Christmas Around the World – Part 1


Bradley Akin, Journalist

I’m sure everyone knows the story behind Santa, and most of us grew up with the idea of a magical entity that flew around and gave us presents on Christmas Eve. The thing is we are not the only ones that grew up with Santa. People around the world view the Christmas tradition differently than we do. Now we can get an idea of how diverse areas to honor, not only the Santa Clause tradition but the holiday itself differently than we do. 

Starting off, in Mexico they celebrate the whole holiday between December 12th and January 6th with an extra holiday on February 2nd. From December 16th to 24th is called Las Posadas where they go house to house singing and asking for shelter; Representing Mary and Joseph searching for somewhere to stay in the biblical Christmas story. Ending on the 24th, Christmas Eve is the main event where all families get together and have a large meal that night. Though on Christmas day, they continue to feast but most are too tired to do much else. Santa is also celebrated in Mexico but he is known as either Santa Clos or Papa Noel. Mexican Christmas traditions did not include him until the mid-20th century when the U.S. commercialized it. Papa Noel isn’t the only one who gives presents, in Mexican tradition other main figures include three wise men and El Ninito (Baby Jesus). Santa Clos also doesn’t come on Christmas day; Instead, he usually visits the eve of December 23rd or the morning of December 24th to deliver gifts. Finally, February 2nd is the “Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin” where people bring candles to the church to be blessed. 

 Next is Australia and there is a major difference in the way they celebrate Christmas down there. When people think about Christmas we imagine snow and freezing weather but not in Australia. Christmas for them is celebrated in the middle of summer and most of the time they enjoy the holidays on the beach. Many cities and towns have a community Christmas tree and Sydney’s is the most beautiful, decorated with 144,000 Swarovski crystals and 60,000 sparkling lights. They get off many days for Christmas but kids in Australia are lucky because Christmastime is the start of their summer break. Though they celebrate Christmas during summer, kids still get presents from Santa. However, instead of thick warm clothes, he can be seen in lighter cooler red and white attire, maybe even shorts. Also, instead of getting milk and cookies, Santa gets a customary beer and the reindeer are left carrots. There are many different ways people memorialize Christmas and all of them are appreciable in their own ways! Do you celebrate your Christmas in any of these ways?