Christmas and St Stephen's Day are officially recognized holidays in Spain. In most of Spain, the Christmas period, referred to as "Navidad", lasts from Christmas Eve referred to as "Nochebuena" or "the Good Night." on the 24th of December to Epiphany on the 6 January. Many homes and most churches display a Nativity scene, others a Christmas tree. In Catalonia, the Tio de nadal (a log with a cloth for hiding presents under) is part of the celebration.
A large family dinner is celebrated on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) and can last until 6 o'clock in the morning. There is a wide variety of typical foods one might find on plates across Spain on this particular night, and each region has its own distinct specialities. It is particularly common, however, to start the meal with a seafood dish such as prawns or salmon, followed by a bowl of hot, homemade soup. The main meal will commonly consist of roast lumb, or seafood, such as cod or shellfish. For dessert, there is quite a spread of delicacies, among them are turro'n, a dessert made of honey, egg and almonds that is Arabic in origin.
Children usually receive one or two presents on Christmas Day (December 25), brought by "Papá Noel" (Father Noel).
American Santa Claus, but in some regions there are other more traditional characters, for example the Olentzero in the Basque Country. There is a special Christmas dance called the Jota.
Christmas in the Philippines, one of two predominantly Catholic countries in Asia (the other one being East Timor), is one of the biggest holidays on the calendar and is widely celebrated. The country has earned the distinction of celebrating the world's longest Christmas season, with Christmas carols heard as early as September 1. The season is traditionally ushered in by the nine-day dawn Masses that start on December 16. Known as the Misas de Aguinaldo (Gift Masses) or Misa de Gallo (Rooster's Mass) in the traditional Spanish.
For Filipinos, Christmas Eve on December 24 is celebrated with the Midnight Mass, and after, the much-anticipated Noche Buena – the traditional Christmas Eve feast. Family members dine together around 12 midnight on traditional Nochebuena fare, which may include:queso de bola, tsokolate (a hot chocolate drink), and jamon (Christmas ham), lecho'n, roast chicken or turkey, pasta, relleno, pan de sal, and various desserts including cakes and the ubiquitous fruit salad. Some would also open presents at this time.
Christmas trees are set up in homes and the children are given presents in their stockings. Traditional 'fir' Christmas trees are popular and children leave a stocking out for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. The gift bearer is Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas meal is mince pies, turkey, roast beef or a barbecue outdoors. The meal is finished with Christmas Pudding.Christmas Crackers are used to make noise.
Despite Christmas occurring at the height of the Southern Hemisphere summer, wintery motifs common to the Northern Hemisphere are popular.
In the largely Catholic Austria, Christmas markets are a long-standing tradition. In Vienna, for instance, the market is held in the large square in front of City Hall. Innsbruck opens its romantic Christmas market in the narrow medieval square at the foot of the Golden Roof. In Salzburg, the Christmas market takes over the square in front of the Cathedral with its picturesque stalls, while the tree vendors occupy Residenzplatz on the side of the huge Cathedral. However almost every small town has its own Christmas market.