Christmas Traditions Around the World


Megan Medfisch, Print

People from different parts of the world celebrate Christmas in different ways. Here are a few of their more interesting traditions:


United States

Sending Christmas cards

Listening to Christmas music

Decorating the inside and outside of houses–main decoration is a Christmas tree

Santa Claus bringing presents down the chimney

Opening gifts on Christmas day

Typically eating ham on Christmas day



Decorating houses with nativity crib

Burning Yule logs made of Cherry Wood in homes

Calling Santa Claus “Père Noël”

Calling main Christmas meal “Réveillon”

Eating 13 different desserts



Advent calendars–having a small present for each day leading up to Christmas

Bringing Christmas tree into home on Christmas Eve

Singing Christmas songs such as O Tannenbaum, Ihr Kinderlein Kommet, and Stille Nacht

Der Weihnachtsmann (Santa) bringing presents on December 24th



Decorating homes with nativity cribs

Eating a Christmas meal with meat is rare, seven fish dishes are eaten

An old lady called Befana bringing gifts for children



Celebrating from December 12th to January 6th

Celebrating Christmas day with fireworks

Decorating homes with poinsettia flowers



One percent of people celebrate Christmas

Santa is called Sheng dan lao ren

Apples given as gifts

Midnight church services are popular