We love getting into the holiday spirit and what better way than learning about how people celebrate the holidays all over the globe? You may be surprised at the different traditions or how Christmas Eve can be an even bigger celebration than Christmas Day! Let’s take a look at the various tradition worldwide.
Mexico – Although the Christmas tree is becoming a more popular holiday tradition, it’s the Nativity Scene that you’re more likely to see in homes for the holidays. Called “nacimiento”, the nativity scene consists of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus in, sometimes life size, clay figures.
Germany – Where the Christmas Tree originated from in the middle ages, this is an important holiday tradition, along with the advent calendar which hides a treat or piece of chocolate for each day in a countdown to Christmas.
Jamaica – On Christmas Eve Jamaican families dress in their best new clothes to visit the Grand Market, a festival starting in the early evening where you can buy toys, clothes and traditional holiday treats and food.
Israel – Hanukkah is traditionally celebrated in Israel during the month of December and is also called The Festival of Lights. The celebration lasts 8 days where families light a candle for each day on the Menorah, exchange gifts and enjoy traditional foods like Latkes.
Italy – Italy has many holiday traditions including a seafood meatless Christmas Eve feast and the Italian Christmas Cake called Panetonne, filled with candied fruits. Also like Mexico, the nativity scene plays an important role in Christmas celebrations.
The Philippines – Here you will find the tradition of Noche Buena which is basically an open house on Christmas Eve following midnight mass where friends and family stop by for a huge feast featuring traditional Philippine dishes.
Ireland – This country has many of the same holiday traditions as the U.S., except that they also celebrate St. Stephen’s Day the day after Christmas. Also known as Boxing Day in the UK, this extra holiday usually hosts football matches and horse racing, but also the Wren Boys Procession.