What Christmas festivities look like around the world

By Nigel Booth
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 2:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 2:34 pm
Celebrating Christmas in Frankfurt, Germany (photo: Shutterstock)
Celebrating Christmas in Frankfurt, Germany (photo: Shutterstock)

Celebrating Christmas worldwide

Christmas is getting closer and experts have revealed some of the unique ways the holiday is celebrated around the world.

The language and culture experts at Busuu have looked into the different ways countries celebrate Christmas, with findings including KFC for lunch in Japan and Christmas on the beach in Australia.

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The research shows that some countries have traditions and celebrations that Brits may find a bit strange.

Many countries enjoy fish as part of their Christmas dinner, rather than traditional UK favourites like chicken or turkey, mainly because these options are harder to find.

For Japan, the difficulty of finding chicken means that people rush to KFC as part of their Christmas dinner!

All of the countries on the list tend to decorate their homes during the festive period – except in Japan, where families are usually unable to fit a Christmas tree inside of their homes so they opt for smaller ones.

Unlike other nations, China doesn’t go all out for Christmas. The holiday tends to be more of a commercial event and people use the day to get together with loved ones.

A language expert at Busuu said: “Christmas is clearly a huge occasion here in the UK – full of different traditions, like putting up the Christmas tree, having Christmas dinner, and leaving biscuits and milk out for Santa!

“Not every country celebrates Christmas the same – some have their own unique traditions and some don’t really celebrate Christmas at all.

“If we look at Australia for example, they celebrate Christmas in the middle of summer, so they actually spend their morning out on the beach going for a swim!

“In Japan, Christmas is mainly celebrated by families with young children, and couples tend to treat the holiday like Valentine’s Day.”

How Christmas is celebrated around the world:

Australia

Celebrating Christmas down under in Australia (photo: Shutterstock)

Christmas festivities in Australia are very similar to the ones here in the UK, the one major difference though is that it is the middle of summer for those who live down under.

Before lunch families will take a trip out to the beach for a swim, and later enjoy food like turkey and ham, accompanied with fresh salad and seafood!

France

Like the UK, Christmas is celebrated by most people in France. They decorate their homes and will also set up an advent wreath, which has four candles. As each week in December passes, another candle is lit.

Germany

In Germany, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th and it’s a big deal. Families start prepping for it as early as October. Like in the UK, they decorate their homes and put up their Christmas tree.

Poland

The start of Christmas in Poland really takes place on the 24th. When the first star appears families will fast until the evening meal.

Japan

Christmas is a big celebration in Japan and the festivities tend to start around November. Christmas decorations in Japan are very similar to ones in the UK, except Japanese homes tend to be smaller so rather than a large tree, people opt for something smaller.

China

In China, Christmas tends to be more of a commercial holiday, rather than one that is actually celebrated by families. Major cities and department stores will be decorated with large Christmas trees and bright lights.