Since today is Christmas, we’re taking a pseudo break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you some lighthearted Christmas cheer. In keeping with the idea that we are a blog that focuses on education, we thought that it would be appropriate to learn a bit about Christmas today.
Christmas is celebrated all over the world – albeit in different ways. The handy infogaphic below takes a look at different ways that Christmas is celebrated around the globe and a look back at the etymology of each tradition. So while you’re relaxing after too much eating, present opening, and cavorting with your family and friends, you can teach them a little something about Christmas, too.
Russia and Ukraine – Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, and prayers and fasting lead up to a 12 course dinner in honor of the apostles.
Ireland – Leaving Guinness and mince pies for Santa
Spain, Portugal and Italy – A figure of a man pooping with his pants around his ankles is a traditional part of the manger scene.
Czech Republic – Single women throw shoes at the front door to see if they will marry during the following year
Sweden – A giant goat made of straw is erected and then burned down
Venezuela – People roller skate to mass on Christmas Eve
Norway – All household brooms are hidden so the witches can’t steal them to ride around
Netherlands – Boys and girls fill their shoes with hay and sugar for the horse of Sinterklaas. Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 6th
Germany – Also celebrated on Dec 6th, kids put boots outside their door and it is filled with candy, and a birch stick for spanking if they have been naughty
Japan – A traditional Christmas eve meal is at KFC. It is so popular and well marketed that you need to make a reservation to eat there.
Greenland – A traditional Christmas treat is old fermented shark
Slovakia – Christmas pudding is thrown at the ceiling – the more that sticks, the better the harvest will be the following year