Here's how astronauts celebrated the holidays aboard the ISS

While living on the International Space Station certainly can't be considered a normal life, the astronauts still do the same basic activities of daily living we accomplish here on Earth. That means sleeping, eating, going to the bathroom, and celebrating holidays. With Christmas 2020 come and gone, some may be wondering how astronauts aboard the ISS celebrated Christmas and other holidays.

For the holiday season of 2020, the ISS hosted seven crew members, which is the most ever for the orbiting laboratory. Astronauts aboard the space station during the holiday season include Russian cosmonauts Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Sergey Ryzhikov, JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover Jr., and Shannon Walker. The crew eight a special holiday meal together and were able to call home to talk with friends, family, and loved ones.

The holiday season also gave the international crewmembers the opportunities to share their holiday traditions with crew members from other countries. Some of the Christmas activities on the ISS in 2019 included astronaut Andrew Morgan and crew playing Christmas music throughout the station and classic holiday movies. The crew also used a projector to show a recording of a burning Yule Log to make it look like there was a fireplace on the space station.

ISS astronauts will celebrate Christmas twice, including on December 25, and Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7. Astronaut Jessica Meir celebrated Hanukkah and participated in Christmas festivities aboard the station in 2019. Morgan said astronauts aboard the space station had to think a year in advance for Christmas gift-giving by purchasing and hiding gifts to be given to friends and family on Earth while they were aboard the ISS.

Morgan and his crew shared a special holiday message and sung to mission controllers across the world with one refrain from John Lennon's "Happy Christmas" and José Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad." Astronauts will celebrate the New Year aboard the station, and since they see 16 sunrises and sunsets each day, they can celebrate multiple times.