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Welcome to

Bill Egan's

CHRISTMAS WORLD



In a thousand different ways, the peoples of the earth join their hearts in the great communion of mankind that only this season can bring.



Learning about the Christmas customs of various nations helps us to understand the wide variety of traditions that families have practiced for many centuries around the globe. It's interesting to note how many aspects of Christmas have been adopted and adapted as they move across borders. When you click on the names of countries below, you will read about their holiday traditions, see pictures of celebrations, and hear some of their Christmas music.

Additional information about other countries will be added throughout the year.







2006 saw the publication of two Christmas workbooks for teachers in Australia, three newly-translated verses of "Stille Nacht" in Ausria, and an English translation of the Austrian Advent carol "Jetzt fangen wir zum Singen an" as "The Road to Bethlehem" for the Salzburg Chorale. Mark Roth of the Pittlburgh Post-Gazette sought information for a major feature article on the history of "Silent Night" and Ben Smith sought information for his article "The World of Christmas" in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Nancy Stohs, food editor for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wanted to know the history of gingerbread.

In 2005 Bill Egan provided Christmas information for publications ranging from the "International Herald Tribune" to a Japanese-language magazine in New Zealand. He was heard on radio stations in the U.S. and Canada and wrote a "Silent Night" feature for publication in Austria. Newspapers and TV stations in Jacksonville, Florida used him as a resource for stories on John Freeman Young who translated "Stille Nacht" into "Silent Night." Young was the Episcopal Bishop of Florida and is buried in Jacksonville.

In 2004 Bill was invited to lecture on the Mississippi Queen steamboat for a 7-day river cruise. A radio station in Sydney, Australia phoned to get his opinion on the Lord Mayor's stinginess with Christmas decorations around the city. "Life" magazine asked for assistance with their new "Christmas Around the World" book and ABC called for ideas for "Good Morning America." The biography of John Freeman Young (by Bill Egan) was published in Salzburg, Austria. Young wrote the English translation of "Stille Nacht."

Bill Egan is the recipient of the Gold Medal of Honor of the Republic of Austria for his "Silent Night" research and dissemination of Austrian Christmas culture.

Christmas World is the creation of Christmas historian, Bill Egan. His articles have appeared in Year Round Christmas Magazine, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Halifax Magazine, Seniors Today, The Florida Catholic, The Washington Post, The Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald, Aker Saa (Egypt) Magazine, The Fort Lauderdale News, The Sun-Sentinel, and Florida Living. He provides Christmas information to Charles Osgood and can often be heard during Christmas week on "The Osgood File" on the CBS Radio Network.
During visits to 50-plus nations, he has collected Christmas books, music, stories and ornaments.

According to Charles Osgood, "Bill Egan is the number one Christmas expert in the world."

Christmas 2002: Bill discussed the history of "Silent Night" on WMFE 90.7-FM Orlando during Christmas week. In early December, on the same station, he told about the tours of Nativity scenes in homes in Austria's Ziller Valley. He provided background and research for various newspapers including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Oshkosh Northwestern, and Daytona Beach News-Journal. A new book on the history of "Stille Nacht" was published in Austria and Bill was cited for the accuracy and thoroughness of his research on the world's best-loved Christmas carol.

During the 1998 Christmas season, Bill was heard on WNDB (Daytona Beach), WUSC (Los Angeles), WCBS (New York), and Colorado Public Radio (Denver, Vail, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Grand Junction). In 1999 he was heard across the U.S. on the CBS Radio Network and, locally, on WNDB in Daytona Beach.

In 2000, Bill provided hundreds of pages of Christmas content for the Christmas.com website, provided research for numerious publications including "The New York Times" and lectured on Christmas topics at numerous museums and auditoriums. For Christmas 2001, he is designed "Christmas in the Alps" a museum exhibit for an historic Florida museum.

In 2001, Bill provided Christmas advice for TV ranging from Martha Stewart's show to the Food Network and House and Garden Network. Full-page interview in "Christmas Crafts," a "Women's Day" special publication. Interviewed by journalists in five nations.

"Carols by Candlelight" in St. Augustine, Florida, "Holiday in the Gardens" in Palm Coast, Florida, and "Advent Singing" in Daytona Beach, Florida are events created by Bill Egan that are attended by thousands on an annual basis.

Bill Egan is available for concerts, lectures, and interviews.


There are traditions as old as Bethlehem to remind us of all that has gone before; there are constantly newborn customs as fresh and spontaneous as the wonder of a child's first Christmas.

Click on the names of the countries below so you can learn new ways to celebrate Christmas.

Argentina Evergreen trees are decorated with cotton to simulate snow for the summertime celebration.

Armenia Celebrated on January 6 in Armenia but later in the Holy Land

Australia Millions attend "Carols by Candlelight."

Austria Christmas music everywhere - the land of "Silent Night."

Belgium Ice skating for Christmas day

Brazil Papai Noel wears red silk because of the heat

Britain Caroling is one of the oldest traditions

Bulgaria A coin is baked into the bread for Christmas Eve

Canada A wide variety of customs from France, Britain and elsewhere

Chile Summertime celebrations in South America

China Xian nativity scene dates from A.D. 780

Costa Rica Parades, fiestas, bull runs, and parties continue through January.

Croatia An extravagant array of desserts.

Czech Republic A bell signals the arrival of the gifts with the Christchild

Denmark A conspiracy between the Julnisse and the cat

Ecuador Processions on llamas

Egypt Pope Shenouda III leads the Christmas observance

Estonia Magic and mysticism combine with the sacred and spiritual.

Ethiopia One of the oldest Christian nations.

Finland "Peace of Christmas" is proclaimed.

France Santons, carols and reveillon

Germany Weihnachtskrippe and Christmas markets

Greece Beware the Kallikantzaroi

Grenada Parang contests in the villages

Guatemala Christmas without tamales is not Christmas

Guyana Black cake for Christmas dessert

Hungary Fresh wheat sprouts for the Christmas salad

A great deal of information for updating this site comes from members of the online International Christmas Club. No meetings, no dues, no obligations. We have interesting stories, beautiful international Christmas photographs, and links to the best international Christmas sites. Join today!

Iceland Thirteen days of Christmas

India Floating stars decorate some neighborhoods

Ireland Candles light the way of the Holy Family

Israel The Church of the Nativity

Italy Befana, St. Lucia, and Papa Noel

Jamaica A tropical holiday - Reggae carols

Japan No official observance of Christmas

Kenya Christmas dinner is often a barbecue

Korea Grandfather Santa in South Korea

Luxembourg No Santa Claus in Luxembourg

Mexico Nacimiento and las Posadas

The Netherlands St. Nick comes from Spain

New Zealand The New Zealand "Christmas tree" is called Pohutukawa

Nicaragua Flowers and fireworks

Norway Julnissen and Julebukk

Pakistan Low-key celebrations in Muslim nation.

Peru Bullfights on Christmas Day.

Philippines Parols light up the season.

Poland Intriguing traditions, superstitions, and legends.

Portugal Yule logs at home and in the churchyard.

Puerto Rico Mass before sunrise known as "Misa de Aguinaldo."

Romania Ancient legends are told and retold.

Russia A return to the traditions of Old Russia.

Scotland Bonfires and bagpipes

Spain Fire-jumping in Granada

Suriname Christmas changed with the new government.

Sweden St. Lucia opens the season

Switzerland Strange customs in the Alps

Syria The Smallest Camel brings the gifts

Trinidad & Tobago No time to sleep during the island holidays

Turkey Birthplace of St. Nicholas

Ukraine Celebration is focused on spiritual origin

Venezuela Children tie string to their big toe

Wales Christmas carol competitions each year

Zimbabwe Roast ox for dinner

Special: Faces of Christmas Children from three continents

2003 Special: A Christmas Tale of Three Cities Jacksonville forgets Bishop Young

A great deal of information for updating this site comes from members of the online International Christmas Club. No meetings, no dues, no obligations. We have interesting stories, beautiful international Christmas photographs, and links to the best international Christmas sites. Join today!





International Christmas Club No meetings, no dues, no obligations. Interesting stories, beautiful photographs, and links to the best international Christmas sites. Join today!

Austria's Silent Night Road On your next European vacation, plan to drive through some of Europe's most beautiful scenery.

"Silent Night" - Let's get it right! Print out the sheet music for the correct "Silent Night" melody. Share it with your music teacher, church choir, or choral director.

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1999-2006 by W. C. Egan


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