World's Best Christmas Traditions


World's Best Christmas TraditionsDespite its religious foundations, Christmas has universal appeal and is celebrated or, at least, acknowledged in some form or another. Some countries may choose to mark the holiday with parades, gifts or traditional décor, and then there are those who prefer to keep the celebrations quiet and subdued.

Tree Time Christmas has scoured the world over to come up with some of the best traditions around the world.


Only one percent of the Japanese population is Christian or Catholic. Still, thanks to media hype – Christmas is celebrated and it is one filled with much merriment and gift giving. Shops, homes and offices are decorated with electric lights and other Christmas symbols. At this time too, children look forward to presents left by a “Hotei-osho”, seen as the Japanese equivalent of Santa Claus. However, the Japanese see Christmas as more of a quasi-Valentine’s day event where couples take the opportunity to spend quality time with their special folks.


This Mediterranean country is closely associated with food. Thus, for Italians there is no better way to celebrate December 25 then with platters and platters of glorious Italian food.

In Calabria, celebrations start on December 8 which marks the Virgin Mary’s conception. This love affair with food would continue on until Christmas Eve where the traditional Christmas dinner would be even more splendid than those served the previous days. Plates of pasta, clams, mussels, grilled fish and sautéed broccoli would be followed by generous servings of panetonne and torrone.

Bethlehem, Palestine

As the birthplace of Christianity, Bethlehem celebrates Christmas with a more religious bent than others. With different branches of Christianity, however, Christmas falls on three different dates. Whatever the tradition, Christmas is commemorated with processions, Church sermons and nativity displays.


Like other countries, Christmas in Scotland begins right after Halloween. Shops, streets and homes would be decked with festive décor and children would be eagerly waiting the occasion by creating advent calendars.

A popular tradition every Christmas Eve is burning branches of the Rowan tree. This symbolizes the burning of ill will towards others and that all past infringements are forgiven and forgotten.


As a devout Catholic country, Mexico celebrates Christmas with a 9-nine day festivity. This involves early morning Church sermons, nativity displays and reenactments of Jesus’ birth.

The idea of Santa Claus isn’t as widespread and popular, but children still get treats from parties and a game of piñata. Celebrations continue until the feast of the Three Kings on the 6th of January and on this day, good children receive gifts from the Wise Men.

Christmas festivities may vary from country to country and from region to region; but it is clear that the message of love, hope and peace are important to all of us. Despite the differences too, there are also similarities. It is about family, friends, merriment and the pleasures of food. Exactly what makes us human.