The year 2020 is drawing to a close. As the biggest holiday of the year in the West, Christmas has undoubtedly become a time of rejoicing and universal celebration in much of the world. In fact, as a global holiday, in addition to Santa Claus, Christmas trees, Christmas dinner, water bottle snowglobe lantern due to the differences in traditional habits, the festival customs are not the same.
Christmas binge-watching is a must
Once upon a time, faced with the “conformity of people” in various scenic spots during the holidays, watching TV series at home during the long holiday seems to have become the “helpless” choice of Chinese people during the long holiday. In the Western world, there is also a must-watch for Christmas. Every year around Christmas, almost all the large theaters in the world will stage a number of the famous “Christmas ballet”, the Nutcracker.
“The Nutcracker” is based on German fantasy writer Hoffmann’s fairy tale “The Nutcracker and the Rat King.” The whole story is full of romantic magic color, with a very delicate and unique style, depicting the bright and magnificent fairytale world.
In addition to the fairytale setting on Christmas Eve, the second “Christmas must-have” element of the Nutcracker is Tchaikovsky’s childlike melody, which perfectly fits the festive atmosphere of Christmas. The magnificent scenes, colorful and exotic music and dancing add to the color of “The Nutcracker”, making it truly a charming, elegant Christmas fairy ballet.
Southern Hemisphere: Summer Carnival
Snow, reindeer and Santa Claus are all too familiar Christmas scenes. In the southern hemisphere, however, Christmas is a different story. Christmas in the southern Hemisphere is truly a summer carnival.
In Brazil, many people use shredded cotton to hang their Christmas trees instead of snow. Locals also hang lights and decorations on trees and sing carols with friends and family. Unlike northern Europe, where family dinners are almost all day long, most Christmas celebrations in South America take place in the streets because of the warm weather. Common are firecrackers, brass band performances, samba dance and so on.
In Australia, the traditional Christmas dinner is full of strong summer solstice flavor. On the local Christmas menu, raisins and puddings are almost invariably served with fruit salad, ice cream and fresh summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries. Beautiful rivers, lakes, pleasant beaches, everywhere can see the Christmas holiday travel people.
Fairy Tale Kingdom: Men and animals enjoy each other
The snow fell velvety and soon covered the whole country. This is Christmas Eve in northern Europe. On this special day, people don’t forget to interact with animals. On farms, poles are erected to tie to the top the grain set aside for the birds during the harvest. People in cities spread bread on balconies and windowsills. Of course, people don’t forget livestock. On the farm, horses, cows, pigs all get double food.
There was also a custom in Northern Europe of leaving a dish of rice porridge on a barn or hay shed to appease the brownie. In the morning, the dishes were always licked clean. This custom has now died out – as people suspect the dish was eaten by a domestic cat.
Japan: Make Christmas Valentine’s Day
Although less than one percent of Japanese are Christian, Christmas is a time of ritual. The difference is that most of the festival celebrations are romantic love as the theme, even all kinds of business promotions are inseparable from the theme of “Valentine’s Day”.
Unlike European and American people enjoying Turkey at Christmas dinner, Japanese people, especially couples, love to eat fried chicken on this day, and it is also the well-known chain brand – KFC. This stems from KFC’s successful holiday marketing nearly half a century ago. Since then, the concept of “fried chicken is a traditional Christmas snack” has been passed down from generation to generation in the local society.
Germany: Alternative ritual sense
The stereotype of Germans seems to be that they are rigorous and rigid. In fact, Germans can still show their romantic and even funky side at Christmas.
The Advent wreath (Adventskranz), originating in northern Germany, is one of the most distinctive Christmas traditions in German-speaking regions such as Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg. The traditional Christmas wreath is made of pine branches and ornaments with four candles to represent the Advent calendar. It is lit on the Sunday before Christmas, and one candle is lit every Sunday. When all four are lit, it means Christmas is here.
The southern German region of Bavaria has always had the custom of Christmas shooting. In ancient times, people believed that the rumble that reverberated through the valley was enough to deter evil spirits. Also in southern Germany, the “Bochita” race is a traditional local folk custom during the Christmas season, similar to the Dragon Boat race in China. The game is named after Lady Berchita, a woman in old German folklore who helped grow crops in the fields. The runners donned scary masks and went from farm to farm with chains, brooms, and picks, asking for small gifts in return for Madame Berchita’s service.