Christmas around the world
Christmas holidays are celebrated all over the world, but customs vary from country to country. In 11Onze we review some of the Christmas traditions in other parts of the world.
Portugal and Italy
Nativity scenes are not only made in Catalonia, they can also be found in Portugal and Italy. Many are true works of art, with months of work, effort and investment. In many cities they are almost a tourist attraction. If you are passionate about nativity scenes, you will have already visited the living nativity scenes and the Catalan nativity scene associations. Perhaps you can visit Portuguese and Italian ones!
What day is Christmas celebrated? Normally, December 25, but this is not the case everywhere. The Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar. This means that Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on January 7 (or around that date, depending on the church). Therefore, Ukraine and Russia will celebrate Christmas for Epiphany, so to speak. Christmas Day is a holiday and the preceding days are days of reflection and often fasting. But Christmas Day is a real holiday in the company of loved ones.
Exporting the Christmas Party
If in Catalonia we often complain that we import traditions such as Halloween, it must be said that the Christmas party is also being exported to other places. It is a kind of fashion trend, often without any religious sense. This means that in these places there are activities linked to Christmas but December 25 is a working day. In the end, it ends up being just another commercial holiday. For example, in Japan at Christmas the most popular food is fried chicken, something that KFC has capitalized on.
Escudella and chicken with plums and pine nuts is the classic Catalan cuisine for Christmas Day. But there are many other options. In Eastern Europe, in countries like Poland or Lithuania, people traditionally enjoy 12 different dishes on Christmas Eve. And it is necessary to eat them all to avoid bad luck. If you have a Christmas meal in these countries you will taste beet soup, cabbage with beans, poppy seed cake, and many more typical dishes.
In many countries, besides the 25th (or the 7th, of course), a very important day is December 5. It is especially special for children, as this is when Santa Claus brings them presents. There are many versions of the story that it originated in Finland. Most say that he resorts the world to his sleigh and jumps down chimneys to put presents under the Christmas tree. But in some countries, the stories are slightly different. For example, in the Netherlands, the Sinterklaas disembarks from a steamship. Then, all the local church bells ring in celebration and the children receive their long-awaited gifts.
The Christmas holidays are a great time to travel alone or as a family. Doing so by celebrating Christmas in another country is an option to have a different holiday.
Do you love to travel? With 11Onze Viatges you can book accommodation at the best price, without stifling the travel industry.
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