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Celebrating Christmas Throughout the World

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden


pineconeIn Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, Christmas dinner includes rice pudding, called julgrot, which has an almond in it. According to tradition, whoever gets the almond will have good luck throughout the new year.


Santa Claus is a familiar figure in the Scandinavian countries. But many children there believe that a lively elf brings them gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve. The Danes and Norwegians call this elf Julenissen, and the Swedes refer to him as Jultomten.


The Christmas season in Sweden begins on St. Lucia Day, December 13. In the morning of this day, the oldest daughter in the home dresses in white and wears a wreath with seven lighted candles on her head. She serves the other members of the family coffee and buns in bed.

 A popular Christmas custom in Norway is ringe in Julen (ringing in Christmas). Throughout the country, people ring church bells at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. In Denmark, people decorate their Christmas tree with small paper cones filled with candy. Children are not allowed to see the tree until Christmas Eve.


Australia and New Zealand

Denmark, Norway, and Sweden


Ireland, Scotland, and Wales



Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemborg




United Kingdom

United States and Canada

Recipes from Around the World


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