Christmas around the world

If you stared out of your window and saw that it was a bright sunny afternoon and a perfect day for hitting the beach in your shorts – would you believe it was Christmas?

If you live in the United States, probably not. But in Australia and other places in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas actually falls in summer when temperatures approach 100 F! So, Christmas in these places, is celebrated outdoors with picnics, beach parties and candlelight carol singing under the stars.

Find that strange?

Then, take this quiz to see how much you know about Christmas traditions and facts about the holiday and how it is celebrated in other countries.

  1. If you were eating rice pudding with a hidden magic almond in it and were leaving out a bowl of pudding for an elf called Nisse so he wouldn’t play too many practical jokes on Christmas, where would you be living?
  2. If your kids are impatient to open their presents, tell them about the country where children actually wait until Janurary 6th to open them. It’s the same country, where the evil witch Befana is said to leave coal instead of presents for the naughty kids and where people gather at noon on Christmas to hear the Pope offer his prayers and blessings.
  3. Christmas in this country is marked by the arrival of the Christ child Christkindli, a veiled angle who brings gifts. As she enters each house and begins handing out gifts, tree candles are lit. The holiday season in this beautiful country is incomplete without the sternsingers or star singers, who dress up as the three kings and parade down streets singing Christmas carols.
  4. Christmas celebrations start early in this country, on Dec 1st or even earlier. On Dec 5th, children leave a boot or shoe outside their homes and the following day, which is St. Nicolaus day, they find in it either presents or a rod depending on how nice or naughty they had been. An advent wreath is laid out flat on a table and a candle is lit each Sunday in December. Three candles are lit in this way and the fourth and last candle is lit on Christmas eve, thus helping kids keep track of the days remaining until the holiday.
  5. Where would you be if you were mummering? What’s that you ask? Well, it’s a custom in this country where people put on masks and act out Christmas plays. Their celebrations begin with attending the midnight mass. The Christmas feast, besides including at least two roasted meats, a variety of vegetables and roasted potatoes, is wrapped up with Christmas pudding, mince pies and a Christmas cake that is prepared a couple of months ahead! The day after Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day, referring to the custom of opening church alms boxes and distributing the contents to the needy.

How did you do on your Christmas Quiz? Are there any special Christmas customs or traditions your family follows? Tell us!

Answers :  1. Denmark, 2.Italy 3. Switzerland 4. Germany 5. England