Off topic: Christmas celebrations around the world
Thread poster: Valeria Verona

Valeria Verona  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:22
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 2, 2002

Christmas is near and I was wondering... how do you people celebrate it in the place where you live?

I live in Buenos Aires and we typically get together with the family on the 24th for an abundant dinner (when possible, of course). As it is summer and normally hot, people tend to eat cold food, such as salads, chicken, pork, and ice cream for dessert. After that, there is a toast usually with cider and we exchange gifts. Other people prefer to spend Christmas Eve at a restaurant, but I think it is less popular.

Some families (like mine) get together again the following day, the 25th, for lunch and finish up the food that was left from the previous night! icon_biggrin.gif
I look forward to learning other ways of celebrating.


Valeria icon_smile.gif


Nitza Ramos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Christmas celebrations Dec 2, 2002

Hi Valeria,

In Puerto Rico we celebrate Christmas with the traditional dinner on the 24th \"lechón asado\" (barbecued young pig), pasteles (a plaintain dough filled with chopped meat, and other things depending on who is making them....[some people put chick peas, boiled eggs, olives, green peppers, etc.] and boiled), \"arroz con dulce\" (a rice pudding with spices and coconut milk) and \"coquito\" which is a traditional drink made with white rum, condensed milk, evaporated milk, etc. Also on that day we go to the 12:00 am mass called \"Misa de Gallo\".

There\'s the \"parrandas\" which are not so popular anymore but they used to be fun. People go from house to house signing and with musical instruments such as guitars, the Cuatro which is a stringed instrument similar to a guitar, Güiros (hollow gourds with ridges cut in them and scrapped with a fork), Maracas (gourds filled with tiny pebbles and shaken, and the Claves or \"Palillos\" which are two smooth sticks struck together to the beat of the music.

We also celebrate the Three Kings Day on January 6. When I was little, children used to place a box of straw under their beds for the king\'s camels and in return they would find presents the next morning from the Three Wise Men. I am not sure if this is still done but it was so much fun!


Valeria Verona  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:22
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
NItza: Dec 2, 2002


On 2002-12-02 17:14, NRCV wrote:

Hi Valeria,

In Puerto Rico we celebrate Christmas with the traditional dinner on the 24th \"lechón asado\" (barbecued young pig)...

We also celebrate the Three Kings Day on January 6. When I was little, children used to place a box of straw under their beds for the king\'s camels and in return they would find presents the next morning from the Three Wise Men.

Yes!!!! We eat \"lechón asado\" too!!!!! icon_smile.gif But we eat it cold. What a coincidence...

And yes, we used to leave water and grass for the Three Wise Men\'s camels, which arrived tired from the long walk! How nice to remember that magical time. Thank you.


Nathalie M. Girard, ALHC (X)  Identity Verified
English to French
+ ...
Christmas celebrations in Barbados Dec 2, 2002

Hello icon_smile.gif

Since I am in Barbados at the moment, I might as well tell you about how it is done here.

Like in Buenos Aires, families get together on the 24th, attend evening mass and eat until their tummy can\'t take anymore hahaha...

Food-wise you will find that HAM is the most popular here at Christmas. Many companies give hams to their employees.

People also enjoy a lot of chicken and turkey with the tradiational gravy, stuffing and creamed potatoes.

You will also find a lot of the traditional Bajan foods: Rice & peas, flying fish, cou-cou, macaroni pie, corn pie, and fish cakes.

And you wash it all down with some wonderful Mauby on ice (a brown syrupy spicy cool drink which is made from boiling the bark of the Mauby trees and mixed with water) - very thirst quenching when you live at 13 degrees North of the Equator icon_wink.gif

Happy holidays everyone!


[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-12-02 17:49 ]


Ursula Derx  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:22
Member (2005)
English to German
Christmas in Austria Dec 2, 2002

Hi! I live in Vienna, Austria. When I was a child, we used to have lots of snow at this time of the year. Recently, there is only little snow or none at all in Vienna. Traditionally we light the candles on our christmas tree on the 24th early evening, sing some Xmas carols and exchange presents. Then we eat e.g. fish (baked carp) or other fish with potato salad. On 24th at midnight we go to mass. It\'s called \"Mette\" - meaning a mass at midnight. On the 25th we meet the rest of the family (grandparents, aunts and uncles etc.) for lunch. The is the \"meat\" - day: Wiener Schnitzel or roasted pork or beef. Children believe that the \"Christkind\" is bringing the presents on the 24th and is lighting the candles on the christmas tree. There is no Santa Claus in Austria! (only in the shops...)

Have a nice time!!


Jacek Krankowski (X)  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
In Poland Dec 2, 2002

A description by Elizabeth Spytkowski:

When Christmas Eve dawns, the children and the adults know the holidays have started. It is the day to decorate the Christmas tree and the day of the Wigilia, a special supper eaten that night which is the most important meal in a Polish family in the year. Most people fast that day until dark. The children will be looking out for the first star and when they see it, the family gathers around the wigilia table which has been beautifully set with the best china and an immaculately white tablecloth under which a handful of hay has been placed, commemorating the birth of Jesus in a manger. There is an additional place setting for \"a traveler\" if the family is complete for the holidays, or as a symbol of a missing member. The place setting will stay untouched through the evening, reminding everyone present that not everybody has the good fortune to be with their loved ones on this special night. In a prominent place on the table the op³atki - very thin white wafers - are waiting for the father to start the meal. Someone at the table will read from the Bible the account of the birth of Jesus; next, the father will pick up an op³atek and go around the table, sharing it with everyone present and wishing them health and happiness. And then the feasting begins.

The foods eaten on that night are very special. While there are regional differences of course, one thing is common. There will be no meat yet, until the following day. Tradition demands 12 different kinds of food, possibly for the number of the apostles or the number of months in a year. The first course is mushroom soup or clear beet soup with ravioli-like pasta filled with forest mushrooms. The main course will be fish: fried, baked and marinated. The herring in oil or cream will be very popular. Mushrooms will figure prominently in the menu - pierogi with mushrooms, sauerkraut with mushrooms, fried, stewed or marinated mushrooms. The dessert will feature gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies and poppy seed cake.

After the supper, the family will gather around the Christmas tree and sing some Christmas carols. By this time, the younger children will be sleepy and put to bed against their loud objections and pleas to let them stay up and wait for St. Nicholas. The older members of the family will go to the midnight Mass that will start with the same solemn Christmas carol in every church in Poland: Wœród nocnej ciszy (In the Quiet of the Night). And Christmas has begun.

After Mass, when the family gets home, they may find that St. Nicholas has already visited their house; if not, he\'ll surely get there before they get up. Christmas Day is usually spent with the immediate family; Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, will be spent visiting friends or more distant relatives. Both days will be filled with happiness, good will, good cheer and good food. Now anything can be eaten so the tables will be set with turkey, ham, sausages, side dishes and desserts. The celebrations may last well into the night. And even though after the two days people will go back to work, the atmosphere of Christmas will stay with them for a while longer, together with the Christmas tree. No one will take it down until after the feast of the Three Kings (the Epiphany) on January 6th. In churches and some homes it will stay until February 2nd. Hopefully, the spirit of Christmas will stay with everyone throughout the year.



Jacek Krankowski (X)  Identity Verified
English to Polish
+ ...
Many other countries Dec 3, 2002


Valeria Verona  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:22
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
:)) Dec 5, 2002

Thank you all for your contributions --they are really interesting and enlightening.

Greetings icon_smile.gif



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