The Christmas season is a time of great joy and celebration. Families around the world come together in a variety of ways. Here are some international traditions, customs and rituals that can be incorporated into your family’s holiday.
Portuguese Holiday Meal: A traditional Christmas meal in Portugal is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve and consists of codfish with green vegetables and boiled potatoes. This is normally followed by shellfish, wild meats or other expensive foods.
Australian Summer/Christmas: In Australia summer break takes place from early December through early February. Because Christmas comes during warm temperatures it is not uncommon for families to go camping for Christmas. Christmas dinners consist of outdoor grilling and lots of fresh seafood.
German Traditions: In Germany Stollen is a traditional sweet treat baked and shared through out the holiday season. The Christmas tree is not put up until Christmas Eve, before going to church, and it stays up until the Epiphany. The Christmas Eve meal traditionally includes pickled herring and no desserts.
Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Traditions: Ethiopians still use the old Julian calendar, so Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, not December 25th. The Christmas celebration in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called Ganna. Most people fast on Christmas Eve (January 6th) and at dawn on Christmas (Ganna) morning, people get dressed in all white. Most people wear a traditional garment called a shamma. It’s a thin white cotton piece of cloth with brightly colored stripes across the ends.
Alliance Abroad created a map showing traditional Christmas meals in various countries.
Toemar created a wonderful chart to show how Christmas trees are used around the world.
From our family at Mojo to yours HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
(Sources:www.whychristmas.com and www.cdeducation.org