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Holiday Traditions Around the World

What are the similarities and differences between the ways that certain countries celebrate the holidays?
Graphic Credit: Marissa Ansorge
Graphic Credit: Marissa Ansorge

  In Traverse City, the diversity of religions is very large, meaning there are even more traditions practiced during certain periods, especially the month of December. The most popular is Christmas because the Catholic religion is fairly large. Christmas is marked on the 25 of Dec., celebrating the birth of baby Jesus. Freshman Elle Johnson celebrates Christmas and has a packed Christmas day with lots of family and gift-giving.

  “After we open gifts at our house, we go to my grandparents’ house and open presents there with the whole family,” Johnson said. 

  Christmas Eve is also a big day for many, being the day before Christmas, bringing joy to most, but stress of the big day to others. Most families during the holidays have annual traditions that are unique just to their family, or they are shared by other families.

  “One thing that my family does not do that a lot of other families might do is open a present on Christmas Eve,” Johnson said. 

  In Mexico, people spend their Christmas day at church, and with family. Children do not open or receive gifts on Christmas. On the day of the 3 Wise Men, the children receive three gifts. They set out hay for the camels just like Americans set out cookies and milk for Santa. 

  “[Christmas in Mexico] is more of being thankful and grateful for the birth of Baby Jesus,” Catherine Hansen, a Spanish teacher said. 

  Mexico celebrates many different parts of the Christmas holiday, each coming with its own set of meals. 

  “Traditionally their celebration lasts for over a month. There can be up to nine different celebrations. Families will typically make Mole, which is made with over 25 spices including chocolate, rice and beans. They make turkey, Menudo, [which] is made of cow stomach, and Tamales,” Hansen said. 

  In Germany, Christmas is celebrated throughout the month of December. They celebrate Krampus, Saint Nicholas and The Three Kings.

  “Christmas [in Germany] gets celebrated on Dec. 24, which is Christmas Eve, but the whole month of December is kinda like a Christmas celebration. [They] kick off the Christmas markets all over Germany, [and] stores are decorated and have these different kinds of vendors in the market squares that sell all kinds of Christmas stuff. Then, Dec. 6 is Saint Nicholas Day [and Dec.] 5 is Krampus Tag in Bavaria, which is in Southern Germany, and Austria. [Krampus Tag] scares the little kids into being good, so sometimes Krampus comes with Nicholas, and Nicholas visits on the 5th of December. Kids will sing songs, keep their shoes/boots out at night and then they get them filled with candy or little gifts, even mandarin oranges, nuts [and] chocolate. That’s kind of a long tradition dating way back,“ German teacher Kerry LaBonte said.

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About the Contributors
Marissa Ansorge, Page Designer
Marissa Ansorge is a freshman in her first year of newspaper. Marissa chose to take this class because she wanted to try something new that the middle school didn’t have to offer. Marissa is a journalist for the newspaper team. Marissa enjoys playing travel volleyball in her free time and hanging out with her friends.
Sydney Fleming, Podcast Coordinator, Photographer
Sydney Fleming is a freshman at West Senior High. She is taking the newspaper because she enjoys writing, and wanted to try something new and different from any class she has taken before. Her current position in the newspaper is a writer. Outside of school Sydney is playing softball, working out, or outside.

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