See what Christmas looks like in 10 places around the world

Glittering pine bushes, Santa Claus and stockings are a part of many individuals’s concepts of Christmas, however the vacation can look vastly completely different around the globe.

From Europe to Asia to the depths of Antarctica, here is how Christmas is widely known in 9 places around the world — and one place orbiting around the world.


In some elements of Europe, kids consider St. Nicholas leaves sweets and presents in their sneakers if they’ve behaved nicely. Otherwise, Krampus, a monster-like creature, could depart coal or dried twigs.

Monika Skolimowska | image alliance | Getty Images

“As a child I used to leave out a shoe on the window,” mentioned Antonio Zdunich, who was born in Croatia. “Someone would fill it up with gifts and candy during the night, and I would wake up and be all happy,”

Many households in Croatia plant wheat on Dec. 13 with the perception that if it grows nicely, the subsequent 12 months can be affluent for them, he mentioned.


The individuals of Sweden embellish Christmas bushes and change presents, just like different elements of the world, mentioned Swede Patrik Kerttu.

The Disney particular entitled “From All of Us to All of You” is often Sweden’s most watched tv present of the 12 months, competing solely with the nation’s try-outs for the Eurovision Song Contest.

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They rejoice with Donald Duck too. Last 12 months, greater than 4.5 million individuals — almost half of Sweden’s population — watched the 1958 Disney particular “From All of Us to All of You,” in line with the English-language European information community, The Local. The present has aired there yearly since 1959.

Popular meals throughout this time of the 12 months are meatballs, ham, smoked or marinated salmon, pickled herring and a potato and anchovy casserole known as Jansson’s temptation, mentioned Kerttu.


While elements of the nation rejoice in alternative ways, Christian households in India usually mix western traditions with customs distinctive to India.

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“Christmas is a pretty important celebration for my family because it’s the one time in a year that most of the family gather together,” mentioned Isha Meleth, who’s Christian and from the south Indian state of Kerala. “We build a Christmas crib [nativity scene] in front of the house … on Christmas Eve.”

Two common Christmas dishes are kheer, a kind of candy milk pudding, and kallappam, a coconut and rice pancake which is extra frequent in southern India, Meleth mentioned.


For most in Japan, Christmas is a secular affair, quite than a spiritual one.

Many Japanese individuals celebrate the holiday much like Valentine’s Day, with {couples} spending the day collectively, in line with JR Pass, a Japanese rail journey firm. It is frequent for individuals to go on dinner dates and stroll around taking a look at Christmas lights with their companions.

One of the most mentioned traditions — a minimum of outdoors of Japan — is the tradition’s fascination with having fried rooster for Christmas, usually from the U.S. quick meals chain KFC.

One concept behind Japan’s customized of consuming KFC on Christmas is that it was a foreigner’s meals of alternative for the vacation since turkey wasn’t out there. This impressed the firm to promote it as a Christmas meals, a KFC Japan consultant instructed CNBC.

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A 1974 vacation advertising marketing campaign known as “Kentucky Christmas” launched a apply that’s now celebrated by hundreds of thousands of Japanese individuals, mentioned Tatsuya Noguchi, a KFC Japan consultant.

According to Noguchi, pre-orders for meals like the “Party Barrel” or “Christmas Pack” start around seven weeks in advance. The restaurant chain additionally sees its highest gross sales of the 12 months between Dec. 23 and 25, he mentioned.

“Every year, the busiest day is Dec. 24 — which is about five to 10 times busier than the annual average,” mentioned Noguchi.


Some 92% of the Philippines’ 110 million people are Christian. Christmas is the most necessary time of the 12 months in the Philippines, and the nation is alleged to rejoice the vacation longer than anyplace else — from September to January.

“Like many Latin cultures, my family in the Philippines celebrates Nochebuena, which is a big celebration on the night of Christmas Eve,” mentioned Siena Klinzing, who’s half-Filipino. “It involves getting together with family, having a big feast and sharing gifts.”

For many Filipino households, Christmas is incomplete with out lechon, a complete crispy-skinned roasted pig.

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She mentioned her household stays up, a lot like New Year’s Eve, to want everybody “Merry Christmas” as quickly as the clock strikes midnight, she added.

Another necessary custom is Simbang Gabi, which implies “mass at night,” the place individuals get up earlier than daybreak to attend mass for 9 days from Dec. 16 to 24. It is believed that those that full all 9 days can ask for a blessing, Klinzing mentioned.

United Arab Emirates

Though the official state faith of the UAE is Islam, Christmas is widely known in some elements of the nation.

It is a very large affair in the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the place numerous expats reside.

Dubai has lighting ceremonies of enormous, elaborately adorned Christmas bushes, like this one at the Al-Wasl Dome at the coronary heart of Expo 2020 Dubai.

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Malls and hotels are often heavily decorated with Christmas bushes that span a number of flooring, in line with Visit Dubai, the emirate’s official tourism web site.

Christmas markets, performances and particular vacation menus at eating places are additionally frequent throughout December.


Christmas in Mexico is marked by massive parades with colourful floats and costumes, candy-filled pinatas and nativity scenes. But considered one of the nation’s hottest customs is Las Posadas, a celebration throughout the 9 days main as much as Christmas.

Dancers in costume take part in a conventional Christmas and New Year parade in Chilpancingo, a metropolis in the Mexican state of Guerrero.

Pedro Pardo | AFP | Getty Images

“Every night, people form a singing procession that is meant to represent Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem,” mentioned Mexican food blogger Mely Martinez.

Those processions usually culminate at somebody’s home, the place everybody gathers for a celebration with meals resembling tamales, Christmas punch and candies, she mentioned. Other common Christmas meals embody pozole, candy fried dough fritters known as bunuelos, and a scorching chocolate drink known as champurrado, Martinez mentioned.


Christmas is a time for migration for a lot of in Kenya. Cities, together with the capital of Nairobi, expertise an exodus in December as droves of individuals journey to their hometowns and villages to reunite with their households.

Believers of Legio Maria, a spiritual motion that sprung amongst the Luo individuals of western Kenya, attend an in a single day Christmas mass close to Ugunja, Kenya on Dec. 25, 2017.

Fredrik Lerneryd | AFP | Getty Images

Most church buildings maintain an evening vigil on Christmas Eve, the place individuals sing carols and hymns for hours, mentioned Shikriti Mandal, who grew up in Kenya.

Come Christmas Day, households and mates have a feast which regularly contains barbecued goat or lamb meat known as nyama choma, mentioned Mandal.


Currently, the South Pole is dwelling to 70 everlasting analysis stations representing 29 completely different nations, according to Oceanwide Expeditions, an Arctic and Antarctic tour firm.

Since the ordinary commotion of Christmas is lacking, stations discover inventive methods to rejoice amongst colleagues.

A person dressed as Santa Claus is en route to go to the cruise ship Seabourn Quest on Christmas morning at Cuverville Island in the Antarctic Peninsula area.

Wolfgang Kaehler | LightRocket | Getty Images

“Each of our five Antarctic research stations celebrates Christmas in their own way, dependent on the weather,” mentioned Kathleen Maclean, a consultant of the British Antarctic Survey. Some could roast a turkey and eat tinned and frozen greens, whereas others sing carols, watch Christmas movies and play board video games, she mentioned.

Despite the festivities, analysis continues since “long-term monitoring data still needs to be collected,” mentioned Maclean.

International Space Station

Such is the spirit of Christmas that people have discovered a option to rejoice it 227 nautical miles (420 kilometers) above Earth.

According to NASA’s web site, astronauts aboard the International Space Center have celebrated Christmas, Hanukah and New Years for the previous 21 years and have developed a number of traditions alongside the manner.

Celebrations on the ISS embody adorning the station, having fun with plastic pouch variations of conventional meals like turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and cookies, and filming movies of vacation greetings that are despatched again to earth.

Christmas additionally comes twice on the Space Station because it falls on Jan. 7 on the Russian Orthodox calendar, which many Russian astronauts comply with.

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