April 18, 2024

Seasonal Traditions statistics

Who doesn’t love holiday seasonal traditions? Around the world, people celebrate the holiday season in December – or January – with Christmas trees, presents, and traditional meals. As the season approaches, the air is filled with joy, anticipation, and the smell of Christmas.

But what lies behind the festive decorations and markets? Each country has its own fascinating Christmas traditions, which are deeply ingrained in their cultures – and every tradition tells a story of cultural and societal trends and statistics.

In this guide, we dive into these statistics, which tell the stories of seasonal traditions and Christmas and New Year celebrations around the world. We’ll go beyond Christmas and holiday shopping and really explore the celebratory aspects of the holiday.

Key Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations Statistics

  1. In the US, Christmas is the third-most-popular holiday in the country, with 85% of the population celebrating in 2022.
  2. Mashed potatoes are one of America’s favorite Christmas foods and are enjoyed by 60% of consumers.
  3. The best Christmas market in 2022-2023 was in Budapest, Hungary, closely followed by one in Gdansk, Poland.
  4. 69% of households in Kenya and Nigeria celebrate Christmas by cooking a homemade meal.
  5. In 2022, almost 35% of American consumers spent over $150 on Christmas decorations, and 26% spent between $50 and $100.
  6. In Canada, consumers spent C$1,308 on Christmas presents in 2022, compared to C$616 on decorations and C$451 on food.
  7. Over 50% of both American and British consumers made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more in 2022.

Christmas Celebration Statistics by Region

xmas traditions

Source: Statista

Every country has its own Christmas and New Year traditions. In this section, we’ll delve into different holiday traditions around the world and see how different countries celebrate.

USA

Most Popular Holidays in the US statistics

Source: Statista

In the US, the Christmas holidays are a big deal. It’s the third-most-popular holiday in the country, with 85% of the population celebrating in 2022. New Year’s Eve isn’t as big but is still marked by 67% of people.

Some of the favorite American Christmas holiday dishes are:

  • Mashed potatoes, enjoyed by 60% of consumers
  • Stuffing, gravy, and turkey, which are popular with over 50% of Americans
  • Pies with various fillings, consumed by 50% of Americans
  • Sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce, loved by 40% of US consumers

Food, however, is just one part of America’s Christmas festivities. Some 70% of Americans enjoy spending time with friends and family over the holiday season, and it’s the most reported festive activity.

Presents, decorations, and listening to Christmas music are enjoyed by 50%, 43%, and 40% of respondents, respectively. Only 30% of Americans mark the occasion by attending church.

Europe

The Christmas season in Europe is filled with celebrations, music, and delicious nibbles. Of course, the diverse continent is naturally home to a wide range of festivities – and we’ll explore some of them now.

United Kingdom

UK-CHRISTMAS-DINNER-FOODS-2022

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For instance, in the UK, people start drinking champagne at an average of 11 am on Christmas Day.

Indeed, alcohol is a big part of British Christmas festivities, and the beer consumed in the British Isles during the Christmas holidays could reportedly fill 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Prosecco and spirits with mixers are the most popular UK Christmas drinks.

In terms of food, roast potatoes and gravy are the most popular Christmas dinner food items in the UK, with 80% and 76%, respectively, consuming them in 2022. 

Scandinavia

FAVORITE-SWEDISH-JULEBORD-CHRISTMAS-DISHES-2022

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The Scandinavian countries have special feasts known as the julbord in Sweden, julebord in Norway, and julefrokostin Denmark. Christmas food is the second most important thing for Christmas celebrations in Sweden, with family and friends being the first.

The most popular julbord dishes are the Christmas ham, loved by 25% of Swedish consumers in 2022, and Jansson’s temptation (janssoninkiusaus in Finland), eaten by 17% of Swedes in 2022.

In Denmark, duck and roast pork are the most popular julefrokost dishes, with over 70% of Danes including them in their Christmas feast.

As for beverages, the soft drink Julmust is the most popular holiday drink in Sweden, enjoyed by 78% of consumers. Christmas beer and grog are also popular.

Eastern Europe

Unlike Northern and Western Europe, where poultry usually takes center stage at the Christmas dinner table, Eastern European countries have carp as their staple Christmas dish. For instance, in Poland, almost 50% of people buy a live carp for Christmas dinner.

Interestingly enough, Russia puts a much bigger emphasis on New Year celebrations rather than Christmas. Although Russians celebrate Orthodox Christmas, which takes place on January 7th, New Year’s Eve is a bigger occasion.

For 26% of Russians, the New Year marks a major milestone and a symbol of hope, and many celebrate New Year’s Eve at home with family.

Most people in Russia who celebrate Orthodox Christmas identify as belonging to the Orthodox faith, although 40% of Russian atheists also celebrate it.

Christmas Markets

The UK and Continental European countries are famous for their Christmas markets. Traditionally known as German Christmas Markets,” they’ve expanded to the entire continent.

The best Christmas market in 2022-2023, as voted for by nearly 375,000 respondents in 179 countries, was in Budapest, Hungary, closely followed by one in Gdansk, Poland.

Africa

HOW-AFRICAN-CONSUMERS-SPEND-THEIR-CHRISTMAS

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Spending Christmas with family over a dinner table and attending church are important traditions in Africa, where Christmas falls in early summer.

For example, 69% of households in Kenya and Nigeria celebrate Christmas by cooking a homemade meal. Some 62% of Nigerians and 72% of Kenyans have dinner as a family, and 62% of households in each country visit extended family members and friends during the holidays.

In South Africa, family dinners and home cooking are also big Christmas holiday staples. However, going to church isn’t as big of a deal as in Kenya and Nigeria, with only 51% of South Africans attending church during the holiday period.

When it comes to Christmas food, the diverse African continent has a lot to offer. For example, in West Africa, jollof rice is a popular holiday dish, often prepared with tomatoes, onions, and spices. 

In North Africa, traditional Christmas meals include delicacies like roasted meats and stuffed grape leaves. In East Africa, and especially in Ethiopia, injera – a sourdough flatbread commonly served with stews – is often the star of Christmas celebrations. 

As for Southern Africa, Christmas dinners are often a blend of local and Western dishes. The “braai” barbeque is very popular in South Africa, and seasonal fruits, like mangoes and papayas, are also incorporated into festive meals.

Christmas & New Year Celebration Spending Statistics

Canadian holiday spending across generations

Source: PWC

Of course, preparing for Christmas can be difficult and can get expensive. In this section, we’ll go over the statistics and trends of Christmas and New Year celebration spending. 

Food & Decorations

WHAT-CONSUMERS-GLOBALLY-SPEND-MONEY-ON-FOR-XMAS-AND-NEW-YEAR-CELEBRATIONS

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For many of us, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a traditional dinner and decorations, such as a Christmas tree. And that’s true for residents of many countries around the world – as you can see in the infographic above, many countries spend a significant percent of their Christmas budget on food and decorations.

Italians spend 20% of their budget on food and almost 30% on decorations, while those numbers are reversed in Australia.

In the UK, consumers spend more on decorations than on food, according to the statistics. In 2022, almost 40% of British consumers spent £50 on Christmas decorations, and 13% spent more than £150.

German spending on Christmas decorations in 2022 wasn’t too different from the UK – 38% of consumers spent under $50 on decorations, while only 16% of Germans spent more than $150.

In the US, however, the Christmas decoration spending landscape was a bit different in 2022. Almost 35% of American consumers spent over $150 on decorations, and 26% spent between $50 and $100.

Gifts

Household Christmas spending Canada statistics

Source: Statista

We’ve previously explored how gifts are some of the biggest Christmas expenses worldwide. For example, in Canada, consumers spent C$1,308 on presents in 2022, compared to C$616 on decorations and C$451 on food.

The situation is similar in the USA. In 2023, shopping for gifts makes up 69% of the average American household’s Christmas budget.

Gift shopping worldwide is a particularly pressing issue for families with children. For example, in the US, 21% of parents spent between $50 and $100 on Christmas gifts for their children in 2022.

In Germany, people with kids also spend more on Christmas than single people. In 2022, they spent around €305 on Christmas gifts. That’s about €50 less than the year before and €135 more than single people. Childless German couples spent €277 on average on Christmas gifts in 2022.

Traveling

Adults Traveling US Holidays

Source: Statista

Christmas is traditionally a family holiday, which sometimes involves a fair bit of traveling. Whether you’re going to see your extended family in another state or want to jet off somewhere sunny during the holiday season, traveling during Christmas can be expensive.

In the US, the share of people who travel somewhere during the Christmas holidays is a little over 20%. The majority of US consumers don’t travel much during this period.

In other countries, the situation is different. For example, in Russia, where New Year’s Eve is a big deal but signifies major temperature drops, some prefer to travel to warmer places during the holiday season. This phenomenon has been in decline in recent years, however, due to travel restrictions.

New Year’s Resolutions Statistics

MOST-COMMON-NEW-YEAR-RESOLUTIONS-2022-2023

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New Year’s Resolutions are commitments people make to themselves at the dawn of the new year. They range from losing weight and taking part in sports to saving money and focusing on personal time.

In fact, many resolutions are shared across the world. For instance, over 50% of both American and British consumers made the resolution to exercise more in 2022.

In Eastern Europe, the situation is similar, with over 50% of Hungarians, 20% of Polish consumers, and 30% of Czechs wanting to either exercise more, lose weight, or go on a diet.

Other popular New Year’s resolutions are:

  • Committing to personal development and learning skills or new languages
  • Prioritizing mental health
  • Saving money and spending less
  • Spending more time with friends and family
  • Quitting smoking or drinking

Seasonal Traditions Closing Thoughts

‘Tis the season to be jolly – and we at TechReport sure are jolly as we loved studying the statistics and traditions featured in this article.

From delicious Christmas turkeys and mashed potatoes to the fascinating festivities of julbord and Eastern European carp, there’s an amazing range of Christmas celebrations around the world.

It’s also very interesting to explore different Christmas spending patterns around the world. Gifts are a huge deal worldwide, but it’s fascinating to see how much people spend on food and decorations in different countries. 

We hope that this guide was helpful to you as a marketer and has added value to your seasonal strategies.

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