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Christmas customs and Traditions


The Christmas holidays are rich in interesting customs and traditions. Some of these Christmas customs and traditions are wholeheartedly religious, while others are secular and relaxed. Some countries also have a national touch in their Christmas customs. So it is clear that the customs and traditions of Christmas are neither unique nor homogeneous around the world.


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These continue to vary from region to region and country to country. Popular Christmas traditions such as exchanging gifts, decorating the Christmas tree, the Christmas trunk, the holly branch, the kisses under mistletoe, etc. are more or less everywhere.


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In Christian lands, Christmas has become the most important holiday of the year economically. Christmas is celebrated in the UK for 12 days after December 25. This twelve-day Christmas tradition is characterized by huge festivities and celebrations and ends on the twelfth night or the feast of the Epiphany. This habit of extending the Christmas celebrations is gaining in popularity every year. Christmas celebrations start weeks before the actual day in the United States and the United Kingdom to extend the Christmas shopping season and also allow more time for meetings and greetings.


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The countries that celebrate Christmas on December 25 call the day before "Christmas Eve" and the day after by different names. Some, like Germany, Poland, call it Boxing Day, some Commonwealth countries call the day after Christmas "Boxing Day" while the Irish and Romanians call it St. Stephen's Day. Some pagan Christmas customs and traditions have been incorporated into their celebration of Christmas by some Christian missionaries, but conservative Christians refrain from such a celebration of Christmas. Christmas celebrations were banned in the Soviet Union 75 years after the Russian Revolution and the extremist Christian fundamentalists still regard Christmas as a pagan holiday, unapproved by the Bible and therefore strictly refrain from celebrating it.


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But aside from these religious and serious overtones in the Christmas customs and traditions, there are also secular and more relaxed celebrations of the Christmas holiday. For example, the tradition of giving Christmas gifts is one of the most common traditions of the holiday regardless of the region or country. Friends and families exchange gifts and greetings, children hang up stockings in the United States or keep empty toy boxes for Santa to fill with toys, candy, or other gifts. In some places it is a custom and tradition for children to put shoes on windowsills on Christmas night.


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