January 11, Friday Christmas Weekday
Every country in the world has its own Christmas customs. Christmas in Australia is often very hot. Whereas the northern hemisphere is in the middle of winter, Australians are baking in summer heat. It is not unusual to have Christmas Day well into the mid 30 degrees Celsius, or near 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
A traditional meal includes a turkey dinner, with ham, and pork. A flaming Christmas plum pudding is added for dessert. In the Australian gold rushes, Christmas puddings often contained a gold nugget. Today a small favor is baked inside. Whoever finds this knows that they will enjoy good luck. Another treat is Mince Pies.
It is Father Christmas who brings the presents to the Australian children on Christmas Eve. Homes and gardens are decorated with greenery, Christmas tree and fairy lights. Seasonal plants are the Christmas bush and the Christmas bell.
January 12, Saturday after Christmas
January 6 in Mexico is El Día de Los Tres Reyes (Day of the Three Kings). This day celebrates the arrival of Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar at the place of Jesus' birth.
The day is also known as El Día de Los Reyes Magos (Magi) in Spanish and Epiphany in English commemorates the divinity of Christ as manifested to the Magi, the kings who brought him gifts.
On the night before El Día de Los Reyes, the children fill their shoes with hay and leave them outside. It is believed that the Wise Men will stop at each home to feed their horses, leaving gifts in exchange for hay.
Finally, El Día de Los Reyes arrives, and the whole family wakes up to open the gifts left by the Three Kings. However, this is only the beginning. On that day, family and friends gather, while the children keep busy playing with their new toys.
The adults continue with the day's activities by preparing a big dinner and serving a very special dessert, a bread known as La Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread. by Frances Chaparro, Estela Muñoz and Adrian Zamilpa