Christmas is almost upon us again, and whether you celebrate it or not, it’s a difficult holiday to ignore. The trees, the presents, the cookies and carols, all of these are seemingly never-changing when you stay in the same neighborhood. But being such an international holiday, Christmas around the world is celebrated in dozens of different ways – every country has its own unique take on the same old holiday.
So how can you get a taste of what they do in other parts of the world? The best thing to do would be to get on a plane and experience it, but the next best thing is to visit this collection of great websites, which will give you a glimpse of the sights, sounds and tastes of Christmas from numerous places in the world. Enjoy!
Nothing tells a story better than pictures. There are several excellent sources for some really interesting Christmas pictures from around the world. One of them is The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture for Christmas 2011.
This is a great collection of early Christmas events from all over the world, from London to Manila. If you didn’t get enough, take a look at Life’s Christmas Around the World album, which includes some fascinating Christmas pictures from places like Japan, Turkey and Australia.
To sum it up, don’t miss The Telegraph’s Christmas-themed world records album, to see things such as the world’s largest gathering of Santa Clauses or the matching gathering of Santa’s elves.
If you feel that pictures just aren’t enough, why not take a glimpse of some real live Christmas events? Luckily (for this purpose), there are webcams almost anywhere, and you can use some strategically placed ones to witness Christmas celebrations from all around the world.
Hit it off with My World Webcams, where you can either search for the term “Christmas” in the search box and get multiple Christmas-related webcams, or browse the website’s calendar to find specific events of interest.
There’s also en entire section just for New Year’s Eve 2012, if you’re interested. Alternatively, you can check out webcamVue’s Christmas category, for an impressive selection of webcams that provide a peek into many Christmas celebrations from all over the world.
If pictures and video are not really your thing, and you prefer your educational media in text, you can try reading about different Christmas traditions as they are celebrated in different parts of the world. One good source for such information is The North Pole’s Christmas Around the World section, which provides some info (more for some countries, less for others) about how people celebrate Christmas in Iran, China or Mexico.
If you can’t find the country you’re interested in on this list, or if you crave additional information, try Santa’s Net Christmas Traditions Around the World. It features countries such as Lebanon, Lithuania and Pakistan, along with numerous other countries you may find interesting.
There’s nothing that gives you the taste of Christmas more than Christmas food. If you’re tired of the same old cookies you bake every year, it might be time to try some Christmas cuisines from other parts of the world. To kick it off, try The Worldwide Gourmet’s international Christmas recipes. This section features a list of 23 different countries, and provides some information along with at least one recipe for each country.
If sweet cookies are what you crave (and who doesn’t on Christmas), here is an extensive list of Christmas cookie recipes from around the world. The list features 27 countries, most include 3 different recipes or more. The recipes lack pictures, which is unfortunate, but they are reviewed by users, which should make the decision process easier.
Last but certainly not least, is Christmas music. Christmas music doesn’t necessarily have to be the same old Christmas carols you’ve been hearing since forever. Why not let some other people from around the world show you what Christmas music means for them? This is where 8tracks’s Christmas tag comes in handy.
Every one of the playlists on this list represents what Christmas means to someone. Stroll around, pick whatever looks good, and get a feel of the music that symbolizes Christmas for other people. You can, of course, try other tags such as “holidays”, “snow” or “xmas” to get into the holiday mood.
As I said in the beginning, the holiday experience doesn’t have to be the same every year. Instead of getting into that same family dinner-shopping-TV routine, try getting some inspiration from the way things are done in different places. You can even try to celebrate Christmas in a different theme every year!
Share some experiences and let us know of some other useful ways to experience an international Christmas in the comments.
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