In America, the holiday that is practiced by the majority of the citizens is Christmas. While American Christmas has its own traditions, many other cultures celebrate Christmas differently. While both America and many other countries are dominated by Christianity, there are obvious differences during the winter holiday. For example, Canada is known for having their annual “Boxing Day” which is their official day for opening any Christmas presents they received. This is meant to isolate Christmas day for the celebration of Jesus Christ. In Spain, an unique aspect of their Christmas is “Three Kings Day.” Spanish teacher Paloma Soria celebrates “Three Kings Day.” Soria is originally from Madrid, Spain, but moved to America over two decades ago.
“One of the biggest differences is that we don’t open presents on Christmas Day; we wait until January 6th. That’s when the Three Kings brought the gifts to baby Jesus. The holiday is called the day of the “Reyes Magos.” There is a special cake that we eat this day. It has a surprise inside,” said Soria.
Though Christmas is not universally the same, similarities are seen. It is commonly seen amongst countries to congregate to their local church and show their thankfulness. Spending time with family is one of the most important values in the holiday season. Whether that means having a feast, unwrapping presents, or just sitting together.
“It is a tradition to have a big dinner on December 24th with your family. After dinner, we go to Church at midnight. After Church, we spend time eating some more sweets and playing cards or other family games. There are always special family programs on TV that day, so everyone can stay up until late, chatting and having fun,” said Soria.
Soria encourages people to embrace other traditions and experiment with different types of cultures.