In Australia, Christmas is all about enjoying the best that summer has to offer - getting outdoors or heading to the beach, soaking up the gorgeous weather, and constantly snacking on fresh fruits.
While we have our own quirky Christmas traditions here, Christmas is one of those rare events on the calendar that unites people across the globe.
Though there are definitely iconic Christmas elements that feature pretty heavily throughout the world - we’re looking at you, Santa Claus - there are also many festivities and traditions that are unique to different countries. Here are some of the different ways Christmas is celebrated across the world.
Taking the cake for what is potentially the cutest Christmas tradition ever, Canada Post has set up its own post code for Santa mail - H0H0H0 - promising a reply from Santa himself to every letter sent with a return address. Santa answers letters in over 30 languages, even in braille. Thousands of volunteers assist Santa with his mail in a national effort to spread Christmas cheer.
The Christmas season kicks off in Germany on the night of December 5, the eve of St. Nicholas Day. German children polish their boots before bed, waking up to shoes filled with small gifts from St. Nicholas.
Germany is also the home of some of the most gorgeous Christmas markets - or Weihnachtsmärkte - in the world. Twinkling lights and mulled wine are the signature elements of the thousands of Christmas markets which pop up across Germany every year.
While Japan’s Christmas festivities are largely non-denominational, they certainly know how to celebrate! Focussing more on spreading happiness to one another, the Japanese love to exchange gifts; spend the date with their partner; and take in the incredible light displays which illuminate their cities.
Also, the signature dish of Christmas in Japan may surprise you - it’s KFC. Fried chicken has been a Japanese Christmas staple for over 40 years, with December becoming the busiest time in the year for KFC.
Just like Australia, Brazil enjoys a warm summer each year thanks to being so close to the equator. This is no reason for them to miss out on the full Christmas experience, however - Brazilians customarily decorate their Christmas trees with bits of cotton to imitate falling snow!
The big Christmas feast is usually dished up later on Christmas Eve, followed by the family attending midnight mass together. Roast turkey, beans and rice are on the menu.
In Ghana, the celebrations really kick off on Christmas Eve. Church services are anything but a quiet affair - dancing, drumming, singing and nativity plays characterise the beginning of the Christmas celebrations. Often these services will run deep into the night!
Traditional Christmas fare in Ghana include okra soup, meats and a yam paste known as ‘fufu.’
No matter where you're from or what your traditions are, we'd love to host you and your family at The Groove Train this December! Book your table now and let us take care of the food, so you can enjoy quality times with your loved ones.