“Christmas around the World,” Friend, Dec. 2014, 24–25
December 13: In Poland, families decorate booths in the town square with scenes from the Christmas story and give small gifts to people passing by.
December 14: At Christmastime in Canada and the United States, many people honor the Savior by giving food and clothing to those in need.
December 15: In India, families decorate their homes with mango leaves, strings of lights, and an ornament to represent the Star of Bethlehem.
December 16: In Italy they build big nativities (called presepi) early in December with a crib for baby Jesus. On Christmas Eve they add the baby Jesus.
December 17: In China, apples are a common Christmas gift because the Chinese word for apple, ping guo, sounds similar to the word for Christmas Eve, ping’an ye.
December 18: In Denmark on Christmas Eve, they eat risalamande, a rice pudding with an almond hidden inside. Whoever finds the almond in their bowl gets a gift!
December 19: In Mexico, children celebrate Three King’s Day (January 6th) by leaving their shoes outside along with hay and water for the Magi’s animals to eat. When they wake up, there’s a gift in the shoe!
December 20: In Ukraine they decorate Christmas trees with fake spider webs because of an old folk tale about a spider that spun a beautiful web so a poor widow and her children would have decorations on Christmas.
December 21: In New Zealand, people often have barbecues and celebrate Christmas on the beach in the warm summer weather.
December 22: On Christmas Day in South Africa, people sing carols and visit with family.
December 23: In the Czech Republic, families set an extra place for the Christ Child at their Christmas feast.
December 24: In Romania, children walk from house to house carrying a colored star on a long pole while singing carols and sometimes dancing.