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Christmas around the world – same same, but different

The Christmas countdown is on and if feels like most people are well and truly into the festive season.

What might surprise you is less than half the world’s population actually celebrates Christmas in their own culture.

But for those who do, which is around 3.3 billion people, the variety of customs differs significantly.

Those who do celebrate Christmas do so in their own unique way. Celebrations span the beginning of December until early January.

Father Christmas is represented by countless personas, and in some parts of Europe, the anti-Santa terrifies naughty children.

Christmas pine trees are absent from some parts of the world, so mango or banana trees are adorned in living rooms.

Many African and South American cultures observe Christmas only as a religious festival, and Japan’s version of Christmas is fully commercialised with no reference to religion.

From a communication perspective, this range of Christmas expression reminds us that while different audiences may think, feel and behave differently, they may actually share common values.