Christmas around the world

Christmas in Germeny

In some homes a room is locked up before Christmas. On Christmas Eve the children go to bed but are woken up at midnight by their parents and taken down to the locked room. The door is opened and they see the tree all lit up, with piles of parcels on little tables.

This is a Christmas tree lighting in Germany

On December 6 is Nikolaustag, St. Claus day. A shoe or boot is left outside the door on Dec.5 with hopes the following morning you find presents, if you were good - or, unfortunately a rod if you had been bad.

This is a Kris Kringle mart
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.

Christmas in Great Britain

Wassailing is a very ancient custom that is rarely done today. The word 'wassail' comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase 'waes hael', which means 'good health'. Originally, the wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar.

Christmas crackers are a traditional Christmas favorite in the UK. They were first made in about 1845-1850 by a London sweet maker called Tom Smith. He had seen the French 'bon bon' sweets (almonds wrapped in pretty paper). He came back to London and tried selling sweets like that in England and also included a small motto or riddle in with the sweet. But they didn't sell very well.

homemade Christmas crakers
Boxing Day takes place on December 26th and is only celebrated in a few countries; mainly ones historically connected to the UK (such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) and in many European countries. In Germany it is known as "Zweite Feiertag” (which means 'second celebration') and also “Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” which translates as Boxing Day (although it doesn’t literally mean that)!

Christmas in France

This impressive Twelfth Cake, which was baked and decorated on our Taste of Christmas Past course is ornamented with gum paste devices printed from original eighteenth century moulds.The icing is coloured with cochineal in the manner of the day. The two crowns, standard decorations used on cakes of this kind, were constructed from ten individual shapes pressed from the mould below, a rare survivor from the late eighteenth century. The other ornaments were all printed from two carved wooden moulds or confectioner's boards.Designs for these cakes varied considerably, but that above made with the tools of the Georgian confectioners trade gives a pretty fair impression of these remarkable precursors of the Victorian Christmas Cake, which seems to have usurped the role of the Twelfth Cake in the 1860s.
The favourite O Come, O Come Emmanuel carol was originally written in Latin text in the 12th Century. The author of the words and composer to the music of O Come, O Come Emmanuel is unknown. It is, however believed that the melody was of French origin and added to the text a hundred years later. The Latin was translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.
The First Noel is unknown in origin but is generally thought to be English dating back to the sixteenth century. There is a misconception that the First Noel was French and it is believed that this is because of the French spelling of Noel as opposed to the olde English Anglo-Saxon spelling of the word as in Nowell. After England was captured by the Normans numerous words were adopted from the Norman French language and Noel was re-spelt as Nowell, early printed versions of this carol use the Nowell spelling. The First Noel was first published in 1833 when it appeared in "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern," a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys.

Christmas in Spain

Paella is a Valencian rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near the Albuferalagoon on the east coast of Spain adjacent to the city of Valencia.[4] Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.
Turrón is a confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake. It is frequently consumed as a traditional Christmas dessert in Spain as well as countries formerly under the Spanish empire, particularly in Latin America.
Most people in Spain go to Midnight Mass or 'La Misa Del Gallo' (The Mass of the Rooster). It is called this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night that Jesus was born. Most families eat their main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve before the service.

Christmas in Italy

The difference between the two is the way the meringue is made - either Italian or French meringue can be combined with ground almonds. A macaron is made by combining icing sugar and ground almonds until fine. In a separate bowl, egg whites that are beaten until a meringue-like texture.
In Italian folklore, Befana (pronounced [beˈfaːna]) is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St Nicholas or Santa Claus. A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany or in Italian La Festa dell'Epifania.

Christmas in the Netherland

Black Pete or Black Peter is the companion of Saint Nicholas (Dutch: Sinterklaas, Luxembourgish: Kleeschen) in the folklore of the Low Countries. The character first appeared in his current form in an 1850 book by Jan Schenkman, and is commonly depicted as a blackamoor. Traditionally, Zwarte Piet is said to be blackbecause he is a Moor from Spain. Those portraying Zwarte Piet typically put on blackface make-up and colourful Renaissance attire, in addition to curly wigs, red lipstick, and earrings. In recent years, the character has become the subject of controversy, especially in the Netherlands.
People from all over the world still think that the Dutch wear clogs or wooden shoes every day. If you’re one of those people, we’re sorry to disappoint you. Contrary to popular belief, most Dutch people don’t wear clogs anymore. The only group of people that still wear them are rural workers. Clogs keep your feet dry, are very safe and wearing them is even considered to be healthy. The European Union acknowledged this and gave the clog a CE mark. Currently, there are 25 traditional clog makers who like to demonstrate the profession of clog making.
Sinterklaas is a historical figure with legendary, and folkloric origins based on Saint Nicholas. Other names for the figure include De Sint ("The Saint"), De Goede Sint ("The Good Saint"), and De Goedheiligman ("The Good Holy Man") in Dutch; Saint-Nicolas in French; Sinteklaas in Frisian; and Kleeschenand Zinniklos in Luxembourgish.

Christmas in Scandinavia

Long ago, when the Roman Emperor Diocletian ruled the land we know as Italy, a young girl was born to a Roman father and a Greek mother. From the moment of her birth, the little girl glowed with an inner light, and so her parents named her Lucia. And just as that light had promised, she grew to be loving and beautiful, bursting with warmth. Sadly, Lucia's father died when she was just a girl, but her mother, Eutychia, loved the girl deeply.
A nisse or Norwegian pronunciation: Danish plural nisser) or tonttu (Finland) is a mythological creature from Scandinavian folklore today typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. It is generally described as being no taller than three feet, having a long white beard, and wearing a conical or knit cap in red or some other bright color. They often have an appearance somewhat similar to that of a garden gnome.
Like desserts, pastries are not something I bake often. We eat crusty hearth breads around the clock, including for breakfast. But for some reason, the BreadBakingDay #10 theme of Breakfast Breads, hosted this month by talented baker Melissa (Baking a Sweet Life), put me in mind of Danish pastry. The flakier the better. - See more at: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/fresh-fruit-danish-bb/#sthash.7RC6Fkkt.dpuf

Christmas in poland

There is a strong folk arts and crafts tradition in Poland and it was particularly strong in the Lowicz region of Poland – an area located little more than 50 miles outside Warsaw. And in the winter, when much of the outdoor work was suspended, Polish peasant families passed the time by preparing for their two major holidays – Christmas and Easter. Paper cutting became a popular folk craft in the mid-1800s when Polish peasants would create elaborate cutouts to decorate the walls and ceiling beams of their homes. These cutouts were called wycinanki and decorated the walls of peasant homes. For the ceiling decoration, pajaki were crafted using colored paper and straw.
Sharing of the oplatek (pronounced opwatek) is the most ancient and beloved of allPolish Christmas traditions. Oplatek is a thin wafer made of flour and water, similar in taste to the hosts that are used for communion during Mass. The Christmas wafer is shared before Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper.

Christmas in Switzerland

The Christkind is the traditional Christmas gift-bringer in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy (however only the South Tirol area), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, parts of northeastern France, Upper Silesia in Poland, parts of Hispanic America, in certain areas of southern Brazil and in the Acadiana region of Louisiana. In Italian, it is called Gesù Bambino, in Portuguese Menino Jesus ("Jesus Boy"), in Hungarian Jézuska ("Little Jesus"), in Slovak Ježiško ("Little Jesus"), in Czech Ježíšek ("Little Jesus"), in Latin America "Niño Dios" ("God Child") or "Niño Jesús" ("Jesus Child") and in Croatian Isusić or Isusek ("Little Jesus").

christmas in Ukraine

Christmas Traditions: In the Ukraine it’s considered good luck if a spider appears on your Christmas tree. This stems from a folk tale about an old woman too poor to afford ornaments, who found that spiders had inhabited her tree overnight and decorated its branches with their webs. If you wake to a spider on your tree on Christmas morning you’ll be blessed with good fortune. Click for more traditions from around the world. In the Ukraine, each Christmas tree will have a spiderweb decoration, because of an old legend, where a women was too poor to decorate her tree. When she woke up on Christmas day, a spider had decorated it with it's web. Decorating Country Homes And Interiors Subscription Pictures Of Christmas Trees Decorated With Ribbon Christmas School Door Decorations Living In Small Spaces Ideas Traditional Christmas Tree Decor Christmas Traditions: In the Ukraine it’s considered good luck if a spider appears on your Christmas tree El Morno, December Egg Nog Day, Christmas Traditions, The night the animals can talk.
A matryoshka doll also known as Russian nesting doll or Russian doll, refers to a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another.

christmas in Mexico

Poinsettias at Christmas. Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, especially an area of southernMexico known as 'Taxco del Alarcon' where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them 'cuetlaxochitl'.

Christmas in the United States

Santa is a symbol of generosity and goodness. Our Santa is based on the story of a real person, St. Nicholas of Myra, who gave all he could to those in need. Stories about him (and Mrs. Claus and the elves) are intended to remind us all to be giving and good.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.