Christmas holiday celebrations around the globe

Tyler Buckland, Reporter

The holiday season is a time that ushers in special celebrations to many people around the globe.

The most popular of the major winter holidays besides the celebration of the New Year is Christmas.

Many people around the world also celebrate the holiday through their own special offering such as Hanukkah, St. Lucia Day, Kwanzaa, Mardi Gras.

In the U.S.—Christmas is rooted with many traditions and festivities ranging from Christmas trees, gifts and the debt that comes with spending on loved ones, decorative lights, Santa Claus, fantastic desserts and more.

Most Americans are more than familiar with the traditions that the Christmas holiday brings but what is it like for those celebrating around the globe?

The U.S. and much of North America are mid-winter during the Christmas season but Australia is actually just starting summer and participate in popular actives like camping.

Because 29% of South Korea’s population identify as being of the Christian faith, Christmas is celebrated much more than some of its neighboring Hindu countries and Christmas is actually recognized as an official public holiday in South Korea.

Tokyo, Japan is a spectacle of lights during the traditional Christmas holiday time and although Christmas is not recognized as a public holiday it is celebrated with festivities that resemble much of what Valentine’s day has come to represent for people in the U.S.

Following the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, Russia banned Christmas as a religious holiday in 1929. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 people were once again free to celebrate the holiday. Christmases in Russia are more a family tradition of food and gathering and less commercialized than the U.S.

Much of Europe which was controlled for hundreds of years by the Catholic church celebrates Christmas, but with many of the countries having different traditions.

In Belgium, children believe that ‘Saint Nicholas’ brings them presents on December 5th and 6th on St. Nicholas’ Eve and St. Nicholas’ Day. Children will leave their shoes around the fireplace for their presents to be delivered in and around their shoes.

Finland is home to Santa Claus Village and is ranked as one of the top ten destinations to celebrate Christmas according to Some believe Santa Claus or Father Christmas lives in a part of Finland called Korvatunturi north of the Arctic Circle which has only added to the mysticism of the region during the Christmas time.

In South America, Colombia Starts their preparation for Christmas on the eve of December 7 known as ‘Dia de las Velitas’ or ‘Day of the little Candles’. Many firework displays take place during this time as well.

Firework shows are also extremely popular in Venezuela during Christmas time, as well as  Nativity Scenes. Whereas some people have Christmas trees it is not as common as in other countries.

While Christmas holiday celebrations vary around the globe, their unique and diverse traditions appear to carry on through generations.