*** holiday attire: Christmas in Different Countries

Seasonal Holliday Customs and Attire: Christmas around the World

Celebrating Christ's birth for Christians presented a problem in that no one knows when Jesus was born. It almost certainly was not December. Christmas is celebrated on December 25 throughout Christendom, as the birth of Christ primarily because of the importance of Saturnalia, the ancient Roman festival in honor of Saturn the god of Agriculture, in Roman culture. Besides adopting some of the feartures of Saturnalia, there are many non-religious customs and practices which have developed over the years. These customs are in many cases peculiar to different countries. Germany has played an especially important role, in part because of the Christams traditions Prince Albert brought from Germany when he married Queen Victoria, many of which have since been past on to America. Many modern Christmas traditions are based on these English Victorian traditions. Here are the many Christmas traditions we know of around the world. We hope that HBC readers will tell us something about Christmas traditions in their countries.

boy Christmas dress
Figure 1.--This is an early English Christmas card. The caption at the bottom of it reads. "May joys around thee brightly glow, peace and hope forever flow." The card illustrates the special dispensation was often given to children at Christmas. It was considered there day-the one time that little boys could be seen and heard; though whether parental indulgence would extend to licence to rifle the jam pot (like the boy-for it is a boy in the frilly skirts) is doubtful.


America: Latin

America: North



Middle East


Unknown Country


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Created: December 27, 1998
Last updated: 3:27 AM 12/26/2008