The Christmas period is certainly one of the most loved moments by children. All the colored lights, the Christmas tree, the gifts and of course Santa Claus make this period the most desired by children all over the world. But as much as it is appreciated by all countries of the world, not everyone has the same way of celebrating it.
Have you ever wondered if Christmas is celebrated everywhere in the same way? What if a tree is built in other countries and gifts are delivered by Santa Claus?
If you are curious to know how Christmas is celebrated around the world, we have collected the Christmas traditions of some European countries and beyond. Because in the end traveling also means knowing the uses and customs of other countries… even for Christmas.
Christmas in Finland
Let's start with Santa's homeland: Lapland in Finland. For Finns, Christmas is very heartfelt, in fact the month of December is called joulukuu (or kuu month of Christmas joulu). Santa's house is located in Rovaniemi in Lapland, but it is in Turku, the ancient Finnish capital, that Christmas is inaugurated with the Christmas Declaration of Peace: a tradition that began in the Middle Ages and is still respected today. All Finns follow her on TV and only from that moment does Christmas really begin. Meanwhile, the bearded Joulupukki (Santa Claus) himself kicks off the festivities, parading through the streets of Helsinki amidst illuminated garlands. The Finns, as in many Scandinavian countries, decorate the tree on December 23, the day of the "little eve" and celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve: on the 24th it is traditional to take a sauna with the whole family and go to visit their own dead at the cemetery, have lunch with relatives and wait for Santa Claus to knock on the door, question the children to find out if they have been good and distribute the gifts.
Christmas in Carribean
Two Santa Clauses arrive in Suriname: one white, Saint Nicholas, inherited from the Dutch domination, and one black, Goedoe Pa, who leaves the children with gifts and poems next to his shoes, as long as they have perfectly polished them the night before. In Martinique, the plant most similar to a fir to be transformed into a glittering Christmas tree is the local filao, or the Casuarina equisetifolia, also known as the Australian pine. In all the houses of Puerto Rico during the holidays you will hear Feliz Navidad by José Feliciano playing on repeat, one of the most famous songs of the Puerto Rican singer who is considered a national pop hero.
Christmas in England
Christmas traditions in England are very similar to those in Italy: the tree and the house are decorated, gifts are received. Others are typical of this country such as the Christmas Crackers, small Christmas gadgets, similar to candy, that children exchange before Christmas.
In England, Christmas Eve is not celebrated, while December 26th, called Boxing Day, is more popular. Christmas songs, pub visits and religious services are the main activities of families in this period, without forgetting the Queen's speech which as per tradition is recited at 15.00 on Christmas day and after which the traditional 17.00 tea is drunk.
Christmas in Australia
Sun, beaches, 30 degrees and BBQ: Christmas in Australia is very different to what we are used to in Europe. Santa Claus shows up here in surf, with shorts and flip-flops. Yes, because Australia, being in the southern hemisphere of the world, enters the summer season precisely to coincide with the Christmas holidays (precisely starting from 1 December). This is why the main cities are crowded with tourists and Australians on vacation during this period, eager to take advantage of the high temperatures and good weather for a beach life.
But if every country has its own Christmas traditions, what they all have in common is the spirit of solidarity and union that characterizes Christmas and we hope that this custom will always be respected in every country in the world.