Welcome to earth: a world of different Christmas traditions. As you’ll discover, some are quaintly unique, some are a little outlandish, while others are a tad odd. Though that’s the case, the Brits put pennies in our Christmas pudding for good luck, so we can’t exactly call ourselves completely sane.
There are 24 million Christians in India, but approximately zero readily available evergreen spruces (traditional Christmas trees, to you and me).
We live in a world full of countries and cultures that possess fascinating and downright bizarre gifting traditions. Did you know, for example, that Santa Claus originates from a small town in Turkey and not a grotto in Lapland? And were you aware that, in rural Soviet Russia, the most valuable gift you could give someone was a piece of firewood?
Whether it be for a wedding, business meeting or returning from a trip, the culture of gift giving in Japan is one of the most prevalent in the world. In Japan gifts are given for almost any occasion, from graduating to weddings and even to finalise a business deal. However, unlike in some other cultures, in Japan the emphasis is more on the ritual of gift giving than the gift itself…
Although they do not typically celebrate birthdays or Christmas in Japan, this has become more popular due to strong influences from the West in recent years.
Russia might have a lot in common with the rest of the Western world when it comes to gifting etiquette, yet the nation does possess a few unique traditions that are worth observing. As you’re about to find out, taking note of Russian politeness is a particularly good idea if you’re looking to show your appreciation to a business associate, friend, or colleague.
While the famous red envelope is synonymous with the act of gifting in China, it’s just as important to heed how a gift is presented, its value, and whether the occasion is suitable. It may not be as important for a Westerner to stick strictly to the rules if providing a Chinese friend or business partner with a certain gesture, but it’s wise to observe them nevertheless, particularly if a potential business partner is in a position to make life difficult for you.