Christmas, which is celebrated on December 25, is a Christian holiday that commemorates the birth of Jesus. Outside the church, Christmas has been transformed into a folkloric holiday and is often referred to as the "Christmas and New Year's season" together with the similarly dated New Year's Day. The custom of celebrating Christmas has spread worldwide with the influence of modern Western countries.

        This non-religious folklore event, which does not require the acceptance of Western culture, is free to participate in, and incorporates the special customs of each country, forming several familiar Christmas symbols such as Christmas trees, Christmas hats, Santa Claus, Christmas gifts, etc., and has become one of the major festivals at the end of the year. Let's take a look at the Christmas customs of these 10 countries.

1. The United States

        On Christmas Eve, there is an interesting American tradition where the church choir will come to the door of the congregation's house and sing Christmas carols in unison, and the family will go out to greet them warmly and sing together. Afterward, the hosts invite everyone in for a rest and refreshments. The host will then leave with the choir and go to the next house to sing carols, and the procession will grow larger and larger.


2. Canada

        Canadian children can enjoy a variety of Christmas-themed floats and bands in the Christmas parade from late November to December, as well as the Winter Festival of Lights starting in November, which features not only a light show but also a variety of fireworks displays. Don't miss one of the most popular Christmas activities, sleigh rides, a Christmas memory for Canadian children from childhood to adulthood. After all the fun and games, a piece of butter tarts, a Canadian favorite Christmas treat, will instantly dissipate any tiredness.


3. The UK

        British Christmas is very food-oriented and various Christmas specialties including roast pork, turkey, Christmas pudding and Christmas mince pies are on the British table. Mince pies are one of the indispensable desserts during Christmas, originally filled with meat and in the shape of an oval, which can be eaten either hot or cold.


4. France

        The French, known for their romance, pay much attention to the Christmas atmosphere. Flowers, candles, silver forks, and crystal glasses are essential for the Christmas table. In addition to the Christmas tree, a model of a manger (It is said that Jesus was born in a manger.) is also prepared for Christmas. In addition, French families cut the trunk of a fruit tree, a symbol of fruitfulness, and light it as firewood on Christmas night to pray for a good harvest in the coming year, convinced that the longer the stake burns, the more good luck it will have in the coming year.


5. Sweden

        Christmas is not complete for Swedish families without crumpets, which are traditionally made with cinnamon, eggs, milk, and butter. Additionally, the Christmas elf "Tomte", a character from Nordic folklore with a long white beard and conical or knitted hat, is a common sight at Christmas in Sweden. Tomte is almost identical to Santa Claus except for his shorter height. In Sweden, the Gävle goat is the symbol of Christmas. A tall, straw-made goat that is erected in the same spot every year, its presence heralds the start of the Christmas season.


6. Philippines

        Christmas lights are indispensable, but if you ask which country's lights are more stunning, then of course you have to mention the Christmas lights in the Philippines. Every year, San Fernando in the Philippines hosts the "Ligligan Parul", a dazzling display of lanterns symbolizing the Star of Bethlehem, with each parol consisting of thousands of rotating lights that light up the night sky, making San Fernando the "Christmas capital of the Philippines."


7. Japan

        The Christmas atmosphere is strong in Japan as well, but unlike other countries, instead of sitting around the table with family and sharing turkey, Japanese people prefer to go to KFC for fried chicken. This started with a marketing campaign in 1974 when Christmas was not very popular and the turkey was hard to find locally. KFC's advertisement took this opportunity to shape the idea that authentic Christmas food could only be eaten at KFC, which attracted many Japanese people to line up and gradually became one of the Christmas foods for Japanese people.


8. China

        Unlike the turkey and Christmas pudding that are part of the Christmas dinner in the West, the Chinese have more Chinese food on their Christmas table. At this time of the year, major shopping malls are decorated with Christmas elements, and various Christmas trees and lights decorate the streets at night. "Peaceful apple" is also one of the characteristics of Chinese Christmas, because the pronunciation of apple is similar to the pronunciation of peace, people send each other "peaceful apple" to express their wishes for "peace and safety" to their friends and family.


9. Chile

        The Chilean people have a cold drink called "Cola de Mono" for Christmas. In Chileans, Cola de Mono means monkey's tail and is a cold drink similar to eggnog. It is made from coffee, milk, eggs, wine, and fermented grapes. No one knows why it is called "monkey's tail."


10. Australia

        Unlike the northern hemisphere where people spend Christmas in winter, Australia in the southern hemisphere celebrates Christmas in summer. Just in time for the summer holidays, Australians usually take a family travel or beach vacation to beat the heat. A turkey dinner or a beer and seafood barbecue with the family is one of the Christmas celebrations, as well as Pavlova and Christmas plum pudding, Australia's must-try Christmas desserts. And don't miss the close encounters with native animals like koalas and kangaroos to celebrate Christmas.


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