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Christmas Around the World Traditions & Gift Ideas

Christmas in Western Countries

Catholic Christmas is the biggest and most significant secular and religious holiday of the year. It is traditionally observed on December, 25 in many countries around the world including US, UK, Australia, Canada, Western Europe, etc.

Christmas is not only the biggest but also the most favorite holiday for both children and adults. For grown ups Christmas is the time for vacations and family reunions, while for kids it’s a magic holiday associated with Santa Claus who brings all obedient children their Christmas gifts.

On Christmas Eve all faithful Christians attend a holiday midnight mass. The next day families and friends gather together for a festive meal featuring traditional menu. The celebration is followed by the exchange of Christmas presents.

Orthodox Christmas in Eastern Europe

Such countries as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Macedonia, Montenegro, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Serbia belong to Orthodox faith and celebrate Christmas on January 7. The date is different because Eastern Church uses Julian calendar instead of Gregorian calendar adopted on the West.

The official Christmas and New Year holidays in Russia and other Orthodox countries last from December 31st to January 10th. Although Christmas is treated somewhat secondary in comparison with New Year’s Day it includes many beautiful traditions.

For faithful people Christmas start 40 days earlier with a lent which ends on the evening of worship service on Christmas Eve. On January, 7 people go to church, have a festive family dinner and exchange Christmas gifts with loved ones and friends.

Christmas in Asia

Although Christmas in Asia is not a big holiday because only a small part of the population belongs to Christian faith it’s becoming more and more popular.

In Japan, South Korea and China there is no official celebration of Christmas, but there is an unofficial widespread secular observance of the holiday due to the influence of the Western culture. Christmas in this countries is more a commercial event, celebrated mostly by the young generation and couples who gladly use the holiday as a reason for Christmas gift giving.

In Hong Kong, on the contrary, Christmas is a big holiday, because there are Christians of most denominations. Christmas in Malaysia is both a public and religious festival. The local Christian community observes all Christmas traditions including Advent and fasting.

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas gift exchange is very important for establishing personal and business relationships. Sending Christmas gift baskets overseas for you loved ones, friends and international business associates is a great way of showing your love, respect and care.

Gourmands on your list will appreciate a gourmet basket filled with delicious and exquisite treats. Wine connoisseurs will be grateful to receive a gift hamper of good wine, fruit or gourmet snacks. A classic wine gift will be also perfect for your boss, client, employee or colleague. For chocoholics and kids there’s no better surprise than a sweet basket full of chocolate and candies. For female recipients a holiday flower arrangement in addition to a gourmet or sweet gift will be a great choice.

For more personal and business gift ideas for Christmas please visit