In previous blogs we have covered how business approach differs in countries around the globe; in this post we would like to look at celebrating Christmas in few countries.
As our directors are Polish, lets look at the way Christmas is celebrated in Poland which is a largely catholic country and Christmas Eve is a very important day.
Traditionally no meet is served during the main meal called Wigilia, and the food is served after the first star has been seen in the sky. During the day Polish people are fasting, so when the first star is finally spotted, everyone is happy to start the meal.
A wafer biscuit called ‘Opłatek’ is shared between all the family members before the meal along with best wishes for the coming year. Also, the meal should consist of 12 dishes, mainly fish, mushrooms, pierogi (pasta dumplings) and cake.
Similarly as in Czech Republic, one place is left empty at the table and the presents are unwrapped after the dinner. Whereas in Mexico children get their main presents at Epiphany which is on the 6th of January and is called ‘El Dia des los Reyes’ (the day of The Three Kings). Also, it is believed that the gifts are brought by The Three Kings.
Mexicans celebrate Christmas from 12th of December till 6th of January, and during the period between 16th of December to Christmas Eve children perform ‘Posada’ processions. The processions represent the story of Joseph and Mary looking for a room in a Inn (Posada in Spanish means Inn). During the procession children carry painted clay figures of Mary on a donkey and Joseph, and they stop at their friends and neighbours’ houses to sing a song about their struggle to find a room. Eventually the children find a room where they are welcomed in and they say prayers and have a party with food, games and fireworks. These Posada parties are held in a different house each night.
However, there are many countries where Christmas is not a religious celebration. For instance in Japan, not many people are Christians, so Christmas is not celebrated in the same way; but, it is still a time to spread happiness and joy. As it’s not a national holiday, Japanese schools and businesses are open on the 25th of December.
Every country has a distinct way of celebrating Christmas and you can read more about it on www.whychristmas.com/cultures which has helped us with this blog. You can also find how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in numerous languages by following this link (http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/languages.shtml).
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!