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Christmas is celebrated differently in different countries. Some of these celebrations are really weird as well! Let's go on a quick tour...
Out of these countries, Denmark is one of the closest to the UK, but everyone doesn’t get all hectic about decorations. Phew! Usually the family goes to church in the late morning, while the father stays at home. He decorates the Christmas tree himself, puts the presents underneath and sets the table (the tree is always in the same room as the dining table). When the family come home, they prepare for Christmas dinner, and eat. The presents are opened at the table after the dinner.
In Sweden, the name of Christmas Eve is Julafton. They eat strange things in Sweden as well. A full dish of cod is served. Yes, cod. This meal is called lutefisk, which means the cod was dried out and rinsed before cooking. This is usually served with rice porridge. Imagine eating that!
Celebrations start on December 6th in Austria. It is tradition for children to wait outside their houses in the night in Austria, waiting for Saint Nicholas. Not Santa, even though he is also called St. Nick. It might be him, but it he is always called Saint Nicholas.
France is similar to us, too. They had a tradition, but it’s old. I think it is dead now. Crafters would secretly spend December making little clay figures of the Nativity scene. It would take the whole 25 days doing these, and when they were done they would be put together and then put in special place in the living room. This display is called a crches.
The Christmas holidays in Poland are called ‘the holiday of the stars’. Also, an empty space is always set at the table at Christmas, which is meant for the spirit of the baby Christ. I don’t think they’d put food on the plate, though; that would be a place for the dog!
On December 6th, it is St. Nicholas' Day, which is, of course the Swiss Santa. Yes, I get you. “How is this any different from Austria?” you may ask. The answer – I don’t know. We did these countries separately in school, so there you go.
Christmas celebrations last nine days in Mexico. During these nine days, there would be house parties. These are special house parties are called pousadas.
A special ‘Kranz’ (wreath) is hung up for the advent. The special ornament has four candles – one to light at the start of every week of December. The advent in Germany is the time before Christmas when people have time to think about Christ. Well they’re meant to, anyway.
9. Australia and New Zealand
Everyone knows that the southern hemisphere celebrate Christmas in the summer, rather than winter. So, based on this, Australians and New Zealanders cook their Christmas dinner on the barbie. Also, the carols there are about the sun rather than snow.
Last on my list is Spain. This is weird. Children would put their shoes on the mantelpiece on Christmas Eve so Santa Claus can fill them with sweets in the night. This is rather nice, isn’t it? What is really random is that everyone receives their presents on January 6th. Why is everything on the 6th?
Thanks for reading, and I hope you learned something new!
Which country above would you like to celebrate Christmas in most (only the countries above; unless you have something interesting about another country to share?).
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