Christmas around the World

Southwest Sunshine

It’s Christmas Day and if you are enjoying your time with family and friends, SOUTHWEST SUNSHINE would like to continue sharing some little known facts about Christmas traditions around the world.

In Australia Christmas occurs at the beginning of the summer. School holidays begin from the middle of December to the early part of February. Because it is so warm in Australia during the summer, most families forgo cooking and opt for a barbecue cooking up lots of seafood. Australians also celebrate with Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve with celebrations occurring in every state across the country. Australians also decorate their homes with the native, “Christmas Bush.”

Only one percent of the folks who live in China are Christians. That means that most people don’t know much about Christmas. With that being said, a fairly new tradition that is becoming popular in China is called, “Ping’an Ye,” meaning a quiet or peaceful evening, it involves people handing out apples to family and friends.

Christmas trees are popular in Greece, but an older tradition that families still follow features a shallow wooden bowl. These wooden bowls have a piece of wire suspended around the rim with basil wrapped around a cross that hangs down from the wire. The bowl holds a small amount of water that keeps the basil fresh and alive. Once a day, mom will dip the basil and the cross into holy water before sprinkling it around each room of the house.

Just like Australia, Costa Rica’s school holidays begin in December with families decorating their homes with tropical flowers. The Pasito, a nativity scene, sits in the center of every homes display. Cypress branches, ribbons, and red coffee berries are used to make Christmas wreaths.

Armenia celebrates Christmas on January 6, which is also the day of Epiphany, meaning the public revelation that Jesus Christ was indeed God’s son.

As you celebrate Christmas with your family and friends this year, take a moment to appreciate other countries traditions and enjoy! Merry Christmas everyone!