Well-Loved Christmas Traditions Around the World
What are some of the well-loved Christmas traditions around the world?
- Revellion, France
- Saint Nicholas Day, Germany
- Thanksgiving, USA
- Posada, Mexico
- Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan
- Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines
Christmas is a festive celebration! People from all around the world have their own beautiful traditions. Some of them have certain dishes to serve during the holidays; others exchange gifts while a few commemorate the birth of Christ. It really depends on the culture they have and practice.
You can say that each country has their own traditions during this time of the year. Some of them even influenced and inspired a number of holiday and wedding packages because of how unique and special they are.
Thinking of something that you could do in your event? We’ve listed down some Christmas traditions below so you can find out which ones you could do with your friends and family!
Christmas in France is all about spending time with friends and family; this involves a lot of food and wine!
The French celebrate Réveillon by staying awake to usher in the next day. Celebrating Réveillon essentially means gathering with family and friends to enjoy a multi-course dinner accompanied with champagne and wine.
Each region has different menus—all of which are worthy to be part of the best catering in Manila. They often include dried fruits, nougat, and other traditional sweets. The celebratory meal should always include fresh oysters, a fish course, meat and poultry dishes, an extensive cheese platter, and delectable desserts.
Saint Nicholas Day, Germany
Starting from November, the holiday time in Germany is all about the Christmas markets, baking holiday treats, and decorating the house and trees while listening to well-known Christmas carols.
Every year on December 6, Nikolaus day is celebrated in Germany. This tradition is based on the memory of Bishop Nicholas of Myra, who is known for his utmost generosity and kindness.
Children would clean their shoes before the day and put them in the front door. The next morning, “good” children will find their shoes filled with colorful candies, mandarins, and peanuts. However, it’s not all that sweet. St. Nick often brings along Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rudolph), who is the complete opposite of St. Nick. Dressed in dark clothes, covered in bells and dirty beard, he carries a stick in hand to punish misbehaved children.
In the USA, Christmas is often partnered with Thanksgiving. It is celebrated every fourth Thursday of November. It is a day of giving thanks and spending time with family and friends.
As dinnertime approaches, family members gather in comfortable arrangements, which is often a room lit with candles of red, gold, orange, and brown. With the rich, cultural diversity in the US, families may also serve dishes that represent their ethnic backgrounds. Like most menus from the best catering in Manila, the Thanksgiving menu is not complete without the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey and a dessert pie, usually filled with pumpkin or apple.
Posada in Mexico is celebrated from December 12th to January 6th. Posada in Spanish means lodging or inn. Children often perform Posada processions or Posadas. There are nine posadas and they celebrate the part of the Christmas story where Joseph and Mary are looking for a place to stay.
Each night different households host a Posada party. At the final Posada, which is usually on Christmas Eve, a manger and figures of shepherds are put into a board. When a Posada house has been found, a baby Jesus is put into the manger and then families go to a midnight church service. Afterward, fireworks appear to celebrate the start of Christmas.
Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan
Christmas is never seen as a big celebration in Japan. This holiday is seen more as a day of spreading cheer rather than a national holiday.
Japanese children receive their gifts on their pillow during Christmas night. One of the most popular meals in Japan is fried chicken accompanied with a special sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh fruits for desserts. KFC is extremely popular in Japan. It’s not uncommon to pre-order meals for the week of Christmas in advance, and it’s easily the busiest time for the famous fast food chain.
Simbang Gabi and Noche Buena, Philippines
Almost every Filipino will tell you that the holiday season begins on the month of September. Simbang Gabi is considered one of the oldest Christmas traditions in the country. It is a nine-day series of masses to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a common belief for Filipinos that if they completed all the days of Simbang Gabi, their wish will be granted.
Aside from Simbang Gabi, they also have the so-called Noche Buena. It literally means “the good night.” Filipino families often have a big feast on Christmas Eve. The feast can be simple with a traditional dinner. But it can also be extravagant–a night filled with games and gift exchanges.
Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year and many holiday and wedding packages are inspired by some of the well-loved Christmas traditions from all over the world.
Whether you’re celebrating a religious festival, indulging on holiday treats, or having a more secular occasion, we hope that you and your loved ones have a merry Christmas!