Welcome to one of the most expected periods of the year: Christmas! Regardless of the cold weather, this is the time of the year that warms everybody’s hearts. It is a time of love, celebration, joy, and hope. For us, it is also about spending a great time with family and friends. But what about the rest of the World? Do they celebrate Christmas the same way we do? What are their specific Christmas traditions?
Discover how Christmas is celebrated in Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Poland, and France.
In Poland, these are also family holidays. For Christmas Eve, they get together and wait until the appearance of the first star in the sky to enjoy a great meal. Traditionally, they serve a total of twelve dishes, symbolizing the twelve apostles. The Polish Christmas dinner does not include meat and alcohol but fried carp, borscht (beetroot soup) with uszka (ravioli), pierogi (polish dumplings), some herring dishes and makowiec (noodles with poppy seed) for dessert. To drink, commonly, there is a compote of dry fruits. In Polish Christmas, nobody is left behind, and there’s always room for one more! Usually, they set extra sits at the table for unexpected guests.
Christmas in Germany starts way before the Christmas Eve itself. Already in November, they have the popular Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas markets) everywhere! Their formal celebrations start four Sundays before Christmas – or the four Advents. They make an Advent wreath of fir or pine branches with four colored candles. Each Sunday, they light one of the candles, sing Christmas songs and eat Christmas cookies. By the way, did you know that the custom of decorating Christmas trees comes from Germany?
Well, as you might know, Brazil is a tropical country, which means they shouldn’t have Christmas trees, right? Wrong!! Fake Christmas trees are set up everywhere in Brazil, as well as fake snow, so Brazilians are not left out of the Christmas spirit. This is definitely the most loved holiday in the country and people take it very seriously. The Christmas dinner is served exactly at midnight, and most of the families prepare so much food that they gather together again on the next day to eat the rest for lunch.
The Spanish spend Christmas Eve dinner with their families. The typical dishes vary from region to region – in central Spain, it is roasted piglet or lamb; in the south in the region of Andalusia – turkey; and on the coast – seafood and fish. The dessert must be accompanied by cava – Spanish champagne and includes turrón and polvorones (Christmas cookies). After dinner, the Spaniards go to the decorated streets, wishing each other good wishes, singing, and dancing.
Christmas in France is also more than a two-days celebration. In fact, it starts on December 6th, the St. Nicholas Day, and lasts until 2nd February – a date known as la Chandeleur. On this date, they finally disassemble the Nativity scene. The Christmas dinner is called Réveillon, and includes luxury food and delicatessen. We couldn’t expect less from the French, right?
Christmas celebration in Italy begins on the first Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas Eve. Italians organize Christmas markets, play with fireworks and celebrate with loud music. Instead of Santa Claus, in Italy, they have La Befana, a witch-like woman who visits every house and gives gifts to the Children. Christmas trees are also not that common in Italy. Instead, they set up beautiful cribs, which are called presepio in Italian.
Related post: Choosing the perfect Christmas gift
As you could see, each country has its Christmas traditions and customs. Some are similar, some very specific but one thing is the same to everyone, regardless of their latitude: the desire to be with our loved ones. More than a religious holiday, Christmas is the ultimate symbol of respect and kindness to one another, of love and of hope for a better world.
MySugardaddy team wishes you a Merry Christmas and thank you for all the support throughout this year.