Christmas Traditions from Around the World

christmas-791110_1920The Christmas traditions to be found around the world are as diverse as the many nations, regions, religions and cultures on our planet! Here are a few global Christmas traditions you may not have been familiar with before.


Argentina celebrates Christmas much like the rest of the Catholic world with a few exceptions. Argentinians enjoy fireworks exploding through the night from Christmas Eve until Christmas morning. They also send up paper balloons (“globos”) which they light up and release to fly into the sky. Christmas is celebrated until January 6th, Three Kings Day.


Iceland also enjoys a really long Christmas celebration. It begins on 6 pm on Christmas Eve and also lasts through January 7th. However, the day isn’t called Three Kings Day in Iceland but Twelfth Night. An Icelandic Christmas consists of feasts, baking, decorations, and lots of Christmas parties. Children leave a shoe in the window 13 days before Christmas in hopes that the 13 Yule lads will leave them gifts.

South Africa

South Africa shares many of their Christmas traditions with the UK, due to their history. Because Christmas falls in the summer, however, there are customized differences! South African Christmas also consists of playing games outside and going swimming.

Latin American Traditions/Philippines/Spain

Many people from these nations and cultures celebrate Christmas on the night before on Christmas Eve. The night called Noche Buena is an evening of food, music, opening gifts and midnight mass for Catholic observers of the holiday. Preparing and eating a roasted pig is a common tradition in Latin America and the Philippines. Noche Buena is celebrated wherever larger communities of Latino cultures live as well such as can be seen in Miami and South Florida during the holiday season.

Eastern Orthodox Christian Traditions

Countries with Eastern Orthodox Christian populations typically have traditional Christian populations celebrating Christmas on December 25th as well as many more celebrating the holiday on January 7th, as per the Julian calendar used by followers of the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition. The Orthodox faith is the largest religion in such countries as Montenegro, Serbia, Greece, Ukraine and Russia. And many countries featuring more of a mix of other religions that also include substantial populations of individuals following the Orthodox include such nations as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Lebanon and Lithuania.
What is your background? How do you and your loved ones celebrate the holiday?


12-23-2016 at 5:01