Christmas celebrations from around the world

During the last month of the year, students are not only busy with finals and finishing up the fall semester but are also preparing for the celebration of Christmas.

Christmas is a holiday celebrated by many people all around the world. El Camino’s international students shared how Christmas is spent in their countries.

“We just do turkey, roasted potatoes, a regular salad and rice,” Alexandra Ellisaca, business administration major from Peru, said.

Aside from the food, Christmas in Peru is celebrated similarly to how it is in the U.S. Traditions such as decorating the tree and celebrating with family are the same.

Most people in Peru prefer to spend Christmas Day with their families and then spend the rest of the night with friends or significant others. Christmas parties are not common and are, instead, family gatherings with music.

“We just put like salsa or cumbia on Spotify, or CDs,” Ellisaca said. “Usually friends and I gathering at night with my family.”

Khoa Diep, a computer science major from Vietnam, said that most Vietnamese people are Buddhist. But for Vietnamese people who are Christian, they usually go to the church with families, gather with friends and have dinner in the church.

“We celebrate Christmas just like a normal holiday, the kids would wear the Santa costumes and we will hang out to take some pictures,” Diep said.

Unlike other countries, Vietnam doesn’t have traditional or unique foods for Christmas. In big cities like Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi, people decorate the street with holiday lights and big Christmas trees.

“I think in a big city, people also have the gifts for family members like in the U.S.,” Diep said.

Couples and groups of friends like to hang out, have dinner and party in places with elaborate decorations.

Similar to Vietnam, the majority of Cambodia is Buddhist.

“I am a Buddhist, so I do not celebrate Christmas,” Daranny Mom, a Cambodian pre-nursing major, said.

Although they do not have Christmas activities and special events like in America, some Cambodian people do some gift exchange and hang out.

In Taiwan, people usually hang out with friends on Christmas.

“We have some dress code house party,” Chyan An Yang, business major from Taiwan, said. “People do the exchange gift with friends as in the U.S. I [like] watching [some] Christmas movies with my friends on that day.”

Taiwan has a famous event in its capital called “Christmas Land in Taipei City,” where people can see the different styles of lights and decorations. Many people go there to take pictures to post on their Facebook or Instagram.

Restaurants in Taiwan have a special menu for Christmas, and many couples make reservations to enjoy their Christmas dinner.

“Christmas is such a big festive in Taiwan,” Yang said. “Teachers always prepare candy and chocolate for their students, even in the college.”