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Christmas Around the EC World

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Whether you’re studying at EC English Language Centres, or are just curious about what the festive season is like in some of the world’s most iconic English-speaking destinations, you’ll definitely learn something new about Christmas today. Let’s go!

The US

The USA is a multi-cultural giant, with many popular Christmas traditions coming from all over the world. The most common festive customs include:

  • Sending Christmas cards
  • Singing Christmas carols
  • Children writing to Santa Claus
  • Christmas trees & decorations

There are a couple of ‘unusual’ Christmas traditions in the USA, like the ‘Christmas Pickle’! The Christmas pickle is a decoration in the shape of (you guessed it) a pickle which is hidden somewhere on a Christmas tree. Whoever finds this strange decoration will either receive a reward or enjoy good luck in the following year. If you want to learn English in the US, visit our site for more info!




Canada also has a great mix of cultural influences when it comes to Christmas there. The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is one of the oldest and largest celebrations in the world, and in Southwestern Nova Scotia, many families eat lobster, a shellfish caught off just off the shores of Nova Scotia itself. Curious about learning English in Canada? Find out more on our website.


The United Kingdom

christmas tree

Families in the UK typically spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day together. Presents are an important part of Christmas in England, and families love to see how happy their loved ones are when they open their presents on Christmas morning! Children usually leave a snack by the fireplace for Santa Claus, and wake up early to see what gifts he’s brought them. Christmas day means a delicious lunch, which normally includes roast Turkey with lots of side dishes and gravy (a sauce made from the bird as it roasts). If you’d like to get a taste of life in England, check out our list of language schools in the UK!


South Africa

Christmas comes in the summer in South Africa, so instead of snowmen, children build ‘sandmen’ and dress them up just like snowmen! Locals love to get into the spirit of the season by singing Christmas carols and going camping. One unique South African dish is a type of Christmas Pudding or “Malva Pudding” made from milk, eggs, butter, apricot jam, milk, flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda! If you’d like to explore South Africa, check out EC’s language school in Cape Town and find out how.



learn english abroad christmas

Christmas is an important feast for the Maltese; many go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and spend Christmas Day enjoying food and gift-giving with family. Carol singing is quite popular, and locals enjoy building and showing off their Christmas cribs, showing the nativity scene with baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Some enthusiasts even spend all year preparing their cribs for public display! In Gozo, you can enjoy a “live” crib scene with real people (actors) taking part. Every home is also decorated with Christmas trees, tinsel, and festive plants called ‘poinsettias’, and schools put on Christmas shows and bazars. Charity is also very important in December, with the generosity of the Maltese well-known around the world. If this Mediterranean gem sounds like the perfect place for you, why not learn English in Malta?

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