Christmas Around the World
From Finland's Santa Claus Village to Australia's Bondi Beach party, see how other countries celebrate Christmas.
Sydney, AustraliaThe Christmas holiday falls during Australia's summer it is popular to go camping during this time. Natives decorate their homes with trees and lights, but also display bunches of "Christmas Bush," a native Australian tree with small green leaves and cream-colored flowers that turn red in summer. In each state capital, there is a "Carols by Candlelight" service where famous performers sing holiday favorites. 960 1280
Berlin, GermanyChristmas angels and Santa Claus ride on Segways in Berlin. In Germany, Advent calendars are a big part of the holiday celebration. Several types are used, including 2 made from fir tree branches. One has 24 decorated boxes hanging from it while the other features 4 candles. 960 1280
Ottawa, CanadaThe Rideau Canal Waterway in Ottawa, Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is lit up for the holidays. There are many Christmas traditions in Canada due to the various cultural backgrounds in the country. Some open gifts on Christmas Eve and others wait till Christmas Day. Other types of celebrations include a "Taffy Pull" (a party for singles to meet) and "Sinck Tuck" (dancing and gift exchanges). 960 1280
Rio de Janeiro, BrazilFireworks explode near a traditional Rio de Janeiro Christmas tree during the official lighting ceremony at Rodrigo de Freitas Lake. In Brazil, Santa Claus is called Papai Noel. Favorite holiday foods include chicken, turkey, ham, rice, pork, and fresh and dried fruits. 960 1280
ItalyThe Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, adorned with Christmas lights, is pictured in downtown Milan. One of the biggest ways to celebrate the holiday in Italy is by displaying the Nativity crib scene. Many families display the cribs in their homes and place a baby Jesus in it on the night of Dec. 24. 960 1280
RussiaPeople dressed as Father Frost, the equivalent of Santa Claus, and Snow Maiden greet passers-by during a New Year's parade in Bishkek, Russia. In Russia, New Year's celebrations are very important (sometimes more than Christmas). Father Frost brings presents to children. The traditional greeting on New Year's is "S Novym Godom." 960 1280
FinlandRovaniemi, Finland is proud to be the official home of Santa Claus. Visit the Santa Claus Village in Lapland anytime of the year to meet Father Christmas and cross the magical Arctic Circle. After you meet Santa, take a sleigh ride with traditional Sami reindeer and learn more about Lapland’s native people. 960 1280
Reykjavik, IcelandChristmas in Reykjavik is a magical time with its winter landscape and unique traditions. Visit the Christmas Village in Hafnarfjordur or Reykjavik's main Christmas Market in Ingolfstorg Square for unique holiday gifts and Yuletide music. And for children, there are not just one, but 13 Santas, or Yule Lads, bearing gifts. 960 1280
Nuremberg, GermanyOne of the most impressive Christmas markets in Europe can be found in Nuremberg, Germany. The sprawling market in the city's Old Quarter has more than 200 vendors that sell seasonal and traditional goods, like mulled wine and handmade ornaments. And a wooden Ferris wheel, carousel and steam train create a winter wonderland for children. 960 1280
Santa Comes to TownEvery year the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ends with Santa coming to a stop in front of the department store on 6th Ave, marking the beginning of the Christmas season in the Big Apple. Come explore some of the timeless traditions of Christmas in New York City. 960 1280
Empire State BuildingAt the center of the iconic NYC skyline sits the Empire State Building. During the months of November and December, the top of the building is lit up with red and green lights to celebrate christmas. The first lighting each year coincides with the opening night for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. 960 1280
Speaking of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, don’t miss out on seeing the Rockettes’ show-stopping leg kick precision chorus line 5 days a week during the holidays at Radio City Music Hall.