Christmas Around the World


Sam Weiss, Author

From spending Christmas on a nice sandy beach, to indulging in KFC for dinner, Christmas is a special holiday that is celebrated in many different ways around the world.

In Poland, Christmas Eve dinner (Wigilia), begins with guests sharing an Oplatek. The thin wafer  is composed of flour and water that has an image of the Nativity on it. At the dinner table, everyone breaks off a piece and shares a holiday greeting.

In Japan, the tradition of celebrating Christmas is relatively new. Instead of being celebrated as a religious holiday, it is usually honored as a romantic day, or a day to spread cheer. Many order KFC, or spend the night out on the town.

In Sweden, Finland, and Norway, St. Lucia’s day is celebrated during the Christmas season. During this day, they celebrate a woman being a part of one of the first Christian martyrs. The eldest girl in each family dresses up in white gowns, often wearing a wreath with candles. The girls serve the family S-shaped Lucia buns with coffee or mulled wine.

In Germany, Christmas shopping is done at festive outdoor markets. They hold mulled wine in one hand, and bratwurst in the other. The markets appear all over the country with artisans selling every gift imaginable.

In England, children hang their stockings on the end of their bed. They wake up to a nice delightful surprise every 25th of December.

In Switzerland, advent calendars have gained popularity in recent years. Some parents hand-make them, while others purchase unique ones tailored to their child’s interests.