Here in America, we associate Christmas with the birth of Jesus, Santa Claus, stockings hung by the fire with care, decorated trees, twinkling lights on the outside of houses, and giving that perfect gift for that particular person. However, Christmas traditions vary around the world!
In Hungary, just like America, trees are decorated and presents are left. However, the parents usually decorate the tree and tell their children it was brought by angels and the presents left were brought by Jesus. St. Nicholas does visit however a little earlier in the month, on December 6th, and he leaves goodies in the boots and shoes the children left out. In Ethiopia, Santa doesn't visit this house on his all night adventure on December 24th! In this country, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, and comes after a day of fasting. ( I can tell you that this is very different from my Christmas Eve celebration which is full of amazing foods). The tradition of Christmas being celebrated later on is similar in Serbia, where Christmas is also celebrated on January 7th after six weeks of advent, which includes fasting or taking out certain food groups (usually meat) from your diet!
In Kenya, Santa doesn't come in with his nine reindeer, it is said he comes in a car, on a camel, or on a bike! In Puerto Rico, caroling is a big tradition. A group of carolers travel around at night, and are meant to surprise and wake up those in the houses that they visit. If you are woken up by this group of singers, you are supposed to join in on the fun and go with them to the rest of the houses on the route, and sing along.
In Bolivia, Christmas is celebrated or over a week- from December 24th to January 6th! During this time, it is uncommon to see any kind of gift giving. It is also uncommon to see Christmas trees in Bolivia. In Norway, instead of elves helping out Santa Claus, little gnomes make the presents.
In South Korea, it is more common to give money as gifts instead of the perfect item you bough on sale on Black Friday while fighting with the huge crowds. Santa is a common symbol but he might be wearing red or blue! In South Korea, it is also common to eat either sponge cake or ice cream to help celebrate the holiday.
See any traditions from around the world that you find interesting? Make your holiday a little more international this year and try one of these countries traditions!