Christmas around the world

Christmas is, for many, their favorite time of the year. It's a happy, beautiful and colorful season. But, do you know how people around the world celebrate it?

Christmas is a religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. However other religions, like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism do not recognize Christmas as a religious tradition, but many do celebrate it as a Cultural or secular Holiday.Each catholic country has their own Christmas costumes and traditions.

In countries such as Spain, Mexico, Poland and Italy there is a Midnight Mass Church Service in which people might fast during Christmas Eve (not eat any meat or fish usually) and the main Christmas meal is often eaten after that. In Belgium, Finland, Lithuania and Denmark the meal is eaten in the evening and they might go to a Midnight Service afterwards.

In many countries such as Germany, Serbia and Slovakia, Christmas eve is the day the Christmas tree is brought into the house and decorated. In Portugal, the tree is put up and decorated on the 8th of December which is a national holiday.

In Holland children receive presents on St. Nicholas' Eve (5th ofDecember) and in Belgium and Czech Republic on St. Nicholas Day. In Sweden and Germany presents are given on Christmas eve while in the UK, USA and Japan they are opened on Christmas morning. The latest presents are opened on January 6th in Spain and Mexico. In many countries there’s also the tradition of having an advent calendar.

In Portugal there’s a gathering of the family in one house on Christmas eve where we eat octopus or cod fish cooked in many ways and eat many traditional desserts like rice pudding, king cake and “sonhos” and presents are exchanged. On Chritmas eve there is also a mass called “missa do galo” at midnight. On the actual Christmas day we also have lunch in family in which we eat turkey.

And you, in which way do you celebrate Christmas? Do you celebrate it at all?