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Question 1 of 7

"Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!" That's …

INDONESIAN

No. In Indonesia they wish you "Selamat Hari Nasal"

ZULU

One could take it for an African language, but in Zulu, the most widely spoken language in South Africa, you will say "Sinifesela Ukhisimusi Omuhle Nonyaka Omusha Onempumelelo" during Christmas time.

GREENLANDIC

Wrong. On the world's largest island (an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark) there is a 100 percent chance of a White Christmas (though its name does not lead one to assume that), and the Greenlandic Christmas cards are saying "Juullimi Ukiortaassamilu Pilluarit"). By the way, the Danes believe that Greenland is the home of Santa Claus. They claim that Julemanden lives in a hidden valley, a secret place called Kongsgaarden.

HAWAIIAN

Correct! On Big Island you wish your surfmates "Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!"

Question 2 of 7

"Felize Nadale e Bonu Cabuannu!" That's …

SARDINIAN

Exactly! In Sardinia, about eighty percent of the population speak Sardinian. There are several dialects of the Sardinian language spoken by almost one million people. Compared to the Italian language, Sardinian reflects more Catalan and Spanish influences and, in addition, still many elements from Latin. So Sardinian people wish you "Felize Nadale e Bonu Cabuannu".

PORTUGUESE

False! Europe's largest artificial Christmas tree stood in Lisbon in 2004 and you could hear the Portuguese singing "Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo". That tree was 72 metres tall, weighed 180 tones and was lit by 2 million lights.

ITALIAN

Close, but…. In Italy, 'Il Bambinello Gesú' brings presents on the 25th of December. The Christ child tries to do this under cover of darkness, but if you should happen to see Bambinello, it will wish you "Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo".

SPANISH

No. On 24th of December, the Spanish people wish their family and friends "Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo". After that, they have to exercise patience, because in Spain the Three Kings, or Three Wise Men, bring the children gifts the night before, or on the morning of the Epiphany, January 6th.

Question 3 of 7

"Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan!" That's …

MANDARIN

Congratulations, that's right! Most Chinese are Buddhists, but in the big cities Christmas becomes more and more popular among China's young people. It's more fashionable than traditional. The Chinese love Christmas decorations and lights.

KOREAN

Nope, but Christmas hat its place in the Korean language. 30 percent of the population is Christian and the Republic of Korea is the only East Asian country, where the 25th of December is an official holiday. The Koreans wish each other "Sung Tan Chuk Ha".

THAI

No, sorry. The Thai have little relation to Christmas, because most of them are Buddhists. Nevertheless many big stores and shops are seasonally decorated for the tourists. In Thai you would wish "Suksan Wan Christmas lae Sawadee Pee Mai".

CANTONESE

Wrong answer. In the predominant Chinese language spoken in Hong Kong and Macau "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" is "Seng Dan Fai Lok, Sang Nian Fai Lok".

Question 4 of 7

"Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia!" That's …

POLISH

Perfect Christmas is the most important festivity and time of family gathering and reconciliation. Before Christmas dinner, hay is placed in the corners of the room and on the tablecloth to symbolize the place and the crib where Jesus was born. The supper begins with passing around a wafer. Everyone at the table breaks off a piece and eats it as a symbol of their unity with Christ. They even share a piece with the household animals because they were the first to greet the Baby Jesus at midnight and because Christmas Eve is said to be a night of magic when animals are said to talk.

CROATIAN

Why, no. The Croatian Christmas greeting says "Sretan Božić i sretna Nova godina!" One tradition that is still followed today is to sow the Christmas Wheat that stands for life. On Christmas Eve, it is placed next to the nativity scene under the tree. After Christmas the wheat is fed to the birds. Isn't that a beautiful tradition…

ROMANIAN

Wrong answer. The Romanian Christmas and New Year's wish is "Craciun fericit si un An Nou fericit!" The Romanian Christmas Eve is filled with music and song. Christmas carolers walk through the streets and children go from house to house asking for sweets.

RUSSIAN

The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates its Christmas in accordance with the old Julian calendaron January 7th, and people in the streets would wish you "Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom!".

Question 5 of 7

"Hyvää Joulua or Hauskaa Joulua. Onnellista Uutta Vuotta!" That's …

FINNISH

Well done! The Finnish Santa is called Joulupukki and he and his wife and the Christmas elves are said to live on mountain Korvatunturi in Lapland. At least, this is what the Finnish people believed some time ago. In the meantime they have set up a Christmas village for Santa near the town of Rovaniemi, situated 8km south of the Arctic Circle in Finland.

SAMI

Nah! The Sami people wish one another "Buorit Juovllat ja Buorre Oddajahki!", but you will not hear that quite often, for most of the Sami live in the far northern regions of Scandinavia. Their language is linguistically related to Finnish, Estonian, and Hungarian. It's not known if the Sami are best buddies with Santa, because they are excellent reindeer breeders…

ICELANDIC

No! "Gleðileg Jól og Farsaelt Komandi ár!" is what you hear during Christmas time on the Nordic European island. And you keep your eyes peeled for the Yuletide Lads, the Jólasveinar. On the 12th of December, they come down from the mountains and leave little presents for the children in shoes that have been put on the window sills the night before. A child who has been naughty, will only find a potato or some reminder that good behaviour is better. But that's harmless compared to what is told about the Yule Lads' mother, the troll Gryla. She is said to take away badly behaved children to cook them for dinner.

ESTONIAN

Wrong. The Estonians say "Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi Head uut aastat!" For the Estonians, Christmas is the time of the witches. People believe that witches can only ride on dirty broomsticks. That's why each and every broom is cleaned around Christmas time lest the witches find one which is capable of flying. Besides, the Yule Lads are tasked with pinching food from houses.

Question 6 of 7

"God Jul och Gott Nytt År!" That's …

DANISH

Sorry! The Danish Christmas greeting is "Glædelig Jul og godt nytår!". Just like in Norway and Sweden, the Danish also believe in little Christmas helpers. In Denmark they are called Nissen, and like the Norwegian and Swedish people, the Danish leave a bowl of sweet porridge for them in return for their assistance. But woe betide you do not like Christmas. The Nissen will pelt you with nuts from behind.

SWEDISH

Absolutely right And there are many beautiful Christmas traditions in Sweden. One of them is to place a bowl of sweet porridge outside the front door for the Jultomar. A Jultomar is a Swedish Yuletide gnome, who helps humans with Christmas preparations (baking, doing handicrafts, decorating). The porridge is a little something to say Thank You Another tradition is to keep the windows open on Christmas Eve. Why that? Well, because every now and then a Julklapp is pitched through the window. A Julklapp is a little gift package and this old Swedish custom is still practiced.

NORWEGIAN

Nope! Though the Norwegian Christmas wish sounds quite similar: "God jul og godt nytt år!" An old Norwegian Christmas tradition is the Julebukking. Children wear costumes and go from door to door singing Christmas songs. They return home with treats and little presents. Another custom is to cook some kind of mush for Nisse, a little Christmas gnome, who is said to play tricks on the children, if they forget to place a bowl of that mush for him.

LUXEMBOURGIAN

Nope. While the Luxembourger eats his/her Christmas dinner, he/she does not say anything, but quietly enjoys black pudding, mashed potatoes, and apple sauce. When he/she has finished eating, he/she wishes "Schéi Krëschtdeeg an e Schéint Néi Joer!" As to unpacking the presents, Luxembourg families like to wait until the return from Midnight Mass.

Question 7 of 7

"Felican Kristnaskon kaj Bonan Novjaron!" That's …

ENGLISH

No sir! The English Christmas greeting "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" is known all over the world. No wonder, with all those haunting Christmas songs heard over and over again on the radio and in the shopping malls. By the way, most of the US Christmas customs have been adopted from European traditions.

FRENCH

Mais non! En France on dit "Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!". Except maybe in Brittany, where you will also hear the Breton greeting "Nedeleg laouen na bloav ezh mat". Oh yes, and in Corsica people use the Corsican Christmas wish "Bon Natale e Bon capu d' annuIn". French Christmas is a culinary delight. You will be served Des Amuse-gueules/bouches (bite-sized dishes), Dinde aux Marrons (chestnut-stuff turkey), and the famous Bûche de Noël, a traditional dessert, made from a sponge cake frosted and filled with buttercream.

GERMAN

Not at all. The Germans wish each other "Frohe Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr!". Two very German Christmas traditions are the Advent Wreath and the Advent Calendar. The wreath is used with four candles, which represent the four weeks of Advent. One candle is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas, so that all four are burning on the Sunday before Christmas Eve. The Advent calendar shows 24 windows, one of which is opened on each day leading up to Christmas. There are calendars with little pictures behind the windows, but the most popular ones contain small pieces of chocolate.

ESPERANTO

Yes, right answer! Surely, there are not many people who will use this Christmas greeting, for Esperanto is just a constructed auxiliary language. It was created in the late 1870s by Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof. He wanted to invent an easy-to-learn language to support international understanding between people of different nationalities. Many Esperanto words are of Latin origin, some are Germanic words, some Slavic or Classical Greek. It is difficult to say, how many people speak Esperanto. Estimates of Esperanto speakers range from 10,000 to 2,000,000.

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