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Between Christmas Trolls And Rollerblades: This Is How The World Celebrates Christmas

Christkind or Santa Claus, mulled wine or Glögg, Knecht Ruprecht or Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Christmas is celebrated in many parts of the world in very different ways - with their own traditions, customs and rituals or even on different days. But what do we actually know about Christmas in other countries and cultures? And what role does the Christian feast play in other religions? An entertaining overview of Christmas customs in different countries and regions.

13 December 2021
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Everyone knows the Christmas tree and the Advent wreath. Even elves and reindeer have long been part of our Christmas repertoire. But have you ever heard of Christmas trolls? Do you know in which city people go to church on rollerblades on Christmas Eve? Or what "posadas" are?

Even within the yoummday community, Christmas is celebrated in different ways. Because at yoummday, as a self-employed customer service agent, you work 100 percent from your home office - all around the world.

Currently, we have around 3500 talents working in 53 countries on five continents. An international network from which everyone benefits - through mutual support, shared know-how and different perspectives. Because at yoummday, diversity and new work are lived. Every day and, of course, also on Christmas. It doesn't matter if and how you celebrate the holiday yourself.

Here we introduce you to some of the most exciting and bizarre Christmas traditions and tell you what role the holiday plays in other religions


Christmas time is quiet and contemplative? Certainly not in Mexico! There, Christmas is ushered in with so-called Posadas. During these celebrations, Mary's and Joseph's arduous search for suitable accommodation is celebrated. "Posada" means something like "hostel" in German. On nine consecutive

Posadas are celebrated every evening for nine consecutive evenings, from December 16 to 24. Some people go from house to house in colorful costumes and are turned away at the door before they are allowed to enter the actual celebration. It is not uncommon for posadas to develop into a real street party with "buñuelos", sweet doughnuts, and "ponche", a fruit punch. A piñata, a cardboard figure with sweets inside, is also a must at these celebrations.


The question of who actually brings the presents at Christmas is sometimes hotly debated. While in Germany, depending on family tradition, either the Christ Child or Santa Claus is usually responsible for this, in Iceland this responsible task is placed in the hands of thirteen Christmas trolls. These trolls come out of their caves one after the other on thirteen consecutive evenings to deliver presents and small gifts to the children. They have names like "Giljagaur" and "Stúfur" and each of them has its own task and meaning.


At Christmas, many people around the world go to church - except in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. There, they prefer to go there - on rollerblades! This modern tradition, for which entire streets have long been closed off, is a real event with music, fireworks and food stalls. How exactly this unusual custom came about or what lies behind it is no longer known. But as long as it's fun, it's not really that important.


Many people wish for a "White Christmas" - and dream of snow-covered roofs, snow-covered landscapes and thick flakes in the sky. In Australia, too, it can be white at Christmas - but that rather means the white sandy beaches where many Australians spend the holidays - with

Christmas barbecues, "snow" men made of sand, festively decorated palm trees or artificial fir trees.


Not everywhere in the world Christmas is celebrated on the same day. While in Germany the presents are traditionally given on the evening of December 24, in England and the U.S. they are not delivered until the morning of December 25. And Christians who follow the Julian calendar have to wait even longer. This is the case in Ethiopia. There, Christmas is celebrated from January 7. The festivities begin with the traditional "Ganna", a day of fasting, before the Christmas feast is celebrated with church services, communal games and a feast.

Christmas in other religions 

Although Christmas is considered a Christian holiday, this does not mean that it is only celebrated by Christians. Many non-denominational people and people of other religions have also adopted certain Christmas traditions or established their own customs. For example, some Jewish Americans eat Chinese food at Christmas. This tradition originated in New York and actually has a very pragmatic origin. Even in the bustling metropolis, many restaurants and pubs were closed at Christmas. And so, as early as the end of the 19th century, young New York Jews in particular began to visit the city's Chinese restaurants that were open on that day. Today, this tradition is common among Jewish families throughout the United States.

While the birth of Jesus plays no role in the Jewish faith, it is mentioned in the Koran. There, however, Jesus is not born in a manger in Bethlehem, but under a palm tree, where Mary - called "Maryam" in the Koran - gives birth to Jesus alone and in pain. After the hardships she has endured, God makes dates grow and a spring of water spring up to strengthen her.

Even though the birth of Jesus does not have the same significance in Islam as it does in Christianity, many Muslims celebrate Christmas today, especially if they live in traditionally Christian countries and regions.

Christian countries and regions. Not for religious reasons, but simply because they like the celebration and the atmosphere.

No matter if and how you celebrate Christmas yourself: At yoummday you are part of an international community where you can be exactly who you are - not only at Christmas, but 365 days a year!

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