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What percentage of people around the world celebrate Christmas?
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.
of people around the globe celebrate.
that would be about 2.2 billion people
and, of those people, we can
estimate 25% are children
In order for him to deliver presents to children around the world he has
to move pretty fast.
It depends. Where are you standing?
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.
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.)
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*
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
Here's a sampling of uplifting (and surprising) Christmas customs
worth discussing over a cup o'nog.
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.
Christians in China go a little tamer with the decorations, lighting their homes with beautiful paper lanterns.
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.
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.
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.
Holiday food the world over is a fascinating trip.
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.
You've got a lot of choices.
More than 1.6 billion Christmas cards each year in the U.S. alone.