Christmas Traditions from Across the world

We spoke with ACET students to hear how they celebrate the Christmas season at home.

Name: Vera Vykoukalova

Nationality: Czech

“For Christmas we often have potato salad and carp. The older generation of women bake a number of small cakes all different shapes and flavours. Sometimes they have as many as 20 – 25! They often swap recipes for these cakes. In Czech Republic we celebrate Christmas on the 24th December with our immediate family and have dinner around 5pm. On the 25th December we have a big celebration with all of our extended family.

One tradition we have in Czech Republic is to stand with your back to the door and throw your shoe/boot over your shoulder. If the shoe lands with the toes pointing out the door you will  be getting married in the next year. If it lands with the toes points in the door, then may next year!” – Vera.


Name: Tomohiso Yamazaki

Nationality: Japanese

“This is will be my first time experiencing Christmas! In Japan we do not celebrate so I am really enjoying the festivities in Cork for Christmas so far. I am not sure yet what I will do on Christmas day but I will either spend it with friends or enjoy Christmas dinner with my host family” – Tomohiso.

Name: Celie Gunnarsson

Nationality: Swedish

“In Sweden we celebrate Christmas on the 24th December. We have a wonderful dinner and exchange gifts. We leave our Christmas presents under the tree and don’t have Christmas stockings like the people in Ireland do. Sometimes for fun we write a little rhyme on the present to give people a hint as to what it is. Later on Christmas evening we drink schnapps after singing songs. The 25th of December is the night we go out and party with our friends” – Celie.

Name: Danilo Carvahlo Vital

Nationality: Brazilian

“This year I am spending Christmas in Ireland with friends. It will be my first Christmas outside of Brazil. In Brazil we celebrate Christmas on the 24th December. We eat dinner together and  at midnight we exchange presents. On the 25th December we meet with all of our extended family and celebrate” – Danilo.

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What our students say