Christmas traditions around the world

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Discover some global holiday customs and culinary delights with your students through these festive worksheets. You might even be inspired to adopt a piñata or toss a Yule log into your winter holiday celebrations. 

Hispanic Christmas

Holiday traditions in Spanish-speaking countries often include prayer, dinner, and caroling. In some countries, people also celebrate Las Posadas to remember Mary and Joseph’s journey by parading with candles and flowers. At the end of the night, children break a piñata, a colorful hanging holder, to find it filled with candy and treats.

Fun fact: “Feliz Navidad” is Spanish for “Merry Christmas”!

Christmas in the Philippines

In the Philippines, a few different holidays are celebrated during the holiday season, with celebrations lasting until January. Christmas lights and parols (star lanterns) are the most popular holiday decorations. Filipino children usually celebrate Christmas by attending church, visiting their families, and eating traditional foods such as lechon (roasted pig) and bibingka (rice cake). 

Fun fact: “Merry Christmas” in Filipino is “Maligayang Pasko”!

Russian Christmas

Unlike most of the world, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th in Russia. Similar to other places around the world, however, Russians also celebrate Christmas through attending church services, putting up decorations, and eating special foods. Russian families traditionally have a large dinner called a Holy Supper with 12 different dishes to represent the 12 Apostles of Jesus.

Fun fact: To wish someone a Merry Christmas in Russian, say “Schastlivogo Rozhdestva”!

Christmas in Italy

The Christmas season starts on December 8th and ends on January 6th in Italy. Children can expect presents from not only Santa Claus, but also Baby Jesus, La Belfana (a good witch), and the Three Wise Men. On Christmas Eve, families celebrate by attending church and eating seven different kinds of fish instead of meat. 

Fun fact: “Buon natale” is Italian for “Merry Christmas”!

French Christmas

Many families in France decorate their homes with a creche, a nativity scene with small statues or clay figures. Instead of hanging stockings, children leave their shoes by the front door or the fireplace and wake up Christmas morning to find them filled with gifts. On Christmas Eve, families enjoy a large dinner and end the meal with a bûche de Noël, a chocolate sponge cake also known as a Yule log, for dessert. 

Fun fact: “Merry Christmas” in French is “Joyeux Noël“!

No matter how you’re celebrating this year, has all the fun and educational resources you need. Find more holiday games, activities, and worksheets here