A Global Celebration
A Global Celebration
By Charlotte Goldsmith
Christmas is fast approaching, and with it come many traditions. You may be used to roast dinners, presents under the tree and Father Christmas coming down the chimney, but around the world there are some very different traditions. From ancient times to modernised celebrations, there’s no doubt that however you celebrate, joy and festive magic are not far away.
In Ethiopia, Christmas, known as Ganna, is celebrated on the 7th of January. The day starts with Church service, before enjoying a traditional feast called Injera consisting of a sourdough flatbread, and a spicy meat stew known as doro wat. Many Ethiopians will wear a white traditional garment called a Netela. It’s a thin piece of cotton cloth that is worn akin a toga or shawl. Ganna is all about spiritual reflection, having good food and spending time with loved ones, and not so much about giving gifts.
We’re moving east to Japan, where Christmas has only been celebrated for a few decades. Christmas in Japan is not as major as it is in more western societies, and so it isn’t as important to many. However, the Japanese still celebrate, just with an interesting twist. Instead of a Christmas dinner, many people will eat KFC as their festive meal alongside friends and family. Additionally, the streets in Japan - especially big cities such as Tokyo and Osaka - are often lit up with wonderful light displays that make the festive magic come to life in this winter wonderland.
In Australia, Christmas takes place in summer. It’ll be easy to spot Santa on the beach or relaxing by the pool! Australians opt to indulge in a Christmas barbeque instead of a roast, and thousands gather at the state capitals to see the Carols by Candlelight service. Famous singers such as John Farnham and Colin Gery have been known to attend to sing and the event is broadcasted live across the country.
Finally, in Germany, the Christmas tree - or Tannenbaum as it’s known in the native language - can be considered one of the most important items of the holidays. Germans take great care in selecting the right tree and ornaments to ensure that the feeling of Christmas is alive. In the centre of cites, vast Christmas markets can be seen, laden with mulled wine and gingerbread. Both tourists and locals alike enjoy the festivities, and the atmosphere of the market is one filled with joy and excitement.
So, as we open the last of our advent calendars and patiently wait for Father Christmas to visit, let’s embrace all the different celebrations. From the festive barbecue in Australia, the markets in Germany or Christmas KFC, no matter where you are, Christmas is always a special occasion to enjoy with your loved ones.