Christmas is an exciting time of year, filled with celebration and fun. In Australia it is summer at Christmas time. People celebrate with family and friends at home, at the beach, in a park, or around the barbeque.
People around the world celebrate Christmas in many different ways. Here are some interesting facts:
Did you know that in other countries Santa is called different names? In France they call him "Pere Noel". In Denmark, Santa is known as "Sinter Klaas" and in Italy he is called "Babbo Natale".
Hanging stockings for Santa to fill with presents is a really old tradition. It began in a Christmas story about a poor family who found gold in a stocking that had been hung by the fireplace to dry. Do you hang up a stocking, or put out a Christmas bag, on Christmas Eve?
Did you know that in some countries it is winter at Christmas time? In places such as America, Europe and some Asian and African countries it can be very cold on Christmas Day, and might even snow.
Did you know that in some countries, such as Egypt and Ethiopia, Christmas is celebrated on 7 January, not 25 December?
A popular Christmas decoration is a sprig (piece) of mistletoe. An old custom says that if you stand under the mistletoe with someone else, you must kiss each other!
In India people do not decorate traditional Christmas trees; instead they decorate mango or banana trees.
In some European countries, such as Denmark and Poland, Christmas presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day.
Christmas food in Ethiopia includes a traditional dish called "wat", which is a thick and spicy stew containing meat, vegetables and sometimes eggs. Yum.
Did you know that the popular Christmas carol Jingle Bells was first written to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States of America?
Until 1939, Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer) was known as Rollo.