Christmas is celebrated all over the world, but every country or region has its own customs. Some cook a goat, others a luxurious turkey. Not even Christmas sweets are a part of every Christmas menu. Gifts are brought by Baby Jesus, but also Santa Claus, Babbo Natale or the Befana witch.
In the United States, people pay special attention to luxurious decorations. Everybody has to put their decorations up at least a month before Christmas. The menu includes a turkey with ham, sweet potatoes, cranberries sauce and apple pie. Gifts are delivered by Santa Claus and children open them on the 25th in the morning.
Christmas is celebrated during the summer holidays. Just like in England, turkey and pudding are an integral part of the holidays. The dinner is usually served in the garden or on the beach.
Christians in Africa attend a midnight mass and the holiday is more religious and spiritual, rather than having pompous decorations with as many gifts as possible. After dinner, where the main course is cooked goat and tea, families go to church.
Germans like luxurious decorations, not only inside but also outside. Gifts are brought by Christkind and by the red-headed Weihnachtsmann in Northern Germany. The Christmas menu includes cooked pike, grilled zander or a stuffed carp. Instead of Christmas sweets, they enjoy a Christmas raisin loaf.
Children are visited by St. Nicholas or Santa Claus. He comes during the night on 24th to deliver sweets to stockings and put presents under the tree. The presents are opened on 25th in the morning. The Christmas menu consists of a turkey with nut stuffing and a luxurious Christmas pudding, with a hidden coin for good luck.
In France the people look forward to Father Christmas “Pere Noël” who ties smaller presents to the Christmas tree with a ribbon. Instead of fish, they enjoy a turkey with truffle paste. Le revellion is also very popular – it is a midnight dish that consists of 12 courses.
Holidays here start on 25th and on Three Wise Men (6th January), when the Christmas Witch Befana comes through the chimney on 7th January to deliver small gifts (if the children have been good) or coal (for naughty kids) to stockings. In Northern Italy gifts are delivered by Babbo Natale. The Christmas menu varies depending on the region. However, you won’t find any of the Christmas sweets popular in the Czech Republic; the Italians however do enjoy a Christmas cake called panettone.
A day before Christmas children bribe Julenissen, who delivers presents, with porridge. This porridge is then served as the Christmas meal. In the evening they sing carols and hand over gifts.