Christmas Around the World

Emily Shumaker, Sports Editor

France: Christmas begins on St. Nicholas day which is Dec. 6. Many cities in France are largely decorated leading up to Christmas, some even being fully decorated weeks before. Children are given advent calendars filled with 24 slots to open and even sit out shoes on Christmas Eve with hopes that Père Noël (Father Christmas) fills the shoes with sweets.

Italy: It is a huge tradition to put up nativity scenes, or a presepe, in churches, town squares, and often homes. For many Italians, this is the most important part of the Christmas decorations. In Italy, Babbo Natale, or Father Christmas, hands out presents to children on Christmas Day. Still in many families, gifts are exchanged only on Jan. 6, which is the Day of Epiphany.

Germany: In the weeks leading up to Christmas, festive Christmas booths and markets are set up on the main squares in many cities. Houses are often decorated with fairy lights and festive ornaments in December, however, in Germany the Christmas tree is usually only put up and decorated at the homes in the morning of Dec. 24. Dec. 26 is also a public holiday in Germany as well, which many people spend with their family.

Norway: Children stay up all night waiting for Julenisse, the Norwegian Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, the Julenisse, brings presents to all of the children. Decorations are also very popular in Norway with lights and trees filling up the city. Because Christmas is Norway is called ‘Jul’, Norwegians all wish each other “God Jul,” meaning Happy Christmas!