Christmas Traditions Celebrated Around the World
Christmas traditions celebrated around the world vary from country to country. The Christmas traditions we are most used to include lighting and decorating Christmas trees, hanging advent wreaths, Christmas carols, Christmas stockings and depicting the birth f Jesus Christ. Sending and receiving Christmas cards and presents are also a big part of the holiday season within the UK.
So when is Christmas celebrated?
Although December 25th is the date when most people celebrate Christmas, there are some other dates as well!
Some churches use a different calendar for their religious celebrations. Orthodox Churches in Russia, Serbia, Jerusalem, Ukraine, Ethiopia and other countries use the old ‘Julian’ calendar and people in those churches celebrate Christmas on January 7th.
Most people in the Greek Orthodox Church celebrate Christmas on December 25th. But some still use the Julian calendar and so celebrate Christmas on 7th January! Some Greek Catholics also celebrate on January 7th.
In Armenia, the Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6th.
The time before Christmas
Before Christmas, many Christians use the time of Advent to prepare themselves and get ready to celebrate the joy of Christmas, when Christians celebrate of the birth of Jesus.
Advent is normally a period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. In many Orthodox and Eastern Catholics Churches Advent lasts for 40 days, starting on November 15th.
In Orthodox Churches which celebrate Christmas on 7th January, Advent start on 28th November!
During Advent many people fast. The types of food people give up depends on their church tradition and where in the world they live.