Many African countries celebrate Christmas, and one of the more heartwarming examples of this is
Nigeria. Many people who have become successful and moved out of their small, underdeveloped
ancestral villages return to their roots to spread wealth and joy during the holidays. People bring livestock
and gifts as contribution for large family feasts and eat traditional cultural food during these celebrations.
It is common tradition for the wealthy to bring Christmas presents for family members and friends and do
whatever they can to help them survive and thrive in these smaller villages.
South Eastern Asia
Christmas is traditionally celebrated from Pakistan all the way to Indonesia, but did you know that the
Philippines have one of the longest annual Christmas celebrations in the world? Starting in September and
not ending until mid January, Christmas decorations and festivities are stretched out over a period of
many months, from masses to midnight family feasts. It’s not uncommon to see parols and other iconic
Filipino Christmas ornaments for sale and displayed year round!
In some European countries like Serbia and Macedonia, Christmas is traditionally celebrated on January
7th due to Eastern Orthodox churches using the old Julian calendar. Orthodox Christmas celebrations
include many folk-like customs and rituals and are practiced in a variety of different ways throughout
these countries. Some of these practices include the ritual burning of young oak branches, wheat being
strewn throughout the house and wheat seeds being sprouted and returned to nature. It’s also very
important to have a massive family feast with many cultural dishes and courses, with the main dish often
being a whole spit-roasted pig.
Scandinavian countries like Sweden celebrate Christmas in a way that is greatly inspired by the pagan
winter solstice. Celebrations begin on Saint Lucy’s Day, ushering in the season with traditional Christmas
songs and rituals. Christmas day is celebrated on the 24th with gift giving and a traditional family feast
called the Julbord. These feasts often include Christmas ham, meatballs, rice puddings, pickled herring
and other cultural dishes. Some households, in accordance to an old superstition, leave out bowls of
porridge as an offering to the Jultomto, the invisible Christmas gnome. Other traditions include displaying
oranges decorated with cloves, ornamental yule goats and writing fun rhymes on gifts.
Christmas in countries like Colombia are filled with spiritual vibes, religious ceremony and traditions.
Festivities begin on December 7th where everybody from tiny towns to big cities get together and decorate
streets, and both public and private areas with lights, candles and lanterns. This cross-country display
honours the immaculate conception and businesses and organizations hold contests to judge the the best
decorative light displays across the country. Manger scenes and Christmas carols can be seen and heard
throughout the holiday season, and 9 consecutive days of church going and prayer and held before
Christmas day. During these 9 days, churches often hold very large masses each night, filled with music
and game. Churches hold these Christmas festivals all in an attempt to step away from commercialism of
the holidays and have communities focus on the religious meaning of Christmas.
Christmas in America is a magical time of year. It seems that the entire country shifts in to a more
whimsical and charitable state. It’s no surprise that north American Christmas is a mishmash of worldly
traditions all clumped together in to a big, beautiful winter long commemoration. Decorations are often
seen for as long as there is snow on the ground, and big cities like New York become massive tourist
attractions with stunning annual Christmas themed sights to behold. Radios, television, theater, city
centers, streets and businesses are transformed in to a winter-long Christmas themed spectacles. Children
hang Christmas stockings, leave out cookies and milk for Santa Clause on Christmas eve and tune in to
local news and radio stations to get live reports of Santa’s flying sleigh and reindeer sightings as he travels
across the country delivering presents.
Whatever your background and culture is, or wherever you live, Christmas is a time of year to spread love
and cheer. A perfect way to send some love is with a thoughtfully chosen basket full of beautiful treats
and gifts for that special somebody. Sharing a gorgeous bounty of elegant sweets and a bottle of wine is a
wonderful way to spread joy over the holidays, and nothing looks better under the tree than a big
luxurious basket of Christmas treats topped with a charming bow.
Start a new tradition this year, and let Alexandria Gifts help you choose the perfect Christmas gift!