Christmas is celebrated worldwide, however, the holiday traditions and customs are different in each country. We have collected the difference between English-speaking countries and Hungary. Read our article to find out how Christmas is celebrated in these countries!
As every American holiday movie shows, Americans like to decorate the front of their house with bright lights. They tend to go to great lenghts to impress the neighbourhood with their Christmas decorations. In addition, most families take their traditions from Western European culture and they will typically eat turkey or ham as their main Christmas meal, writes blog.lingoda.com. Gifts are typically exchanged on the morning of Christmas Day (25th December), and the one who brings the present is Santa Claus.
Boxing Day is a British public holiday on 26th December, and is only celebrated in the UK. As for the origin of this day, it is generally thought that the day was created for people to ‘box up’ their unwanted gifts and give them to the poor who had nothing, writes communicateschool.co.uk. However, nowadays, the British spend Boxing Day with their relatives, traveling or just relaxing at home. Another UK Christmas speciality is the Christmas pudding. This dessert is made of currants, raisins, prunes, spices, wine, eggs and breadcrumbs and cannot be missing from the Christmas menu.
In Ireland, Boxing Day is known as St. Stephen’s Day, which is spent with family gatherings and eating leftover food. Similarily to the British, the Irish have turkey or goose at Christmas lunch, writes secretfoodtours.com. According to an old Irish tradition, people dress up and go from house to house, singing songs and playing musical instruments. Moreover, horse racing meetings and football matches also take place on this day.
Although people living in other countries often use real trees for the Christmas tree, Canadians are the most likely to choose real fir or pine Christmas trees. This is especially common in the eastern province of Nova Scotia. The opening of the presents can happen on Christmas Eve, but many open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest on the 25th December. In some parts of the country, such as northern Ontario, stores are not allowed to open on Boxing Day, therefore, shopping is done in another day.
Christmas occurs in the height of the summer season in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, which makes the Christmas feeling different. Due to the sunny weather, on Christmas Day, families spend time outside, playing games or swimming. Other traditions are very similar to the British Christmas customs. In Australia, the holiday meal consists of turkey and salad. New Zealand has an indigenous tree known as the PÅhutukawa. It produces large red flowers, and is an important symbol of Christmas in the country, sometimes referred to as a New Zealand Christmas tree.
Unlike in other countries around the world, the most important day of Christmas in Hungary is 24 December, writes studyinhungary.hu. Traditionally, this is the day when angels bring the Christmas tree, families open presents and sing Christmas carols. As for the Christmas menu, Hungarians enjoy a nice halászlé (fish soup), stuffed cabbage and beigli, a pastry roll traditionally stuffed with poppy seed or walnut. A huge difference between Christmas in Hungary and English-speaking countries is that traditionally, the tree is not decorated until Christmas Eve. Usually, 24 December is just for the close family and on 25 and 26 December, big family gatherings take place.
Source: blog.lingoda.com, communicateschool.co.uk, secretfoodtours.com, studyinhungary.hu