and a variety of vegetables and desserts.
However, the Christmas tradition of Santa Claus is perhaps the most popular one in the United States. According to the custom, Santa Claus delivers special gifts and stockings to millions of sleeping children on Christmas Eve who have been good throughout the year.
La Posada is one of the biggest Christmas traditions in Mexico. This is a religious ceremony that recreates the travels of Joseph and Mary and their search for shelter. Often times, the ceremony includes celebrants walking from house to house with statues or images of Mary and Joseph looking for safe shelter.
Unlike the United States, Mexican children typically do not receive gifts from Santa Claus. Instead, they receive gifts from the Three Wise Men on January 6th. Another common Mexico Christmas tradition is the breaking of a pinata filled with goodies on Christmas Day.
Christmas traditions in Hong Kong include attending religious services, exchanging beautifully hand-decorated cards, and adorning homes and churches with poinsettias and Nativity scenes. The Christmas tradition of Santa Claus, better known as Lan Khoong or Dun Che Lao Ren in Hong Kong, also is widely celebrated.
Although the Festival of Winter is replacing Christmas in many parts of Russia, there are still some areas that have kept a number of Christmas traditions alive. Some of these include the saying of special prayers and fasting until Christmas Eve.