With Christmas and the New Year on their way, enjoying our time off is an important part of reorganizing ourselves for 2017. New Year’s Day is now universal, of course, while different cultures around the world have their own holy days. Yet, in today’s global cultural melting pot, Christmas celebrations are enjoyed and respected by all.
Within the Christian world, the way we celebrate Christmas is not too dissimilar across different countries, though each nation has its own calendar for the Christmas and New Year period.
The Catholic world celebrates Christmas eve on the 24th and Christmas day on the 25th, while Orthodox Christianity celebrates Christmas eve of the 6th and Christmas day on the 7th. To make things just a bit more confusing, some Orthodox nations celebrate on the 5th and 6th. And while Santa Claus is synonymous with Christmas morning for Catholics and Protestants, in the Orthodox world Santa Claus arrives for the kids on New Year’s Eve. The differences are due to the different historical experiences of each nation.
The end of the year holidays are an opportunity to spend time with family and to set new goals for the New Year. The Commonwealth nations have a public holiday called Boxing Day, which is the day after Christmas, giving families and friends another day for drinks and celebrations. In some European countries, Boxing Day is known as Second Christmas Day, while in the US the holiday is not celebrated.
Many companies give employees the week off over the Christmas period, with New Year’s Day another public holiday in many countries, and employees generally arriving back at work on the 3rd. However, many industries have to work through the holiday period, as gyms, telecommunication services, service industries, hotels and chefs still have work to do. And as Christmas falls on the 5th and 6th for many Orthodox countries, many companies have the week off from December 30th to January 7th. Whatever the dates, it’s a time to relax and celebrate with family and friends.
Enjoying a great Christmas period is important for family fun, rest and reenergizing for the New Year. Also understanding more about the diverse ways Christmas is celebrated in other parts of the world adds to the richness of the festive season. So make the most of the jolly season, have fun and set some new goals for the New Year.