It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not all countries celebrate with the usual Christmas roast dinner or Christmas tree, in fact they often add their own local twist! Check out how these 5 countries celebrate Christmas in their own special way:
Photo by @pauline.c.cuevas via Instagram
With a prominent Roman Catholic population, Christmas is a significantly religious affair for most people living in the Philippines. Houses are adorned with the parol, a star-shaped lantern made of bamboo and paper that symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. Many households will also hold a huge feast for family and friends on the night of Christmas Eve called Noche Buena (the Good Night) and serve local fare such as lechón (roast pig) and bibingka (Filipino rice cake).
(From L to R: Lechón by @trixarce and Bibingka by @chapochipofficial on Instagram)
Photo by nowjakarta
In Indonesia, Christmas customs differ according to the region. For example, in Yogyakarta, wayang kulit (shadow puppet) performances are held about the birth of Jesus Christ. Whereas in Bali, the roads are lined with towering penjors (a traditionally Hindu decoration of tall, curved bamboo poles decorated with yellow coconut leaves).
Photo by Christmas in Indonesia
Another fun fact: Balinese Christmas trees are made of chicken feathers handmade by locals!
Photo by KFC Japan
KFC for Christmas? You better believe it - in Japan, a bucket (or two) of KFC chicken is the must-have meal during Christmas! In fact, the tradition has become so popular that people order their buckets months in advance to avoid the dreaded Christmas queue. It is estimated that 3.6 million households take part in this tradition every Christmas. Now that’s what we call a finger lickin’ Christmas tradition!
Photo by Amazon
South Korea has its own version of Santa Claus! Santa Haraboji, or Grandfather Santa, looks similar to Western Santa. However, he wears a traditional Korean hat known as 갓 (gat), and his statues often portray him in a green suit instead of the usual red one.
Photo by easirent
In India, Father Christmas travels via a horse and cart, instead of the usual reindeer and sleigh. Don’t expect to find a traditional pine Christmas tree either - as Indians decorate their homes with a mango or banana tree as Christmas trees! Additionally, to show that Jesus is the light of the world, south Indians burn small oil lamps made of clay on the roofs of their houses.
It just goes to show - Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, no matter where you go! Meanwhile, we hope everyone stays safe during the festive season. See you soon!