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Christmas Around the World

Christmas around the world has a number of different holiday traditions and Christmas stories that are told and celebrated. The practices and cultures are as various as the activities and cultures of the lands the holiday is celebrated in.

Christmas in the United States is based on many of the European traditions of Christmas. However, because of the various cultures and influences in the country there are some differences as well. One of the main holiday traditions celebrated in the USA is the Christmas stories surrounding Santa Claus

Santa Claus is heavily celebrated in the USA. Parents take their children to malls all over the country where the kids have the opportunity to meet Santa Claus. The kids get to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and the parents get to use the experience as a photo opportunity.

The citizens of Australia get to celebrate Christmas in the summertime. Instead of visions of snowy days and cold wintry nights, their Christmas days are filled with fun in the sun, picnics in the park and even swimming and playing on the beach.

The Australian population is 70% Catholic or Protestant so there is a significant religious influence on the holiday season. Special mass services are held at midnight and many attend these services. After the services end, families head on home and attempt to get some sleep so that in the morning they can partake in the present opening and celebration of the holiday.

Japan is a country that celebrates Christmas despite the religious beliefs of its citizens. Since less than 1% of the population is Christian, Christmas is considered more of a commercial holiday as oppose to a spiritual celebration. In fact it's not even an official holiday in Japan where people get the day off.

Although people still have to work on Christmas day, the Japanese still find time to celebrate the holiday anyway. One of the most unique experiences of the Japanese approach to Christmas is their Christmas dinner activities. Most places of the world have a large, home-cooked dinner in the home. In Japan, it is common for people to order a special Christmas Chicken dinner from Kentucky Friend Chicken, or KFC.

China also celebrates Christmas more for its commercial aspects as opposed to its religious aspects. In China, the Chinese word for Santa literally means "Christmas Old Man" in English. The Chinese do a lot of shopping and other Christmas activities as well.

Although Christmas is celebrated in China, it is nowhere near as important a holiday as it is considered in other parts of the world. The equivalent to Christmas in Chinese culture comes in the following month, which is the Chinese New Year.

A French Christmas has several aspects of holiday traditions as many of the other countries in the world. However, there are some slight differences. The French do not decorate Christmas trees.

One thing the French do spend a lot of time on is putting up nativity scenes and other scenes that illustrate Christmas stories outside of their homes and in public places. In French scenes, besides traditional characters, you may also see characters that represent French local influence and personality.

There are a wide variety of ways that Christmas around the world is celebrated. Depending on where you go in the world you will see many different holiday traditions. Christmas is a very popular holiday throughout the world and is one of the most widely celebrated traditions in the world today both by Christians and non Christians.

About the Author

Kerry Beck offers free advent calendars with daily Christmas activities to prepare your family for Christmas at