Christmas is a very popular holiday, and it is celebrated in many different ways. Some people celebrate it in a religious way, by going to church and praying. Others celebrate it in a secular way, by exchanging gifts and decorating their homes. Some people do both.
No matter how you celebrate Christmas, it is a time of year that is full of joy and happiness.But how do other countries celebrate it? What kind of secular and religious activities do they do to make the day a special one for the family?
Here’s several countries where they have combined religious traditions and secular activities that make their Christmas celebrations unique and memorable.
Philippines: A Christmas Countdown in Church
The people of the Philippines are largely Roman Catholic, and so count the days down until Christmas by going to midnight mass for nine days. Many people flock to church at 12 midnight to see a priest wearing the right priest vestments say mass. They believe that if a person completes the entire nine days, their wish will be granted the next year.
Austria: Krampus, the Christmas Bogeyman
It’s not just St. Nicholas handing gifts to kids on Christmas day. In Austria and Bavaria, the half-goat half man Krampus also dishes out charcoal and birch rods to naughty children. These days, people wearing Krampus costumes roam the streets during the holidays to remind children to stay in the nice list.
Switzerland: Advent Calendars for Kids
Many families in Switzerland give advent calendars for their children during Christmas. These calendars include gifts that children can open every day, until they open their biggest gift on Christmas day. Some parents create advent calendars at home, but now many parents buy them from shops and stores that their children love.
Japan: Spending Christmas at KFC
Christmas is not a holiday in Japan, where people mostly practice Buddhism and Shinto. But on Christmas day, many families and couples go to Kentucky Fried Chicken to celebrate it. The practice has only been recently popular, and many prefer to eat in the popular chain restaurant instead of preparing dinner at home.
Slovakia: Catching a Christmas Carp
Slovakians and other central European nations often celebrate Christmas with a carp instead of a turkey or ham. Families sometimes also go out fishing to catch their carp and prepare it for Christmas dinner. Sometimes, they let the fish stay in a tub of water for a few days before they prepare it. They believe that the scales of the fish will bring good luck for the next year.
Brazil: Christmas Meets and Greets
Families in Brazil have a late dinner and then go to midnight mass. There they meet and greet their neighbors and other family members and wish them happy holidays. Once they complete the church service led by their parish priest in the proper priest vestments, they then go to the town square to watch the fireworks.
The United States: Christmas Carols and Lighting the Christmas Tree
In the United States, some people celebrate Christmas by attending church, singing Christmas carols, and staging nativity plays. Recently, Americans have celebrated it in a more secular fashion, which includes decorating Christmas trees, exchanging gifts, and preparing a special Christmas dinner for the family.
Christmas is celebrated by people all over the world, both in a secular and religious fashion. The holiday has many different traditions, depending on the culture, and these traditions can be a mix of the religious and secular.
No matter how you celebrate Christmas, the holiday is a time to come together with family and friends and enjoy each other’s company. So, no matter where you are in the world, make sure to enjoy the holiday to the fullest!