You know a Filipino Christmas when you see one: Simbang Gabi, Misa de Gallo, and a festive Noche Buena featuring lechon, puto bumbong, and other local delicacies. While other countries have the same traditions (notably in South America), other countries celebrate Christmas differently. Those who see Christmas as a religious holiday have a more subdued celebration, while others throw extravagant parties complete with fireworks. Some even celebrate Christmas in January!
We list down some ways other countries celebrate Christmas. Read on below:
1. In Argentina, locals celebrate Christmas by lighting fireworks at the stroke of midnight. They also light up paper lanterns they call globos, which they set into the sky.
2. In Armenia, Santa Claus visits on New Year’s Eve, as locals treat Christmas as a religious holiday.
3. In Australia, Santa Claus uses six kangaroos instead of reindeers. They are called Santa’s White Boomers.
4. In Austria, their version of Santa is a golden-haired baby with wings named Christkind, who decorates trees and leaves gifts for kids. They also believe in the Krampus, a monster that punishes naughty children.
5. In Belgium, children believe that if you’ve been naughty, you’ll be taken away by Zwarte Piet (Black Peter or Sinterklaas’ assistant) in a sack and sent to Spain!
6. In Bulgaria, families serve pita, a pastry that has a coin baked in it. It is believed that whoever finds the coin will be lucky the following year.
7. A popular Christmas drink in Chile is the Cola de Mono (Monkey’s Tail), which is made up of coffee, milk, liquor, cinnamon and sugar.
8. In China, locals give apples wrapped in paper, because the Chinese term for Christmas Eve is Ping’an Ye (平安夜), which sounds like píngguǒ (苹果), or apple. The term Ping’an Ye is translated from the song “Silent Night.”
9. In the Czech Republic, some people may fast on Christmas Eve, hoping that they’ll see a vision of the golden pig on the wall before dinner. It is believed to be a sign of good luck.
10. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, locals celebrate Christmas Eve by holding a long nativity play, with many actors making it fun by exaggerating their acting. It usually starts at the beginning of the evening until 1AM.
What other ways do other countries celebrate Christmas? Share them below!
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