Christmas is generally a time of generosity and kindness, but in many other ways Christmas can vary enormously from one culture to the next as traditions take root and evolve over time.
Furthermore, not only is Christmas celebrated in a different way from one culture to the next, but it is not always celebrated at the same time of year. And whilst some countries have no holiday at this time, one country has managed to get two Christmas holidays a year!
This country is Australia, where the traditional English style of Christmas cards with the robins in the snow-covered environment are regularly exchanged. But because December is in the middle of summer, a lot of Australians also have a “Winter Christmas” holiday in June.
In Ethiopia and Eritrea Christmas is not on December 25, but can either be on 7 or 27 January. And rather than being accompanied by a larger than normal amount of eating, it is related to a 40 day Fast of the Prophets.
In China Christmas is not a public holiday, but that has not stopped many Chinese people increasingly celebrating the traditions of western Christmas and importing Christmas designs into the shopping areas.
So the story continues. Christmas is different everywhere – and yet in many countries the images of Christmas remain the same. The presents may be given on Christmas Eve in many countries, but the idea of Christmas has spread almost worldwide.
Which is why there are so many Christmas stories from around the world which originate in different traditions but which are all recognisable as part of Christmas.
And it is this vast array of ways of celebrating Christmas which lives on in a whole variety of different stories and different storytelling styles – stories that encourage children to expand their cultural awareness at the same time as developing their literacy skills, while enjoying the fun of Christmas.
Snail Tales specialises in telling Christmas stories that reflect the multiplicity of ways in which people across the world relate to Christmas. We tell stories in assemblies and in individual classes and include a free after-school INSET with every whole day booking.