Christmas traditions around the world

By Elisabeth White, Staff Writer

In America, many cultures celebrate many different holidays, such as Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. However, most Americans and most countries celebrate Christmas. Americans have a lot of Christmas traditions, but other countries have traditions of their own, such as France, Australia and Egypt.

In France, Christmas is called Noel. On Christmas Eve, instead of children leaving stockings above the fireplace, they leave their shoes so they will be filled with gifts. In the morning, they wake up to find fruits, nuts and small toys. Also, nearly every home in France has a Nativity Scene, which is the focal point of their home, sort of like a Christmas tree in U.S. homes.

Another country that celebrates Christmas differently is Australia. In Australia, Christmas falls in the summertime so it is really hot during the season. People in Australia take decorating their houses very seriously. They sometimes have competitions to see who has the most beautifully decorated house. They also put bunches of Christmas bush all over their homes. Christmas bush is a native Australian tree with small green leaves and cream colored flowers.

One more country who celebrates Christmas in a unique way is Egypt. In Egypt, Christmas Day isn’t celebrated on December 25th but on January 7th. From the 25th of November to the 6th of January, Christians have a special diet where they cannot eat animal products, so basically they have to be vegan for 43 days. This is called “The Holy Nativity Fast.” However, if people are too weak or too ill to fast properly, they can be excused. On Christmas Eve, the Christians eat a big meal. All the foods contain meat, eggs and butter which is all the things they can’t eat during their fast!

It is very interesting how different countries celebrate the holiday season. America has traditions like Christmas trees and Santa Claus coming on Christmas Eve and other countries have their own traditions.