CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS in other COUNTRIES

COUNTRY MAIN CHARACTER GREETINGS CUSTOMS FOODS
BRAZIL Pere Noel comes in through the window Boas Festas (Good Holidays)
Feliz Natal (Happy Christmas)
Midnight masses are held outdoors. Dances, picnics,and fireworks are enjoyed by all. Poorer people will have chicken and rice. For those who have more money, a Christmas meal will be chicken, turkey, pork, ham, rice, salad, and fruits.
DENMARK A dwarf named Jule Nissen brings gifts; Gledelig Jul Extra food is left out for animals; leave a bowl of rice pudding for Jule Nissen Stuffed goose, red cabbage, apple cake, rice pudding
ENGLAND Father Christmas Happy Christmas caroling from door to door, lighting the yule log, stockings hung by the fireplace, mistletoe dessert - plum pudding; drink from the wassail bowl (mixture of ale, apples, eggs, sugar and spices)
FINLAND Christmas Goat (dressed in a fur coat) riding in a reindeer sleigh, with elves as helpers Gausjas Joulua Fir tree is lit with candles and decorated with fruits, candies, tinsel Boiled codfish, boiled potatoes, rye bread, suckling pig.
FRANCE Pere Noel
(Father Christmas)
Joyeux Noel Gifts are given on New Year's Cake shaped like a log and coated with chocolate. Late supper (after midnight mass) of oysters, wine, and sausage.
GERMANY St. Nicholas (Dec.6);
Christ Child (Christkindl) brings gifts Christmas Eve
Froehliche Weihnachten the Advent wreath, making gingerbread houses, decorating the tree family dinner of roast goose, stollen (a bread); marzipan candy
GREECE beings (half-human, half-monster) make mischief for 12 days "Eftihismena Christougenna" 40 days of fasting precede the Christmas feast; Children go from door to door singing carols on Christmas Eve Christ's Loaves (round loaves with a cross on top); many different desserts and cookies; lamb, stuffed spinach leaves, cheese pie, spinach pie and many other traditional Greek dishes
HOLLAND Sinter Klaus riding a white horse Hartelijke Kerstgroeten Children stuff wooden shoes with hay and carrots.This is placed on the windowsill, along with a dish of water for St.Nicholas's horse. special pastries are made
ITALY La Befana Bon Natale A Christmas log is burned. Mini manger (presepio) scenes are built. Gift exchange is Jan.6th Christmas Eve meatless dinner of fish, pasta, vegetables, fresh fruits, special sweets
MEXICO Papa Noel Feliz Navidad Posada (the journey to Bethlehem) is re-enacted. Children break the pinata to get candies, after the late night mass, the family meal consists of tamales, atole (corn gruel), bu˝uelos (sweet fritters), churros
NORWAY Jule Nisse ( an elf) Gledelig Jul tie sheaves of wheat on high poles for the hungry birds; presents are given out after dinner fourteen different cakes, a large smorgasbord is prepared: pickled herring, lutfisk (codfish), ham, roast pig, goose, flatbroad, fattigmann, lefsa,
POLAND St. Nicholas - feast day is Dec. 6 Wselych Swiat people bake "oplatki" (wafers) that are blessed and stamped with figures of the Nativity. The Christmas Eve supper consists of twelve meatless dishes - fish, soup, sauerkraut, polish dumplings, perogies, etc.
SPAIN Wise Men on the way to Bethlehem leave gifts Felices Pascuas Children set out shoes stuffed with hay for the camels of the Three Kings. In the morning they find gifts in place of the hay. Children dress in peasant clothing and dance around the nativity scene Nougat is a favorite Christmas candy
SWEDEN Christmas gnome (Jultomten) God Yul A festival of lights is on St.Lucia day (Dec. 13); children set out a bowl of porridge for Jultomten. Christmas foods include lutfisk (boiled codfish), ham, spare ribs, sausages, gingerbread, cakes, a special rice pudding
UKRAINE St. Nicholas "Khrystos Rodevsia" Christmas Eve is a very important celebration; place hay under the tablecloth as a reminder of Jesus (born in a manger) The meal consists of 12 meatless dishes - fish, mushrooms, cabbage rolls, borscht (soup) and Kutya (honey, wheat and poppy seed mixture )


information obtained from The Christmas Book by Robert Joseph
and various other sources