Ireland is a country where we can find people from all over the world, especially in its capital, Dublin. I cannot think of anyone who does not have not a friend who comes from another country, and even another continent. Multiculturalism is one of the most beautiful things that you can experience abroad and Ireland offers it in spades!
The best part, however, is to have the opportunity to learn about cultures and traditions that are completely different to those that take place in your own country. Now that Christmas is approaching, one of the largest celebrations of the year in Ireland, we can find many differences between the way the Irish celebrate Christmas here, and how it is done in other countries.
Would you like to know how Christmas is celebrated in a few countries around the world? Keep reading!
Let’s start with Ireland. Here, Christmas traditions are very similar to the ones developed in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, they have a few of their own traditions and customs. One of their most popular traditions is to leave a thick lighted candle on a window, which is a symbol of hospitality, and its primary purpose is to welcome Mary and Joseph. In addition, they celebrate the Christmas Swim, which brings people out to swim in the sea on Christmas morning, a very brave tradition, taking in consideration that the temperatures are very low in winter in Ireland. On Christmas Eve, children will be waiting for presents from Santa Claus, which they will open on Christmas morning.
O Brasil é um país majoriatariamente católico, já que foi colonoziado por Portugual muitos anos atrás. Sendo assim, muitas tradições europeias natalinas foram herdadas, mesmo sendo verão no Brasil, durante a época. Santa Claus se chama Papai Noel ou Bom Velhinho. As crianças deixam uma meia grande perto da janela e os adultos participam de uma tradição chamada Amigo secreto.
No Brasil, não exite o Calendário de Natal que funciona com uma contagem regressiva para as crianças. No Brasil, os presentes são entregues antes do jantar de natal e o jantar só acontece após a meia-noite. Also, no Brasil não se celebra o St. Stephens’s Day. O dia 26 é um dia como qualquer outro.
Spain also follows many of the most typical traditions during the Christmas period, although they have some peculiar customs. For example on New Year’s Eve at midnight, Spanish people eat 12 grapes, one eaten with each chime of the bell so they can ask for a wish with each of grape. In addition, on the 5th of January,children that have been good during the year, receive presents from Los Reyes Magos – The Three Wise Men.
We also find this tradition in many countries in Central Europe and in those countries of the American continent in which there was an important Spanish presence such as Argentina, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Puerto Rico or Cuba.
Christmas has not been considered a real celebration in Japan until the last few decades. Japanese people don’t see this period as a religious celebration, but a time to spread kindness and happiness. However, they have recently developed a peculiar tradition on Christmas day: they celebrate by eating fried chicken.
Actually, this is the busiest time for restaurants of this kind like Kentucky Fried Chicken and people book their orders very far in advance! Another typical food eaten during the Christmas period is Christmas cake, which looks exactly like the emoticon we use in WhatsApp [🍰].
In Mexico, one of the most deeply rooted Christmas traditions are the “Posadas” (inn or lodge in English), celebrated between the 16th to the 24th of December. This tradition alludes to the pilgrimage that Mary and Joseph made when she was about to give birth to Jesus; looking for a place to stay and spend the night.
During this period the outside of houses are decorated with evergreens, moss and paper lanterns and people join a procession around the street, calling on the houses of friends and neighbors, carrying candles and singing songs, until eventually they are welcomed in one house where they have a party and they play with the piñata.