Christmas Around the World: A Global Tour


Ornaments and trees as a whole are not only commonplace in America, but throughout a good portion throughout the world.

Eye-catching, fluorescent lights and trees, bright red hats, intricate gift wrapping, and extravagant family feasts. All of these habits and traditions make up America´s personality during Christmas, but does the rest of the world celebrate the same way?

The answer: a resounding no. As it turns out, each country distinctively possesses its own traditions, decorations and meals. So, let’s spring right into how these nations´ celebrations differ from one another. 

Christmas in Japan:

In the East Asian country of Japan, Christmas is a relatively new holiday that has only been around for a few decades. A 1974 advertisement, ¨Kentucky for Christmas¨ spawned the now customary tradition of fried chicken or fast food for dinner.

Due in part to its ¨contemporary¨ status as a holiday, Christmas is not seen as a religiously affiliated holiday. The celebration is seen more as a gift-giving holiday, which is commonplace in the island country. 

Christmas in Argentina:

Juxtaposed to Christmas in Japan, the holiday season in Argentina is celebrated with a large emphasis on religion. Argentinians celebrate the Immaculate Conception on December 8, which prefaces Christmas day.

Contrasting from America, gifts and cards are only exchanged between close friends and family. On top of this, nativity scenes are seen at nearly every house, even more so than Christmas trees.

Christmas in Angola:

With nearly 75% of Angola being religiously Christian, Christmas is a largely recognized and celebrated holiday. Every year during the Advent season, many special church services are thrown, along with a televised mass on Christmas day.

When it comes to gifts, the act of exchanging presents is more often in big cities than rural areas. But regardless of urban or city area, nativity scenes are a fixture when it comes to decoration during this time.

Christmas in Ukraine:

Due to Ukrainians on average being Orthodox Christian, Christmas falls on January 7 as opposed to December 25. A big feast, The Holy Supper, is eaten on Christmas Eve, where the 12 dishes represent the 12 disciples.

All in all, the holiday season is anything but homogenous on a global scale. Whether Christmas traditions entail eating an extravagant meal, attending midnight mass or hanging up lights around the neighborhood, the holiday in and of itself is revered throughout the world.