The holiday season is upon us as countries all over the world prepare for the Christmas holiday. To begin, here’s a quick preview of how you might wish someone a “Merry Christmas” around the world:
Shèngdàn jié kuàilè
عيد ميلاد مجيد
“Aiyeed milad sayeed”
Christmas is a special time of here in the United States. Even though Christmas roots are found in the celebration of the birth of Christ, people of all faiths tend to celebrate the holiday in one way or another. Here’s a quick highlight of some of the more unique holiday celebrations around the world:
In China, Santa Claus is referred to as “Christmas Old Man”. He is responsible for filling stockings and is a general spirit that surrounds the holiday. Chinese children will also receive gifts in celebration of the holiday.
In Russia, Santa Claus is known as Dedushka Moroz but he is not the one who leaves presents for the children. Russian children wait in expectation for Babushka (Russian for grandmother) who will leave the presents for the children. Legend has it she wanted to see the Christ child but decided it was too cold to make the journey. To make up for the mistake, she gives presents to Russian children.
Even though only 1% of Japanese people follow the Christian faith, it has not stopped the country from adopting some of the fun and festivities of the Christmas season. They decorate their homes and storefronts and even have a Santa figure who delivers presents to children.
In the country of Iran, Christmas is known as the Little Feast and begins with a strict fast through the month of December. On Christmas morning, the fast is over and the feasting begins! Even though there is not a Santa Claus in Iran, children will receive small gifts and new clothes for the holiday.
Regardless of the celebration, Christmas is a time of celebration around the world filled with love, family and, in some countries, faith. As we eagerly await the holiday here in America, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, wherever in the world you find yourself this holiday season!