Christmas is not only an American holiday. Throughout the world, Christmas is celebrated. But not only Christmas, many other holidays are celebrated this time of year. Here is a glimpse at the many traditions found around the world.
Fröliche Weihnachten! The Christmas Season in Germany begins at the very beginning of December. Christkindlmarkt is a Christmas market famous in Germany, especially in Nuremberg,which is also famous for it’s Lebkuchen (Gingerbread). Another part of the Christmas season in Germany is St. Nikolaus Tag, which is St. Nicholas Day, on December 6th. Kids will leave out clean shoes for St. Nikolaus (or Christkind) to leave small gifts in if they are good, or sticks and stones if they are bad. On Christmas Eve, parents reveal the fully decorated Christmas Tree to their kids for the first time. Germany is also known for starting the tradition of Advent, however their advent is with a Adventkranz, a wreath with 4 candles symbolizing the 4 Sundays before Christmas.
Buon Natale! Italy is actually known for creating the Nativity scene. Traditions in Italy are very religion focused during the holidays. The Ceppo, yule log, is burned while toasts with wine about the future are made. Large feasts on Christmas and New Year’s are also expected in Italy.
Joyeux Noel! The French traditionally have the buche de Nol, the “Christmas Log”, which is a log shaped cake in resemblance to the Yule log. This season is a time for the French to get together with their families and worship, while the churches and cathedrals are beautifully lit while church bells ring. Much like in Germany, children will put their shoes out on Christmas to receive small gifts, such as fruits, nuts, sweets, and small toys.
Feliz Navidad! Mexico has more to offer then just Poinsettia flowers, known as nochebuena flowers there. A tradition they celebrate is Posada processions, having nine total, which symbolize Joseph and Mary trying to find room in an Inn. Children will go from home to home singing songs and asking for a room, as Joseph and Mary did, until they are welcomed into a home. Once accepted into a home, they give thanks and prays and then a party is held, where Pinatas are used as a popular game. Christmas Eve is considered a family day, where they attend Church service, have a great meal, and fireworks celebrate Christmas Day.
Obviously this is only a small portion of what the world does during the holidays, so hopefully I get to share more interesting traditions from around the world.