12 Christmas Traditions From Around The World

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  • There’s an error in the infograhpic: in The Netherlands ‘Sinterklaas’ and Christmas are 2 seperate things. The character ‘Sinterklaas’ is an equivalent of ‘Santa Claus’ (which in turn is a English variation on ‘Sint Klaas’) and his birthday, December 6th, is celebrated on the day before, December 5th. Christmas (December 24th, and December 25th as an extra day off work) is celebrated originally as birthday of Jesus, or nowadays, as a big part of The Netherlands is atheist, as a kind of Thanksgiving/Wintercelebration.

  • I’m not sure about all the other languages, but the one for Thai “sawasdee pee mai” means happy new year. Merry Christmas should read “suksan wan christmas”.

  • Technically, in the Netherlands Christmas IS celebrated 25th and 26th december. It’s just that we only celebrate the religious things, and the beging with family and eating a lot. We give gifts at the 5th of december (not 6th) when we celebrate the birthday of Saint Nicholas, sinterklaas, who later became the inspiration for your santa claus.
    Oh, and he doesn’t leave candy and nuts. The most popular sinterklaas-candy are things that roughly translate to peppernuts, but they aren’t nuts. They’re sort of little spiced cookies that look like this: http://www.stadshagennieuws.nl/wp-content/foto//pepernoten1.jpg

  • I’ve heard that the Japanese KFC tradition started because KFC started spreading the rumor that in the US, people who didn’t have a family to eat Christmas dinner with would go to KFC, so the Japanese jumped all over that, and now it’s part of their tradition. Sneaky, sneaky KFC… <_<

  • I absolutely agree with Eefje on the Dutch, plus in the “other languages it says ” Zalig Kerstfeast ” what should be “Zalig Kerstfeest”

    Makes me doubt the details of the other countries, but other then that it’s a good atricle and I enjoyed reading it.

  • This must’ve taken some time to make, but it’s not very accurate. As Eefje mentioned in the Netherlands Christmas is celebrated on 25th and 26th december. Also I have never heard of the Caganer tradition in Italy. I know it’s a tradition in Italy to make a kinda big model village of Bethlehem, and at 7 january a witch, ‘la befana’ comes by which gives the kids presents.
    Also the translation for Italian merry christmas is wrong, it should read ‘Buon Natale’.

  • Also the dutch Vrolijk kerstfeest en een gelukkig nieuwjaar translates to Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • In Iceland there are 13 santas, and every one of them is an asshole, All they do is steal and fuck with the people in iceland.


  • In response to what Icelander said, the santas aren’t like that anymore, that’s what they used to be like. They’ve been modernised and now children put a shoe on their window sill 13 days before the holiday (which is on the 24th in Iceland), and as each santa arrives (one every night) it puts a small toy or candy into the shoe.

  • A few corrections: In Cantonese, Merry Christmas is Sing dan fai lok. Tchestita koleda is Bulgarian, not Brazilian. As others have mentioned, the phrase in several languages is “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”, including in Latin.

  • The one about the Netherlands isn’t totally correct, Sinterklaas is celebrated on December 5th, not 6th. He doesn’t leave nuts, they’re called “Pepernoten” which are literally translated to “Peppernuts”, but they’re in fact tiny cookies comparable to short bread with ginger and cinnamon. also, Sinterklaas is rides on a horse called “Amerigo” on the rooftops and his helpers “Black Pete” crawl into the chimneys to deliver gifts which they put in childrens shoes. Some say Black Pete originated from the slave time, others say they used to be white, but turned black due to all the charcoal in the chimneys.

  • Hey.

    In the first fact you have a mistake. Christmas is celebrated on 7th of January in the old Ortodox religion. There are 2 types of Orthodox religion, new and old, but they are different only because the old one has the celebrations two weeks after the new one. One uses the Julian calendar and the other one uses the Gregorian calendar.

  • That Irish one is absolutely fictional, honestly.. whos going to waste good guinness?

  • The part about Caracas’ roads being closed isn’t exactly accurate. In some towns and cities, people go and rollerskate around in the parks. Several years ago, when we still had milkmen delivering milk to each house, they stole the milk at dawn and replaced it with empty bottles. That tradition is dead right now (at least in big cities), so they just do the “patinatas” (rollerskating in the parks)

  • ancient traditions of firing a shotgun to scare away spirits eh? cant be that ancient if shotguns are involved…

  • Portugal does not use Caganers. Although we do make the “model village”.

  • It’s “S Novim Godom” and it means happy New Year. The religious and secular celebrations are different days!

  • Geez!! In Spain, the ‘caganer’ thing is not widely spread (and I doubt it’s so in Italy and Portugal).
    Although the Christmas ‘model’ setup called Belén (after Bethelem, where Jesus was born, according to the church), the caganer is typical and broadly used in Catalonia, which represent around 6% of the surface of Spain, for the amusement of small children. Elsewhere it’s mostly regarded as quite distasteful…

  • Hi there, thanks for the interesting article. You have a mistake in the greetings, though. I don’t know all the languages of course, but Tchestita Koleda is definitely in Bulgarian, not Brazilian.