By: Alexandra Hagberg Photo Editor
Many countries around the world celebrate Christmas differently. Each country has its own traditions, cultures, and customs. The Squire consulted with whychristmas.com to find out how Christmas is celebrated in other countries, including Australia and Greece.
In Australia, Christmas takes place during the summer months, which fall from mid-December to February. The Christmas trees are a native tree to Australia and have small green leaves with cream colored flowers. During the summer months, the tree’s flowers turn a deep red, making them the perfect tree for Christmas. Santa usually gives his reindeer a break when he hits Australia and allows a couple of kangaroos to finish the journey. Then, on Christmas day, families all gather together for a nice Christmas lunch.
Greek people celebrate their holidays completely different from Australians. A traditional decoration used is a wooden bowl with a cross and a sprig of basil hanging over top the bowl. The mother of the family will normally dip the cross and basil into the holy water and then sprinkle water into the different rooms of the house. This is to keep the bad spirits or Killantzaroi away, which normally come between Christmas and Epiphany (January 6th). It is very important for most Greeks to attend a midnight mass service. Following the service is their advent meal, usually consisting of lamb or pork.
Germans have many traditions of their own that take place during the Christmas season. The Squire interviewed exchange student, Anne Krumm, to hear about Christmas in Germany.
The Squire: What types of traditions are common in Germany?
Anne Krumm: On the 5th of December, everyone puts their shoes outside the door before going to bed. When you wake up the next morning there are presents in your shoes from Nikolaus. It started as a way to remember the death of Christian Saint Nikolaus, but has now become a tradition.
TS: Do you have a version of Santa Claus in Germany?
AK: Yes, we call him Weihnachtsmann, which translates to Father Christmas.
TS: Do you visit any family during the holidays?
AK: We don’t go to visit anyone, but my uncle comes from Hamburg to stay with us.
TS: Are there any major differences between an American Christmas and a German Christmas?
AK: We consider Christmas the 24, 25, and 26. On the 24, in the evening, we get all our presents, and then we use the 25 and 26 to spend time with family.
TS: Do you have any plans for your Christmas in America?
AK: I think we are just going to visit my host mom’s family.
If you’re looking for any new traditions for this Christmas, step outside your comfort zone and try incorporating some of these foreign traditions. A great way to do so is to look into your heritage and bring back your ancestors’ former traditions.