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Christmas Traditions Around the World

Hubert CumberdaleNov, 2010

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Ever wondered what Christmas was like in another country? Every country has its own holiday traditions that reflect its culture. Some are similar to others, but there are also distinct differences from culture to culture. Whether you are waiting for the three wise men in Spain, Pere Noel in France, or Santa Clause in the United States, you are sharing in the spirit of the Christmas season.

Australia

  • Summertime: Learn about some of the popular Australian Christmas traditions and see how the Australian’s enjoy summertime.
  • Christmas in Australia: The Christmas Bush and Carols by Candlelight are a part of most Australian Christmases.
  • Journey Australia: How would you like to have Christmas in summer? Read about the history of Christmas in Australia.
  • Celebrating Christmas Australian Style: A detailed explanation of how Christmas came to Australia.
  • Celebrations in Australia: Watch Santa row up in a canoe full of presents! A detailed discussion of Christmas in Australia.
  • An Australian Christmas: A summary of how Christmas is celebrated along with common Australian recipes and carols.

Brazil

  • A Brazilian Christmas: A great look into how Christmas is celebrated in Brazil.
  • Traditions: You know the popular phrase “when in Rome,” well, when in Brazil for Christmas celebrate Brazilian style.
  • Holiday in Brazil: Christmases in Brazil are unique; learn how they may differ from celebrations in other cultures.
  • Christmas in Brazil – Brief information about Christmas celebrations in Brazil and activities to incorporate into a classroom.

England

  • Christmas in England: A firsthand account of Christmas in England from a child’s perspective.
  • British Traditions: From mistletoe to Christmas crackers, and other English Christmas traditions.
  • British Christmas Traditions: The definition and etymology of popular English Christmas traditions.
  • Ten Ages of Christmas: Images and information about the holiday season throughout the history of England.
  • Victorian Christmas: The Victorian era is a romanticized time and can be seen throughout holiday books, songs, and references; learn how the Christmas was celebrated during that time.
  • UK Christmas Traditions: Before enjoying your Christmas feast, find out how some of the popular English holiday foods originated.

Finland

  • Christmas Special: Enjoy a look at Finland’s customs and traditions, select an image for more information about each tradition.
  • First Sunday in Advent: The first Sunday in December starts the celebration of Christmas in Finland.
  •  Santa Lucia: Santa Lucia on December 13 is the beginning of Christmas in Sweden.
  • The Finnish Sauna: Get heated with one of the most popular Finnish Christmas traditions, the sauna.
  • Christmas Dinner: Yum! Enjoy a Finnish Christmas feast, including baked ham, vegetable casserole, liver casserole, and more.
  • Frohe Weihnachten – Finnish Christmas carols and information.

France

  • French Traditions: Discover some of the family celebrations, religious ceremonies and Christmas festivities practiced in France and Canada.
  • Christmas in France: Detailed information about Christmas traditions in France. This is a kid-friendly pdf.
  • La Fête Des Rois: A reader-response activity about the French tradition of "La Fête des Rois".
  • Santa in France: Learn about the origins of Santa in France. 
  • St. Nicholas: France has important Christmas figures. Get to know St. Nicholas and Père Noël. Includes historical Christmases in France.
  • French Christmas Decorations: There are two major types of French Christmas decorations, the sapin de Noël and the crèche.
  • Advent in France: Images and descriptions of common French holiday traditions.
  • Père Noël: Get to know Father Christmas and his pet donkey, Mistletoe.

Germany

Ireland

  • Christmas Traditions: A fun look at Christmas in Ireland and the meanings behind some of the popular holiday symbols.
  •  The Wrenboy Procession: A Christmas celebration parade of céilí music on December 26; and interesting, old-country approach to holiday celebrations.
  • Celtic Christmas: The history of Christmas in Ireland dating to Celtic Ireland and the importance of the winter solstice.
  • Irish Traditions – Information about Irish holiday traditions, including Christmas.
  • Christmas in Dublin – A brief article about the importance of Christmas traditions in Ireland.
  • Holy, Ivy, and Mistletoe – An article about the presence and importance of Holly, Ivy, and Mistletoe during the holiday season.
  • Top 10 Irish Christmas Customs – A photo montage of Irish Christmas traditions.

Mexico

  • Christmas In Mexico: Information about Mexican Christmas traditions in both English and Spanish. This would make a great addition to a Spanish curriculum.
  • Las Posadas: There many festivals in Mexico, but the Posada is a popular festival from December 16 to December 24 to remember the pilgrimage Mary and Joseph made to the Town of Bethleham.
  • Felíz Navidad: A story about a young boy’s Christmas celebration in Mexico.
  • Christmas History: A brief perspective on traditional Mexican Christmas celebrations.
  • Native Nacimientos: An article about the evolution of the cross-cultural Christmas.

Spain

United States

  • History of Christmas: Describes how history has contributed to many American traditions.
  • Christmas Myth And Customs: Explains the history behind American customs and myths.
  • Christmas Trees: Find out why Christmas trees are an important American tradition.
  • Mistletoe: Why all the kissing under the mistletoe? Learn about mistletoe and when the tradition started.
  • Ho Ho!: Learn about the origins of the jolly fat man known as Santa Claus and how he made his way into American traditions.