Celebrating Christmas Around the World

Author: Melissa Yeagle — Host: Emily TenterPosted on: December 22, 2019

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Celebrating Christmas Around the World

READ: LUKE 2:8-20

On the night Jesus was born, there was a lot of celebrating going on! And those celebrations continue on to this day—all around the world.

In the US, our Christmas celebrations center around putting up a Christmas tree and a nativity scene. On the actual day, we have a big meal and exchange presents.

In Norway, they start celebrating on Christmas Eve. Church services start at 5:00 p.m., then people go home for a special dinner. They generally have porridge, and one lucky person gets an almond hidden in their bowl.

In Poland, on Christmas Eve everyone watches the sky, eagerly waiting to spot the first star of the night. Once a star is spotted, dinner begins! This tradition is to remember the magi, who followed the star to find Jesus. They also have a tradition of putting hay on their dinner table underneath their tablecloth. This reminds them that Jesus was born in a manger.

In the Gambia, they have parades at Christmas time. They carry with them something called a fanal. It’s something they make out of bamboo with white paper hung over it, usually in the shape of a boat, and decorated with candles or lights.

In Russia, they celebrate Christmas on January 7. They go to church and then come home to a meal with twelve dishes—one dish to honor each of the first twelve disciples.

In reality, it doesn’t matter how we celebrate Christmas but rather who we celebrate. Christmas is the time we set aside to celebrate Jesus. He became human to save us from sin and death. That’s something worth celebrating all year. • Melissa Yeagle

• What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

• Why is it so important that Jesus—who is God—became a human (John 1:1-17; Romans 8:3-4; Hebrews 2:14-15, 17)?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (WEB)