How do others celebrate Christmas around the world
Here are some examples from where our customers live
Welcome to the InstantAtlas Christmas message. Regular readers will know we travel the world to bring you case studies showing how InstantAtlas is being used to visualize data. We come across many different cultures on our travels and as we approach Christmas we thought you might like to know how the festive season is celebrated across the globe. We have highlighted some examples of where InstantAtlas is being used. If your country is not included and you would like to see it in next year’s Christmas Bulletin, you know what to do – simply tell us how you are using our software to visualize, or present data.
Christmas is not widely celebrated in Japan as not many people there are Christians. However, several customs have come to Japan from America such as sending and receiving Christmas cards and presents and Christmas has become known as more of a time to spread happiness rather than a religious celebration. Fried chicken is often eaten on Christmas day along with Japanese Christmas cake (usually a sponge cake decorated with strawberries and whipped cream).
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Christmas is more of a religious festival than it is commercial. Most people don't exchange presents. On Christmas Eve there are musical evenings and a nativity at church in which Jesus’ birth is timed to happen as close to midnight as possible. Christmas day is a quiet day when most families try to have a better meal than usual.
In Mexico, Christmas is celebrated from the December 12th to January 6th. From December 16th to Christmas Eve, children often perform the 'Posada' processions which celebrate the part of the Christmas story where Joseph and Mary look for a room in an Inn. There is a big family meal on Christmas day but children have to wait until January 6th, 'El Dia de los Reyes', to receive their presents left by the Three Kings.
In Australia, Christmas comes in the middle of the summer. Most families try to be home together and the main meal is a cold Christmas dinner, or a barbecue with seafood such as prawns and lobsters. When Father Christmas arrives in Australia he gives his reindeer a rest and uses kangaroos or 'six white boomers' (a popular Australian Christmas song). He also swaps his red coat for cooler clothing.
In Argentina, Christmas trees are very popular and are usually decorated by 8th December (the feast of the Annunciation - when Mary was told she would have the baby Jesus). A traditional nativity scene or “pesebre” is often placed near to the tree. The main Christmas meal is eaten during the evening of Christmas Eve then at midnight people toast the start of Christmas day, go to midnight services, and let off fireworks before opening their presents under the tree.
In Poland, Christmas is celebrated with the tradition of "Wigilia", a 24-hour fast that begins on Christmas Eve and ends with a huge Christmas feast. In honor of the star of Bethlehem, the meal cannot begin until the first star of night appears. The feast consists of twelve courses, one for each Apostle and the table is always set with an extra seat in case a stranger or the Holy Spirit should appear to share the meal..
In Colombia Christmas Eve is the most important day with family and friends getting together to pray the last Novena. At midnight presents brought by El Niño Jesus (Baby Jesus) are opened, and fireworks fill the skies and parties are held until sunrise. Because Christmas Eve is the most important day, Christmas Day is a quieter time for families to go to mass.