Along with New Years, Christmas is one of the most widely-celebrated holidays around the globe. In addition to the glory of millions of people communing to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the glory of God, Bishop Tracie Williams Dickey says it is delightful to see the ways in which various cultures around the world make Christmas uniquely theirs. An international Bishop who has traveled extensively spreading the gospel, Tracie Williams Dickey shares some such unique traditions and customs from three countries.
3 Countries’ Unique Christmas Traditions
The Philippines has the highest Christian population of any country in Asia, with about 80% being Catholics. Christmas festivities can start as early as late September, with decorations popping up in shop windows. On Dec. 16, formal observations commence with the first of nine pre-dawn masses, culminating in Christmas Day mass. Celebrations continue to the first Sunday in January, the Epiphany or Feast of the Three Kings. Christmas customs are a mixture of native Filipino and Western traditions, with Santa Claus and Christmas trees as well as items like the colorful ‘parol,’ a bamboo pole or frame with a star lantern featuring Japanese paper or cellophane.
Germany is well-known around the world for its delightful Christmas markets and festive celebrations. Many traditions celebrated in the United States originated in Northern Europe, including Germany, so their observances may be quite familiar. However, Germany has some traditions most Americans may not be aware of as well. On Dec. 5, for example, children place a freshly-polished pair of boots in front of their bedroom door, similar to how American kids leave stockings on the mantel on Christmas Eve. For good children, St. Nikolaus will often leave oranges, coins, chocolate, or gummy bears. In Germany and Austria, Santa also has a counterpart, Krampus, who punishes children who have not behaved. Germans also use an advent wreath, lighting a candle each Sunday leading up to Christmas.
In Venezuela, another predominantly Catholic country, nativity scenes are a much bigger deal than Christmas trees. Most homes have them and some communities have competitions for who has the best nacimientos. These go beyond just the Holy Family and can even depict the entirety of Bethlehem. The Baby Jesus is not placed in the nacimiento until Christmas Eve. Venezuelans also incorporate traditional dances into their celebrations, including the Joropo, merengue, and salsa, and traditional foods such as the dulce de colchinito, a slow-cooked brown sugar and papaya dessert. One of the most unique Venezuelan traditions, however, is roller-skating to Christmas Mass, a custom observed in Caracas, where streets are closed to traffic to accommodate skaters.
More on Bishop Tracie Williams Dickey
Bishop Tracie Williams Dickey is a Certified International Conference Speaker, CEO of Destiny Enterprises, and founder and Sr. Pastor of Deliverance Tabernacle Ministries Intl. She invites all to walk with her to achieve self-awareness, faith, and fulfillment in God.
Bishop Tracie Williams Dickey has created a special 5-Fold Ministry which she delivers through her local church as well as international publications and speaking engagements. Just as Bishop Tracie Williams Dickey meets and uplifts people, wherever they are in life, she likewise travels to all corners of the globe to meet congregants on their home turf.
In addition to international speaking events, she shares her wisdom through print and broadcasts including The Power of Deliverance Broadcast, The A.W.A.K.E. Women’s Broadcast (Anointed Women Acclaimed For Kingdom Empowerment), and The Men on the Move Men’s Broadcast.
Learn more about Bishop Tracie Williams Dickey and her message of hope via her website: https://www.bishoptraciedickey.org/bishop-tracie-dickey/