This past week in my sociology class the topic of Christmas came into class discussion. I’m so use to hearing the typical American “we get a tree, eat food, and open gifts” description that I really haven’t thought of Christmas being anything other than that. I heard something a little different this week, a Korean foreign exchange student raised her hand and quietly told the class that in her country instead of Christmas being a “family time” it is more of a romantic holiday. She then went on to telling us how only 1/3 of South Korea is actually christian and the 1/3 celebrates it strictly as a religious day, tree and presents not included, however Santa still visits giving out money in their shoes.
That one description got all of the other foreign students talking. We heard everything from how people celebrate in India, to how some german children write to “Christkind” for Christmas gifts. The German foreign exchange student told us that every year one young girl is chosen to be in a parade in Nürnberg. She is given a gold dress, they curl her hair, and give her a crown and angel wings to represent the “Christkind”. If you aren’t familiar with the term Christkind it translates to Christ Child, just thought I should mention that.
The last person to speak was my sociology professor, he is from Greece and decided that he wanted to share as well. Our professor said that going to a midnight church service is very important in Greece. He also said that Christmas mornings in Greece consist of caroling and family time. Presents in Greece are given to the children on January 1st versus the “normal” Christmas morning and instead of Santa, Saint Basil brings them.
No matter where you are in the world you will always be able to find a little bit of the Christmas spirit. I think it is really interesting to see the differences on how people choose to celebrate it. What are some Christmas traditions your family has? Leave a comment below, I hope you enjoyed this post.
Today I received a request for Unique Christmas stories. I love it when people give me ideas on what to write. If you have any specific requests, feel free to tweet me! 🙂