According to Andy Williams, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. In recent history, it may also be the most sensationalized holiday as well. Countries all over the world from the U.S. to Italy, or even to Japan celebrate this holiday every year, even if only a small portion of their populations are Christian. It’s really quite amazing.

For instance, every year in Russia, the holiday of Christmas is observed on January 7th through the church. This is because the Russian Orthodox Church uses the Julian Calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar used in most Western Countries. More and more these days, Christmas is being celebrated on the 25th of December in Russia, though Church celebrations are generally still on the 7th.

By contrast, Japan celebrates Christmas one day early, on the 24th of December. This is an example of a country where Christmas is generally observed mostly as a commercial holiday. Stores begin having sales around the beginning of December, donned with Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, gifts and decorations, but only about 1% of the population of Japan is actually Christian. Christmas cake with strawberries and whipped cream is the general Christmas food, along with fried chicken. Wild!

It’s so interesting to think about all the different ways Christmas is celebrated throughout the world. Whether it has mostly religious undertones, or commercial undertones, Christmas is a genuinely recognized time of good will and gift giving around the world.
Tell us about how you’ve seen or heard of Christmas being celebrated! Do you and your loved ones celebrate it any certain way?

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