As the days get shorter and darkness sets in sooner every day, it’s a comforting thought to know that it’s only a short wait until the Christmas lights warm our hearts again, inviting us to go indoors and celebrate with loved ones. If anything is subject to differences, it’s the way Christmas is celebrated across the world. Each country and culture has its own, beautiful traditions, special dishes and ways of decorating the house. Urban Nature Culture took a deep dive in some of the special Christmas folklores and beliefs, to inspire you and get in the right mood for Christmas!
Argentina: decorate the house with flowers
In Argentina, the preparations of Christmas start in late November or early December, with houses decorated with both lights and hand-made wreaths of green, gold, red and white flowers. Christmas trees are popular all around the world and you usually see the traditional fir tree. However, in Argentina, any tree can be made into a Christmas tree. Want to add an Argentinean twist to your Christmas? Decorate the olive tree instead, this year! And while you’re at it, invite some of your friends and create a little workshop, where everyone creates their own dried flower wreath. Want to add a floral touch to your Christmas? Decorate the table with our ceramic Blooming Nature flowers, each one flourishing in their own way!
China: paper decorations
Despite only one percent of the Chinese people celebrating Christmas, China is – funny enough – the producer of most of the world’s plastic Christmas Trees and decorations. Santa Claus, better known as ‘Shen Dan Lao Ren’, might be thriving the economy, but it’s not common to actually celebrate Christmas iself. If they do though, they often decorate the (plastic) tree with paper chains, flowers and lanterns – and call it ‘tree of light’. We love that the Chinese get creative with paper, and invite you to do the same. Use Urban Nature Culture’s paper napkins and start folding!
Indonesia: feather trees
You’ll find one of the biggest producers of pine trees in Puncak, West Java, where they grow out to beautiful Christmas trees. But there’s another special type of ‘Selamat Natal’ tree, made by people on Bali island. These trees are made from chicken or artificial feathers, and are being exported all around the world. With most Christian villages located in the Southern part of Bali, holiday makers will be surprised to find the inhabitants wearing traditional clothes, and the streets being decorated with janur or penjor – made of a bamboo stick with young coconut leaves in intricate designs. They’re so complicated to make, but oh so pretty. Want to add a Balinese touch to your Christmas dinner? Discover Urban Nature Culture’s bamboo Sketch of Nature series, with plates in different sizes, mugs and bowls. Whoever said Christmas should be all about glitters?
Ireland: a welcoming light
Closer to our home, in the beautiful country of Ireland, people celebrate Christmas pretty much the same way as in the United Kingdom and the US, but they do have a unique and ancient-old tradition that stands out. In some Irish households, people put a tall, thick candle on the sill of the largest window, after sunset on Christmas Eve. The candle is left to burn all night and represents a welcoming light for Mary and Joseph. If you want your own welcoming light for Christmas, Urban Nature Culture has plenty of beautiful candle holders, lanterns and tea light holders.
Mexico: Posada parties
Mexico is a country of many traditions, and Christmas is no exception. From December 12th to January 6th, everyone’s in the spirit, and the houses are decorated with moss, evergreens and paper lanterns. From December 16th to Christmas Eve, children perform a thing called the ‘Posada’, a celebration of the Christmas story part where Joseph and Mary look for somewhere to stay. Children are given candles and a board with painted figures of Mary and Joseph, to process round the streets with. They ring the doors of houses of friends, family and neighbors and sing a song of Mary and Joseph asking for refuge at each home. They’re told that there is no room, and they should move on to the next house, but eventually are welcomed in to the home where the posada is celebrated. Upon entering, the children say prayers of thanks and then enjoy a party with food, games and firecrackers. Each night, a different house holds the Posada party. At the final Posada, on Christmas Eve, a manger is made, and it’s tradition to eat a special cake – ‘Rosca de Reyes’. A figure of baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake and whoever finds him is the ‘godparent’ of Jesus for that year.
Want to create your own Rosca de Reyes and display it on Christmas day? Urban Nature Culture’s Decoration Plate, Serving Tray Porto or mango wooden Serving Board make your Christmas creation stand out!