What are Christmas customs around the world? From January to December, for Christians, there is no period worth celebrating; other than Christmas. It is a season where people come together for one purpose. That purpose is nothing but a celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ birth. The one whom Christians believe is the Son of God. Feature Picture credit to Freestocks.org.
Although many ascribed this period to mark the end of the year. Some regard it as a season of giving, while other countries don’t even regard the day being a public holiday. In whichever ways we want to view Christmas, it is a season of merriment.
What a wonderful joy Christmas brings to the world. The joy of the season was felt from every corner of the world. No wonder the season is full of laughter, joy, happiness, and fulfillment.
The name “Christmas” comes from Christ’s mass (or Jesus). Mass service (sometimes referred to as Communion or Eucharist) is a place where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life.
The “Christ Mass” service was the only one that could happen after sunset and before dawn the next day. So, people greet each other at midnight! Then we got the name Christ-Mass other shortened to Christmas.
People around the globe celebrate Christmas, whether they are Christians or not. This is the time when family and friends merge and remember the good things they have. Children also love Christmas because that is the time when they give and receive gifts.
History of Christmas Celebration
Centuries before the arrival of Jesus, the middle of winter has long been a party around the world. The first Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest winter days. Many were delighted during the winter solstice. They believe the worst was behind them and could expect long lengths and long hours of sunshine.
In Germany, during the middle of winter holidays, the people began to celebrate the pagan god Oden. They believed that Oden flies by night through the sky to watch the people and then decide who would prosper or fall.
The Roman Saturn Festival took place between 17 and 23 December. This period marks the Roman god Saturn celebration and was the “birthday” of the god of sun Pagan Mithra. All this could be attributed to why Christmas party holds on December 25th.
Christmas is a sacred religious holiday and a world cultural and commercial phenomenon. Over millennia, people around the world practice Christmas. Popular customs include gift-sharing, Christmas tree decoration, and church boarding.
Others involve sharing meals with family and friends. Of course, people are waiting for Santa Claus‘s arrival. December 25, Christmas is a public holiday in many countries.
What Does Christmas Mean to Family Member?
Don’t be surprise the dozen of answers you are going to get. If you chose to take a random sampling across the street of what Christmas meant to the different family. Your outcome will amaze you. For me, I believed Christmas is:
- Is About Love Ones
- Is About Giving
- Is About Being Kind to Strangers
- Is About Jesus
The family is of utmost importance to God. He could send Jesus as an adult but instead gave Jesus earthly mother and father who raised him in his family. The celebration of family values and friendship on Christmas is the reflection of the first Christmas night when Jesus was born. The more reason Jesus was sent that we might become His spiritual children (i.e family).
Christmas is marked by Jesus’ birth, the greatest gift you can ever receive at any time. Every gift we give with love is the reflection of our creator who gave us the first time gift. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV).
Being kind to friends and strangers is similar. This should be something that Christians practice throughout the year. But if the Christmas holidays are designed for that, it is better we return to kindness.
This is the real reason for the season. In Western cultures, whether religious or secular; most people have heard the name of Jesus. They knew it is associated with this time of year (Christmas) where Jesus is celebrated.
Events Associated With Christmas Celebration
People have been linking Church Christmas bells with Christmas for decades. In Anglican and Catholic churches, the church day begins at dawn. So, every afternoon service is the first day of service. Then the Christmas Eve service after sunset is traditionally the first Christmas service! Churches with bell often call to the beginning of this service by ringing the bell.
It began in Great Britain 800 years ago, in the Middle Ages. It was the day when the alms box, collecting boxes for the poor who were often kept in the churches. Some churches still open these boxes on the Day of St. Stephen.
Boxing Day is December 26 and is celebrated only in some countries. It is linked to the United Kingdom (such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) and in many European countries.
The reasons why candles are associated with Christmas are numerous. They were used during the celebration of the ancient winter solstice as a way to remember how spring will come soon. It also symbolizes the stars of Bethlehem.
Christmas Candy Canes
Christmas Candy Cane was born in Germany about 250 years ago. The story says a choirmaster in 1670 was concerned about the children who sat quietly during the Christmas service. So he gave them something to eat to keep them silent!
He wanted to remind them of Christmas. He shaped those gifts in form of “J”. As a shepherd’s stick to remind them the priests who visited the baby Jesus the first Christmas. However, the oldest “candy” records come more than 200 years later. The story, though very enjoyable, is probably not true!
Today, cards have all kinds of images. Some have jokes, winter paintings, Santa Claus or romantic scenes of life in the past. Christmas is the season when most of these cards are sold in large quantities. Charity organizations often sell their Christmas greeting cards as a way to generate money on Christmas.
Most artificial Christmas trees are pre-illuminated. We can skip the rhythm of the holes to evenly align the light around the branch. We can focus on those ideas for decorating Christmas trees.
What Are Christmas Customs Around The World?
Before reading more about how is Christmas celebrated around the world, let us watch a video below:
Throughout the world, many people celebrate Christmas on December 25th. It often combines with the customs of pre-Christian winter celebrations. People decorate their homes with many Christmas accessories such as lights, Christmas trees and more.
It is customary to arrange a special meal. Often consisting of turkey and many other festive foods for family or friends. Sharing gifts with them is also inevitable.
In United State, children, in particular, receive many gifts from their parents and other relatives. Also from the mythological figure of Santa Claus. As a result, Christmas became a commercial holiday. Many families spend a large part of their income on gifts and food during this period.
In Nigeria, most family living in cities travels to villages. There they meet with their grandparents and older ones living in the village. Often they organize Christmas party that lasts all night. Those that are highly recognized are community leaders, village heads, chiefs and others in attendants. Firecracker is one of those precious gifts you can offer a child in Nigeria for Christmas.
One of the most important ways to celebrate Christmas in Italy is the Nativity Crib Scene. Sometimes the scene is represented as a pyramid, which can be a few feet high. It consists of several levels of shelves and decorated with paper.
Also with the decoration is a pineapple covered with gold and small candles. Today, a big Christmas dinner with various fish dishes is a very popular tradition in Italy. It is known as a feast of seven fish.
The most popular Christmas song in Brazil is “Happy Night”. Favorite Christmas food in Brazil includes pork, turkey, ham, salads and fresh dried fruits. Everything is served with raisins and a good spoon of butterfat (flavored manioc flour). Popular Christmas desserts include tropical sweets and ice cream.
In India and China, Christmas is quite a small festive compared to other religious festivals. Mango or Banana trees are used in India instead of a Christmas trees to celebrate Christmas. Santa Claus delivers gifts on a horse.
However, take this time of year to remember why we buy gifts and ornaments. Because God has given us His Son to make us part of His family. Love is good, and because God loved us, we must show kindness to others. If we are followers of Christ, then we are part of His church, and our job is to share with those who do not know Him.
During this holiday when everyone around you feels more kind, charitable and appreciative of your family, do not ignore Jesus. The true meaning of Christmas.
If you want to know about holiday delicacies around the world, read more about Holiday Delicacies From Around The World here.
How do your family celebrate Christmas? Please write your comment in the comment column and I will be more than happy to reply your comment.