Krannich Christmas traditions around the world - part 2
Today we continue with our little trip around the world to our Krannich branches worldwide and the Christmas insights of our colleagues from Mexico, India, France, USA and Portugal!
In Mexico Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. December is one of the coldest months of the year. Although it does not snow, the weather can sometimes go crazy: From rain to the most beautiful sunshine, everything is possible. It also depends on which part of the country you are in. In the capital Ciudad de México, where Krannich Mexico is located, the sun usually shines with a few clouds and cooler temperatures.
Jimena and Nayeli, Marketing Managers at the Mexican branch, give us an insight into the Mexican festivities: “They already start on December 16 with the Posadas. This is a celebration with a religious background. We symbolically accompany the search of Virgen María (Mary) and San José (Joseph) for shelter in Bethlehem. There is a lot of singing and traditional food such as tamales (corn leaves with stuffing) and pan de dulce (sweet bread) is eaten. We drink atole (traditional hot drink made from corn) and ponche (punch. After all the songs, a piñata is broken. In the past, the piñatas were made of clay, but when the clay pieces broke and fell, people got bumps on their heads. Nowadays, it's made out of papier-mâché."
"Before Christmas, we have a dinner together as a team where we play some games and have the Ugly Sweater Contest. Here, everyone comes in their ugliest Christmas sweater. That's always fun!" Jimena and Nayeli report.
Some Mexicans also wear an "Ugly Sweater" or other funny outfits when celebrating with their families.
This festivity takes place during Noche Buena, on December 24th. Turkey or duck is considered a typical Christmas dish in Mexico, however, the traditional Christmas dinner consists of tamales, homemade bread, romeritos (main ingredient is vegetables that resemble rosemary, potatoes and dried shrimp) or bacalao (stockfish).
What our colleagues appreciate most about Christmas in Mexico is "the atmosphere, which is so beautiful, the colored lights, the weather, the opportunity to be with family, friends and loved ones, the smell of ponche and café de olla, the gifts under the tree and the parties or posadas with family and friends."
In India, you can enjoy pleasant temperatures in winter. December marks the beginning of the main tourist season for many regions. But our local colleagues also enjoy trips to the beach or the mountains during this time.
In India, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. In some parts of the country, Christmas is also ringed in with a midnight mass on December 24th and continues on December 25th.
Kamini, Marketing Manager at Krannich India, tells us how Christmas is celebrated at Krannich India and in the country: "In the days before Christmas, we decorate the office and have a small Christmas get-together. Then, on the morning of the last day of work, there is a gift from "Secret Santa" on our desk. In the evening, we all get together and then have to guess the name of our personal Secret Santa in a game." Indians also make themselves cozy at home: "We decorate our houses and streets with star-shaped lanterns so that you have the feeling of walking through a true starry sky. We also put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with lights, bells, little figures and candy canes. On Christmas itself, we visit neighbors, friends and relatives to give them gifts and celebrate together" Kamini reports. "On Christmas days, people in southern India enjoy seafood, while in northern India spicy dishes of panir (fresh cheese) and kofta (vegetable balls) are served. For desserts, plum cake and beer cake are traditionally served on December 25th throughout the country."
What Kamini likes most about Christmas is that "Christmas is not only celebrated by Christians in India, but people of all religions celebrate the festival with great joy."
In France, Christmas is celebrated on December 24th and 25th, because unlike Germany, there is no second Christmas Day in France.
The decoration in France consists of fire trees and festive Christmas decorations and in many French living rooms there is also a Christmas crib under the Christmas tree. Our two International Marketing Managers, Madeline and Aurore, also dress up for Christmas at work and wear Christmas sweaters or put on Christmas music in between.
On Christmas Eve - le réveillon de Noël - the family gets together for an extended Christmas dinner. "French Christmas dinners usually starts with lots of finger food as l'apéritif. The appetizer is often foie gras with gingerbread and jam. The main course is stuffed chicken and vegetables on the side," Madeline and Aurore report.
On December 25th, the festivities continue with the extended family. Family time is also what the two cherish most about Christmas. However, the Christmas season does not leave the French completely unscathed: "At Christmas and the days after, we eat far too much, as we are always obliged to eat at relatives' invitations. The new year then always starts with a diet! ;-)"
The Christmas season in the USA is ringed in annually with large and small "Christmas Parades". Some states celebrate Christmas in the snow and can even no longer leave the house due to the snow masses, while other states celebrate Christmas on the beach.
Mai and Coyln, Marketing Managers of the branches in the USA, tell us: "We decorate our houses and Christmas trees with lots of Christmas decorations and watch Christmas movies for 25 days as a kind of countdown. To further sweeten the time, we build gingerbread houses and make popcorn garlands. All the festivities take place on Christmas Eve, which is December 24th, but we don't open presents until Christmas Day the next morning."
The U.S. has many different traditions and ways people celebrate Christmas because of its multicultural society. Many customs are similar to those in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Mexico. As diverse as the cultures are, so is the traditional Christmas food: Turkey, Keilbasi (Polish sausages), lasagna or tamales may be served.
Before Christmas, the teams at each of the USA West and USA East offices get together and have a small Christmas party. "We go out for a nice meal or strengthen our team spirit with a round of bowling," Mai and Colyn tell us.
They also told us what they like best about Christmas: "This time of year is never boring. There's always something to do throughout the month and people generally get very excited as they count down the days until Christmas. And all the decorations! Some people really enjoy it and decorate their house and lawn with crazy and colorful decorations."
Christmas in Portugal is also a family celebration. Before the colleagues from the Portugal branch spend Christmas with their families, they usually pay a visit to the colleagues from the Krannich branch in Spain. There, they hold an annual celebration where they eat together and engage in team-building activities.
"In most parts of the country, the gift-giving takes place on Christmas Eve, December 24th. Traditionally, dishes with codfish and octopus are served at Christmas. For dessert, we have bolo rei. This is a Christmas cake filled with candied fruit or dried fruit. We also eat delicious traditional fried desserts, such as filhós and sonhos (similar to doughnuts) as well as Rabanadas. We end the evening with a glass of port wine - then everything was perfect!" tell us Pau, Marketing Manager of the branch.
"December 25th is a quiet day with further family dinners. December is indeed a cold and rainy month. But in recent years, we've also had sunshine on Christmas Day, so we've been able to take nice Christmas walks." Here's what Pau likes best about Christmas: "Everyone seems friendlier, happier and more hopeful. It's a time of getting together with family and friends. There's excellent food, we drink delicious Portuguese wine and then hope the extra pounds disappear on New Year's Day."
We hope we were able to give you some fun and interesting insights into the Christmas traditions of our worldwide branches. We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!