In Spain the festivities are also celebrated on the Christmas Eve, or the Nochebuena. Depending on the region, a late night feast of either roasted pig with rice and beans or seafood is served, before families embark on midnight mass. However, gifts are not exchanged until 6th January, the day of Epiphany or El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Three Kings).
Those living in the Czech Republic, Germany and The Netherlands open gifts a whole month earlier – Santa comes on St. Nicholas Eve, on the 5th December, leaving gifts of chocolate and fruit. For those living in Syria, it is not Santa who brings presents but one of the camels that carried the three wise men to Bethlehem, while Italian’s believe gifts are left by ‘La Bafena’, a friendly witch.