Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th each year but the Christmas traditions around the world can vary widely throughout other countries. In the USA the familiarity with our traditions of Christmas trees, indoor and outside lights are very common as are also advent wreaths, Christmas stockings, and Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. Santa Claus is also a well celebrated figure for the tradition of bringing gifts to children, but is tied more to the commercial aspect of the holiday. Christmas greetings in the form of cards is also a common practice but has declined some in recent years with the more common use of email and the cost of postage increasing. Good wishes can also now be sent digitally very quickly and less expensive.
In Japan, Christmas is popular because it is encourage by commerce. Gifts are sometimes exchanged, but it is not a national holiday.
The Czech republic and Slovakia celebrate on Christmas eve, Dec. 24 and it is known as “Generous Day” because presents are given in the evening. Traditional holiday foods consist of fish soup, breaded roasted carp, and potato salad. Holiday greetings are shared after sharing a piece of Christmas wafer made with honey and walnuts.
In Russia as in some other Eastern Orthodox countries, Christmas is celebrated on January 7. Christmas is mainly a religious event in Russia. On January 6, Christmas Eve there are several long services and then families return home for the traditional Holy Supper for Christmas Eve. This consists of 12 different dishes which are to symbolize one for each of the Twelve Apostles. Sometimes devout families return to church that night and again the next morning on Christmas Day. Christmas became a national holiday in Russia in 1992 and remains as a ten day holiday celebration at the start of every new year.