Christmas Around The World

featuring Japan and The Netherlands

Important Dates

December 25th is Christmas in Japan while Christmas, or St. Nicholas Day, in The Netherlands is December 6th. December 24th is Christmas eve in Japan. December 4th is Christmas eve.

Gift Bearer

In Japan there is a god or priest known as Hoteiosho who closely resembles our Santa Claus. Sinterkass brings the children of the children in The Netherlands gifts on December 5th.


In Japan they eat turkey, ham, or KFC's Christmas Chicken. Some major foods around Christmas time, in The Netherlands, are letter blanket (letter cake) or pepernoot.

Other Traditions

In Japan there are some places with community Christmas trees. Some houses decorate their houses with Mistletoe and Evergreens. In some homes Christmas carols are even sung. In The Netherlands, some places (mainly schools) they out everyones name into a hat and each person draws a name from the hat. The person they drew from the hat is the person that they have to get a gift for. In some families the adults tell their children that Zwate Peter keeps record of the good and bad things they do year round.

The Night Before

People in Japan celebrate Christmas Eve by eating Christmas Cake that the father has to pick up on his way home from work. Christmas Eve in The Netherlands is called Sinterklassavond or Pakjesavond. Some children leave a shoe by the windowsill or fireplace with hay or carrots for Sinterklass's horses. Some celebrations or parties are held.

The Day Of Christmas

The Japanesse celebrate Christmas by exchanging gifts between people with romantic commitments. These presents tend to be 'cute' presents that often include teddy bears, flowers, scarves, rings, and other jewelry. Christmas in The Netherlands is called St. Nicholas day. it is much quieter than Christmas Eve with a family dinner and sometimes a Sunday Service. In the Sunday Service many stories are told.