Christmas Around the World

Ideas and Activities for EFL Classes


In pairs put down as many words and expressions that come into your mind in connection with the celebration of Christmas!
Did it? How many have you got? Now let's check some!

Go to this Xmas page and do the exercise!

We are absolutely sure that you know LOTS of things about the ways of celebrating Christmas in the English-speaking countries. For a change, let's take a trip around the world, visit some exotic places and discover a few less well-known practices of merry-making at this special holiday.

Go to the next Xmas page . There are many things to read about, aren't there? Working in groups of four why don't you start with THESE?!
(Please, each member of the group select one of the following pairs and do the exercises respectively!)

  1. China and Venezuela
  2. New Guinea and Bangladesh
  3. Singapore and Ethiopia
  4. Congo and Zimbabwe

Group I.

1. China

- Match the words with the definitions

spangle a. words or action intended to win advantage over sb
ploy b. long open box from which animals are fed
lanterns c. without approval or permission
manger d. tiny pieces of shining metal or plastic
unsanctioned e. light for use outdoors at parties

- What is meant by commercialism?

- What is the "Chinese phenomenon"?

- Find the meaning of Dun Che Lao Ren in another site of this Xmas page

2. Venezuela

- Find synonyms for custom! (3)

- True or False? If false, correct the statement

- Tell it in other words! "After attending church"

- What are the special customs in Venezuela that you find interesting?

Go to the top.

Group II.

3. New Guinea

- Match the words with their meanings!

resume a. betraying sb secretly
treachery b. long-lasting, constant
service-cum-feast c. start again
permanent d. take in
adopt e. mass and eating

- What is "peace treaty"?


- What is the idea of "peace child" and how is it connected to Christmas?

4. Bangladesh

- "scores of banana trees" are

- give a definition for replant

- "arch" here means (please draw one!)

-True or false?

Go to the top.

Group III.

5. Singapore

- Match the words and the meanings!

hub a. neighbourhood
perch b. shining
galore c. central point of an activity
glittering d. place in high position
vicinity e. in plenty

- True or false?

- List three things that characterise Christmas in Singapore!

6. Ethiopia

- Find the words/expressions from the text that fit in the following sentences best. Use the correct form of the missing word.

  1. Your heart must be made of stone , since you could never manage to __________ of our dearly loved grandparents.
  2. When you went up to the stage to receive your university degree I just __________ and cried.
  3. John is an unmanageable kid. He doesn't __________ his sweet little sister, Jackie.
  4. He is a devout Christian. He would never miss a single __________.
  5. I must have __________ off some of the paint when I was parking the car.

- When exactly does Christmas take place in the capital of Ethiopia? ( month, hour)

- What is the traditional belief behind the game called: " Ko-lee"?

Go to the top.

Group IV

7. Congo

- Choose the correct answer!

  1. Since it is warm and sunny in Congo at Christmas time
    a. people cook their food outside their homes
    b. people eat outside
    c. people can't stand the heat so they eat cold food in the kitchen
  2. 2. At Christmas people get together around 9 o'clock
    a. in order to buy all the necessary food at the market
    b. to discuss the theatrical performance on the birth of Christ
    c. to listen to Christmas carols presented by famous singers
  3. 3. In 'March Around Offering'
    a. only rich people participate
    b. people give money, vegetables, fruits or home-made presents
    c. people march around the altar three times
  4. 4. For the play about the birth of Jesus
    a. people choose a real baby to play the part of Christ
    b. tax collectors are asked to begin the play
    c. wise men are collected from the village to play the different parts

- Please summarise in a sentence the meaning of "love-offering".

- What are the characteristics of the dramatic performance about the birth of Jesus?

8. Zimbabwe

- Match the words with the definitions:

fellowship a. religious music sung during church services
candy b. friendly association with others
minister c. large crowd of people in someone's care
porridge d. sugar hardened by repeated boiling
commeal e. meal made of various grains
flock f. soft food made by boiling a cereal
gospel g. boys looking after a large number of animals
herd boys h. Christian clergyman esp. in Protestant churches

- What is the name of Christmas in Zimbabwe and when is it celebrated?

- What does the traditional Christmas meal consist of?

Did you have fun?

Are you interested in what the others found out?
In you groups share your findings, and discuss the most interesting traditions and customs.

Go to the top.


Go back to the Christmas site that lists all the countries and read about other places you are interested in.
Collect information and write a composition (350 words) about one of the following topics:

Merry Christmas from Réka and Judit!!!

Go back to the CALLpage