Cultural Bytes | Interactive Language Program

Christmas Around the World

Christmas Around the World
Photo by Reuben Teo on Unsplash
Photo by Heather Suggitt on Unsplash

On Christmas Eve most Latin Americans in the U.S. are making preparations for Christmas Eve dinner and wait up until midnight to open gifts. If you are in Japan, Christmas is celebrated with dinner from KFC. In the Philippines, the Saturday before Christmas, the Giant Lantern Festival is held in the city San Fernando. In Caracas, Venezuela the streets are closed for cars early in the morning so that people can roller skate safely to church. 

Christmas is a religious holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. This holiday is celebrated differently around the world, even in countries that do not have a large population of Christians. Countries like Japan celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas. Majority of the population are not Christian so Christmas is not a national holiday. Nonetheless people in Japan take this holiday as an opportunity to be festive. Huge Christmas trees can be found in shopping malls, they create Christmas markets, and decorate with LED lights. They also add distinctive Japanese traditions in celebrating.


“No country celebrates it exactly the same way but one thing that most have in common is that it is celebrated with loved ones.”


One of these traditions is eating Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas day! This is a tradition that started in the 70s. It is common to find that people pre order meals a week or so in advance for the holiday. Christmas in Japan is also thought of as a couple’s holiday. Somewhat similar to Valentine’s Day in the West. Couples like to book romantic restaurants for the evening. Exchanging gifts is more of a practice between couples. Christmas is not a Japanese tradition so gift exchanging is not really practiced. There already is a holiday where people exchange gifts in December. It is a work-culture tradition called oseibo, where co-workers exchange gifts. Gifts are  more common in the New Year, which is a big holiday in Japan. 

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, it is celebrated around the world. No country celebrates it exactly the same way but one thing that most have in common is that it is celebrated with loved ones.


#Christmas #holidays #gift #celebration #Japan #Philippines #Venezuela #december


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