The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Fluco Journalism
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Christmas Around the World

Have you ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated around the world or in different cultures? In America, gifts are exchanged, meals are set out on the table, and holiday traditions are carried on like watching movies, baking cookies, going to church or Christmas programs, and decorating the tree. In other cultures, however, Christmas may look very different.

Here are three countries that celebrate Christmas in ways that may look very unique compared to in America.


In Germany, the main dish that is served on Weihnachten (as Christmas is called in that country) is carp or goose, with a side of fruited yeast bread. Advent calendars and Christmas trees are a part of the tradition, although some advent calendars are different from the ones seen here in the United States. Some calendars are made with a wreath of fir branches and feature 24 decorated boxes or bags that contain little gifts. An “Advent Kranz” (meaning Advent wreath) is another type of advent calendar that is made of a ring of fir branches that has four candles on it. One candle is lit for the beginning of each week in Advent.

Along with Advent calendars and Christmas trees, St. Nicholas is still a part of the German Christmas. However, he is often followed by Krampus, a large monster with horns who legend ays punishes kids who have been bad. In different parts of Germany, St. Nicholas (also called Santa Claus) can also be followed by “Zwarter Piet” (Black Peter), a small man who wears Spanish Renaissance clothing and helps pass out candies and goodies to kids, or Belsnickel, a man dressed completely in fur who carries a switch (a type of whip) and goodies that stay in his pocket.


In Australia, Christmas occurs during a warm time of year, from the middle of December to early February and many people go camping during this time. Poinsettia plants and Christmas bush, an Australian tree with small green leaves and cream-colored flowers that turn red over a period of weeks, are both common decorations you find used in Australia. Christmas dinner is often eaten during lunch time and it is tradition to have seafood, such as prawns and lobsters, along with the “traditional English” meal which usually contains ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans.


Many in Japan also celebrate Christmas, but not in the same way as in America. Christmas in Japan is seen more as a day to spread happiness than a religious celebration. It is not a national holiday, but schools do occasionally close on Dec. 25. Gift-giving and card-giving are popular traditions, and parties are also often held for children that include activities like singing and dancing, with kids receiving a single gift. On Christmas Day, a tradition is to eat at KFC, or just eat chicken in general. Another traditional food for the day is a Christmas cake, a sponge cake decorated with whipped cream and strawberries or with trees, flowers, and a figure of Santa Claus on top.


For more Christmas traditions around the world, see this article by Country Living Magazine.

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