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How is Christmas celebrated
around the world?
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So... How is Christmas Celebrated Around the World?

Let's Do the Math:

What percentage of people around the world celebrate Christmas?

Somewhere Around:

32% of the world's people are Christian.
(So we'll assume they celebrate.)

13% identify themselves as non-Christian, but are still Christmas revelers.

45%

of people around the globe celebrate.

that would be about 2.2 billion people

2,200,000,000

and, of those people, we can
estimate 25% are children

2,200,000,000 divided by 1 in 4 = 550,000,000 children
  • Christmas gift box
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So... Santa is Really, Really Busy.

In order for him to deliver presents to children around the world he has
to move pretty fast.

Gifts Per Hour

22,916,666

Gifts Per Minute

381,944

Gifts Per Second

6,365

But Who's on That Merry World
Tour? Santa, or Someone Else?
And When Does He Visit?

It depends. Where are you standing?

December
Saint Nicholas Day
December

Traditionally tied to St. Nicholas Day, St. Nick delivers gifts on donkey back, arrives via steamboat, or stuffs presents in a boot left outside the family doorway, depending on where you're celebrating.

Feast Day
December
Common Christmas Eve
Common Christmas Day
December
Boxing Day
Start of twelve days of Christmas

This classic, friendly old fellow known to most of the western world wears red robes, calls the north pole home and snacks on cookies and milk left by eager children at nearly every stop. (No wonder his BMI seems a little high.)

End of twelve days of Christmas
January

In parts of eastern Europe, this veritable anti-santa cruises the land with one cloven hoof, a handful of heavy chains and a sack on his back to collect naughty children. Probably motivating for the tots, but wow. *Shiver*

Saint Nick

The Pre-Santa

Saint Nick

Santa Claus

The Jolly Good Guy

Santa Claus

The Krampus

The Anti-Santa

The Krampus

And That's Not All.
(Not By a Long Shot.)

Gift giving is one of the most universal Christmas traditions, but the bearer
of presents goes by many different aliases. Click around to see what he is called.

In Mexico, Santa is known as Santo Clós

In Brazil, Santa is known as Papai Noel

In South Africa, Santa is known as Vader Kersfees

In The Netherlands, Santa is known as Sinterklaas

In Sweden, Santa is known as Tomte

In Armenia, Santa is known as Gaghant Baba

In Russia, Santa is known as Ded Moroz

In Japan, Santa is known as Hoteisho

Speaking of Traditions...

Here's a sampling of uplifting (and surprising) Christmas customs
worth discussing over a cup o'nog.

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El Salvador

In El Salvador, children celebrate the holiday by lighting small firecrackers called volcanitos (little volcanoes) and sparkler-like estrellitas (little stars). Teenagers and adults bring out the big oohs and aahs with larger mortars and roman candles. Boom goes the season.

Chinese paper lanterns Chinese paper lanterns

China

Christians in China go a little tamer with the decorations, lighting their homes with beautiful paper lanterns.

Yule cat

Iceland

If you're an Icelandic child however, you've got bigger problems than a few things catching fire. The scary Yule Cat devours kids who haven't worked hard enough all year. Do your chores and you'll get nice clothes for Christmas. Slack, and your old clothes attract the hungry feline.

roller skates

Venezuela

Walk the streets of Caracas, Venezuela on Christmas Eve and you'll find detours. Officials block things off so residents can strap on their wheels and roller skate to midnight mass.

Picnic spread on the beach surfboard

Australia

Since it's summer down under during the holiday season, it's pretty common (and pretty awesome) to see families enjoying their Christmas feast al fresco on the local beaches.

Gifts Open? Good. Let's Eat.

Holiday food the world over is a fascinating trip.

Click Here and learn who eats what

In Japan, turkey's not common, but having the Colonel over for Christmas is.

Indian revelers get their fingers sticky with kidyo, a tasty fried sweet made of coconut cream and powdered sugar.

In Canada they break out the yule log - in cake form with wood-grain frosting.

Chileans knock back a little "monkey's tail" or cola de mono (something like a White Russian) to celebrate.

In Argentina, tuna-flavored mayonnaise-ish sauce over sliced veal is a holiday staple. Who needs cranberry sauce?

In Germany, there is much eating of fruitcake fancied up as Christstollen.

Spaniards cut into King Cake at their holiday tables to find a festive figurine hidden inside.

In Belgium, families break bread shaped like the baby Jesus at holiday dinners.

It's About Time to Call It a Silent Night.

What Do You Say?

You've got a lot of choices.

Afrikaans: Gesende Kersfees • Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees • African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats • Albanian: Gezur Krislinjden • Arabic: Milad Majid • Argentine: Feliz Navidad • Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand • Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun • Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal • Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On! • Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha • Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce • Bosnian: (BOSANSKI) Cestit Bozic i Sretna Nova godina • Brazilian: Feliz Natal • Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat • Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo • Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou! • Chile: Feliz Navidad • Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun • Chinese: (Mandarin) Sheng Dan Kuai Le • Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito • Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Prspero Ao Nuevo • Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth • Corsian: Pace e salute • Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo • Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi • Croatian: Sretan Bozic • Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok • Danish: Gldelig Jul • Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak • Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast • English: Merry Christmas • Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo! • Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon • Estonian: Rmsaid Juluphi • Ethiopian: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal • Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar! • Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad • Finnish: Hyvaa joulua • Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar • French: Joyeux Noel • Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier! • Galician: Bo Nada • Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath r! • German: Frhliche Weihnachten • Greek: Kala Christouyenna! • Haiti: (Creole) Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto • Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara! • Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka • Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova • Hindi: Shub Naya Baras (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Hungarian: Boldog Karcsonyt • Icelandic: Gledileg Jol • Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal • Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah • Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat • Iroquois: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay. • Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie • Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto • Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags • Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha • Kurdish: Ser sall nw proz • Lao: souksan van Christmas • Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum! • Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu! • Lausitzian: Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto • Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus • Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu • Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar • Luxembourgish: Schine Chreschtdaag an e gudde Rutsch • Sreken: Bozhik • Maltese: IL-Milied It-tajjeb • Manx: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa • Maori: Meri Kirihimete • Marathi: Shub Naya Varsh (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Navajo: Merry Keshmish • Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul • Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado • Papiamento: Bon Pasco • Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu • Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr! • Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Ao Nuevo • Philippines: Maligayang Pasko! • Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie • Portuguese: Feliz Natal • Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha • Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua • Rhetian: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn • Romanche: (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn! • Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele or Craciun fericit • Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom • Sami: Buorrit Juovllat • Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou • Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou • Scots Gaelic: Nollaig Chridheil dhuibh • Serbian: Hristos se rodi. • Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa • Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok • Slovene: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto • Spanish: Feliz Navidad • Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt r • Switzerland (Swiss-German): Schni Wienachte • Tagalog: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon • Tamil: (Tamizh) Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Trukeese: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech! • Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas • Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun • Ukrainian: Z Rizdvom Khrystovym or S rozhdestvom Kristovym • Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh • Welsh: Nadolig Llawen • Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!Afrikaans: Gesende Kersfees • Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees • African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats • Albanian: Gezur Krislinjden • Arabic: Milad Majid • Argentine: Feliz Navidad • Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand • Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun • Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal • Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On! • Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha • Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce • Bosnian: (BOSANSKI) Cestit Bozic i Sretna Nova godina • Brazilian: Feliz Natal • Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat • Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo • Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou! • Chile: Feliz Navidad • Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun • Chinese: (Mandarin) Sheng Dan Kuai Le • Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito • Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Prspero Ao Nuevo • Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth • Corsian: Pace e salute • Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo • Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi • Croatian: Sretan Bozic • Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok • Danish: Gldelig Jul • Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak • Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast • English: Merry Christmas • Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo! • Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon • Estonian: Rmsaid Juluphi • Ethiopian: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal • Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar! • Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad • Finnish: Hyvaa joulua • Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar • French: Joyeux Noel • Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier! • Galician: Bo Nada • Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath r! • German: Frhliche Weihnachten • Greek: Kala Christouyenna! • Haiti: (Creole) Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto • Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara! • Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka • Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova • Hindi: Shub Naya Baras (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Hungarian: Boldog Karcsonyt • Icelandic: Gledileg Jol • Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal • Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah • Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat • Iroquois: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay. • Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie • Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto • Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags • Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha • Kurdish: Ser sall nw proz • Lao: souksan van Christmas • Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum! • Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu! • Lausitzian: Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto • Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus • Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu • Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar • Luxembourgish: Schine Chreschtdaag an e gudde Rutsch • Sreken: Bozhik • Maltese: IL-Milied It-tajjeb • Manx: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa • Maori: Meri Kirihimete • Marathi: Shub Naya Varsh (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Navajo: Merry Keshmish • Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul • Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado • Papiamento: Bon Pasco • Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu • Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr! • Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Ao Nuevo • Philippines: Maligayang Pasko! • Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie • Portuguese: Feliz Natal • Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha • Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua • Rhetian: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn • Romanche: (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn! • Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele or Craciun fericit • Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom • Sami: Buorrit Juovllat • Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou • Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou • Scots Gaelic: Nollaig Chridheil dhuibh • Serbian: Hristos se rodi. • Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa • Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok • Slovene: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto • Spanish: Feliz Navidad • Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt r • Switzerland (Swiss-German): Schni Wienachte • Tagalog: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon • Tamil: (Tamizh) Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Trukeese: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech! • Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas • Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun • Ukrainian: Z Rizdvom Khrystovym or S rozhdestvom Kristovym • Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho (good New Year not Merry Christmas) • Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh • Welsh: Nadolig Llawen • Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!
 
Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad
Feliz Natal
Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Joyeaux Noel

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