Christmas Traditions Around The World

Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated worldwide! It is a time of celebration and rejoices! For many of us, we have certain family traditions during Christmas, but Christmas traditions expand further than family. Every country has its own traditions for this special time of the year! In the US for example we hang colorful lights on the outside of our houses. But what do other countries such as China, Mexico, and France do?
One of the most popular, and beautiful in my opinion, traditions in China is to hang paper lanterns inside and outside their houses. Their purpose is almost the same as Christmas lights! They are meant to bring light and color to houses. During the Chinese New Year, the lanterns are thought to keep the Nian monster away and bring good luck.
Do you like caroling? Well, if you were a kid in Mexico you would have to! A very important Christmas tradition in Mexico is that every night from December 16th through December 24th the kids go to every house and sing. They also will ask families if there is room in their inn as a symbol of the story of Joseph and Mary. This tradition is very exciting for the kids, as well as the families receiving the singing!
We all know that Santa puts treats and fun little things in our stockings, but did you know he puts presents in shoes too? Children in France put their shoes by the fire instead of hanging up stockings, and they don’t just leave them bare. In France, children also put a carrot or treat in their shoes for Santa’s donkey. When they wake up on Christmas morning their shoes are full of money, candy, or little toys. It’s just another fun way for kids to celebrate Christmas!
Now, enough about other countries’ traditions. Ever wonder why we have certain traditions? Why do we hang Christmas lights, or have Christmas trees? We started hanging Christmas lights because it symbolized Christ being the light of the world. Lights are also a fun and colorful way to decorate our houses during Christmas. Christmas trees are another fun way to decorate our houses, but they actually began as a symbol of Christianity. The triangle build of a Christmas tree was supposed to represent the Trinity. Nowadays people put them up for fun, and because it is probably the most popular tradition during Christmas.

Christmas trees are a beautiful and colorful way to decorate for Christmas! (Picture By: Joe deSousa)

Christmas is also about having fun! In China, people give each other apples on Christmas! Why do they do such an odd thing? Well, it has a very heartwarming meaning behind it. In China Christmas Eve is called “Ping’an Ye”, meaning a quiet or peaceful night. Apple is Chinese is pronounced “pingguo” which sounds like the word for peace. Therefore on Christmas, the Chinese give out apples! In Mexico, pinatas are a super fun way to celebrate Christmas! They might be full of candy, or money, or little presents. In France, there are 13 different types of desserts eaten at Christmas dinner! That’s a lot of desserts!
Overall Christmas is a time for happiness and making memories with family and friends. Many countries have their own ways of bringing good cheer, but one thing we all have in common is that special feeling during this happy time of the year!
If you want to learn more about Christmas traditions visit this link!