To most people, Christmas is symbolized by universal elements – gift giving, carols, shopping, family time, fun in the snow etc. However, culture is a beautiful phenomenon. Each person is different from each other, and the collective that is a nation has distinct features from other nations. The infographic by Christian Universities Online builds on this insight by showcasing country specific Christmas customs and trends. For instance, the legend of Santa Claus has a different symbolism in USA and Holland. The name Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch Sinterklass. He is much thinner than Father Christmas (American Santa), rides a white horse and is assisted by Zwarte Pieten (Black Peter) in delivering gifts. In Russia, Santa Claus is also considered to dress in blue, and is assisted by his granddaughter, “The Snow Maiden” in delivering gifts across Russia. Such facts are fascinating, as there are many readers such as me who believe Santa Claus is a pudgy, clad in red enigma who rides his reindeer’s solo.
The next part of the infographic talks about examples from certain countries – some strange Christmas customs from Czech Republic, Japan, Finland , and Ukraine and unique traditions in Sweden, Venezuela, UK and Spain. A large section on Christmas meals captures the eye of all foodies – each country has a very distinct pattern of food preparation, items and consumption. For instance, France traditionally has its Christmas meals after midnight. The types of meats consumed too differ from nation to nation – Poland consists of primarily fish dishes whereas Philippines serves a cured ham or roasted pig as main course. Some traditional Christmas sweets across countries too is nicely summarized on the right side. Each country and its food description has a simple image next to it, giving the data some visual relief. Finally, there are more fun facts to follow and the infographic ends with a world map that has tags on how to say Merry Christmas in various countries.