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Christmas around the world

Posted: December 30, 2014 at 9:28 am

How do you spend Christmas? Sat around the house eating mince pies nursing a steaming mug of Mulled wine? Across the world, others are probably doing the same but we do have some fun and interesting facts about how other cultures and countries celebrate Christmas every year, so sit back, grab the chocolate and feast your eyes on this bunch of festive traditions.



  • Father Christmas is called Sing Daan Lou Yan, meaning Christmas Old man in Cantonese.
  • Poinsettia flowers and nativity scenes decorate the homes in Hong Kong and Christmas cards using traditional Chinese crafting techniques are sent to friends and family members.


  • The Argentinians decorate their trees and homes by 8th December. This day is the date that allegedly the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary happened.
  • The nativity scene is called the Psebre and is always placed close to the tree.
  • Globos or Chinese Lanterns are released after midnight on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of Christ.


  • Australian children have their summer holidays over the festive period. The holidays start from mid-December, through to February.
  • It is a tradition on Boxing Day to have a Barbeque on the beach and it is not unusual for Christmas Dinner to be a cold buffet lunch or Lobster.
  • When Santa gets to Australia, his Reindeers are allowed a rest and he uses 6 Kangaroos instead. These are called ‘six white boomers’. He also changes his usual winter attire to summer clothes.


  • In Greenland, Christmas trees have to be imported from Denmark or Scandinavia as no trees grow naturally as far up as Greenland.
  • Greenland is said to be the home of Father Christmas – at least for his summer holidays. He is said to have a house in Spraglebugten.
  • A delicacy that is enjoyed in Greenland over the festive period is ‘Mattak’ -Whale skin with a strip of blubber inside.
  • Another delicacy is ‘Kiviak’ – a small bird called a Auk, that has been buried wrapped in seal skin and allowed to reach the advanced stages of decomposition before eating.


  • The traditional Jamaican Christmas Dinner consists of rum punch, Sorrel wine, fresh fruits and meat.
  • Jamaicans traditionally eat a Christmas breakfast, which includes Ackee and Saltfish, fruit breads and fried Plantains.
  • Christmas is the time that Jamaicans hang new curtains and paint their houses alongside their Christmas decorations and lights to celebrate the festive period.

The Netherlands:

  • Father Christmas visits children and gives them their presents on the 5th December and on the 6th December in Holland.
  • During the festive period, biscuits called ‘banketletter’ are eaten, these are sweet biscuits shaped as the first letter of a person’s names.
  • Christmas day is a more quieter affair in the Netherlands and families usually meet up to eat a small meal.


  • Due to only 2.3% of the population of India being Christians, Christmas is a fairly small celebration, although compared to the total population, this still equates to 25million people.
  • Indian specialities are ‘Neureos’ – small pastries stuffed with spices, coconut and dried fruit and ‘Dodol’ – a toffee type sweet with cashew nuts and coconuts.
  • Midnight mass is always held on Christmas Eve and this is also the day that the main Christmas meal is eaten. There are a lot of western traditions about a Christian Christmas in India, with turkey and chicken being eaten.