Queen’s Speech

Getting your pre-turkey dose of royalty is as much a part of Christmas day as sherry and charades here in Great Britain. We explore some of the more unusual Christmas traditions from around the world.

So let’s not kid ourselves: not everyone listens to Her Majesty’s Holiday speech and not everyone eats turkey for Christmas. In some countries they give out their presents on Christmas Eve, a day before the UK. And, as we all know, there are countries that doesn’t celebrate Christmas full stop. But that’s all fine – it would be boring if we all did it the same way. Diversity is our friend. In a way, all these different traditions are in themselves cause for celebration. Even if it’s only for one year, it could be a useful experience for all of us to spend the Holiday in another country with a different culture from ours. Any of these tickle your fancy?

In Japan, a country that doesn’t officially celebrate Christmas, they highlight the Holiday by eating a Christmas cake made out of white sponge cake covered in cream and strawberries. In El Salvador, the children play with fireworks while the adults gather in tents to eat and dance. In Nigeria, people empty the cities to go see their families. Financial donations are common instead of gift giving, but it’s always about people with plenty giving to the less fortunate ones. And in Poland, a largely Catholic country, Christmas Eve begins as a day of fasting – before turning into a night of feasting. We’ll see you in Japan!