Christmas Around The World By: Beverly Lemus Liberty Middle School Mr. Flores
Christmas in France • In France, Christmas is a time for family and for generosity, marked by family reunions, gifts and candy for children, gifts for the poor, Midnight Mass, and le Réveillon.The celebration of Christmas in France varies by region. Most provinces celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, which is a bank holiday. However, in eastern and northern France, the Christmas season begins on 6 December, la fête de Saint Nicolas, and in some provinces la fête des Rois* is one the most important holidays of the Christmas season. In Lyon, 8 December is la Fête de lumières, when Lyonnais pay hommage to the virgin Mary by putting candles in their windows to light up the city.
Christmas in Germany • The traditional German celebrating begins on December 6th, St. Nicholas Day. As part of the tradition the children hang a shoe or boot in the fireplace. During the night, St Nicholas visit house by house, if the children have been good the boots are filling with delicious candies but if they have not been good the boot are filling with twigs. • The most popular Christmas tradition in Germany is the Christmas tree. These trees have a special significance for Germans and also are known like "trees of life". As Germans immigrated to other lands, the custom of Christmas trees was spread
Christmas in Spain • In Spain it is a very festive time at Christmas. On Christmas Eve, as the stars come out, tiny oil lamps are lit in every house, and after Midnight Mass and Christmas Dinner, streets fill with dancers and onlookers. Children think of the Three Wise Man as the gift bearers. Tradition has it that they arrive on January 6th, the date the Wise Men gave gifts to Jesus. • Shoes are filled with straw or barley for the tired camels that must carry their riders through the busy night. By morning the camel food is gone and in place of the straw or barley are presents. Shoes also may be placed on balconies on the night of the 6th January in the hope that the Wise Men will fill them with gifts.
Christmas in China • If you walked around a major Chinese city 20 years ago, you probably wouldn't have seen many signs of Christmas. This is because Christmas is a Christian holiday and not many Chinese people are Christian. However, if you were to visit those same Chinese cities today, you'd see signs of Christmas everywhere you looked! On the Avenue of Eternal Peace in Beijing, China, there are Christmas displays everywhere. Many Chinese people celebrate by decorating their houses with Christmas trees, cooking and eating special foods, and spending time with family and friends.
Christmas in New York • The Big Apple is a destination favorite of travelers the world over. There is such a plethora of things to do, one would never run out of activities. Anytime is a good time to visit, but the holiday season offers a special charm that can only be found once a year. • New York can be a winter wonderland with its chilly weather, roasted chestnut stands, decorated city streets, harried bag-toting shoppers and festive events that can only be enjoyed at this magical time of year. • Work a few of these favorites into your holiday itinerary and experience the charm that is Christmas in New York.
Christmas in Europe • The celebration of Christmas in the Lunigiana region of northern Tuscany, where I spend a good part of the year, has become a bit commercial over the years, and yet traditions like PresepeVivente, living nativity scenes, and NataleSubacqueo, or "underwater Christmas" are still part of a long history of Christmas celebration in Northern Tuscany. • Since Christmas is, first and foremost a tradition involving family and friends, what follows is a survey of the rich and varied Christmas experiences written by the About family, my friends and cohorts.
Christmas in London • Christmas is Britain's most popular holiday and is characterized by traditions which date back hundreds of years. Many Christmas customs which originated in Britain have been adopted in the United States. • The first ever Christmas card was posted in England in the 1840s, and the practice soon became an established part of the build-up to Christmas. Over a billion Christmas cards are now sent every year in the United Kingdom, many of them sold in aid of charities. • Christmas decorations in general have even earlier origins. Holly, ivy and mistletoe are associated with rituals going back beyond the Dark Ages. (The custom of kissing beneath a sprig of mistletoe is derived from an ancient pagan tradition.) The Christmas tree was popularised by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who introduced one to the Royal Household in 1840. Since 1947, the country of Norway has presented Britain annually with a large Christmas tree which stands in Trafalgar Square in commemoration of Anglo-Norwegian cooperation during the Second World War.
Christmas in Mexico • It is a celebration of the Nativity. This means the birthday of Our Lord Jesus. In order to prepare for the day of symbolic commemoration, we have the "Posadas". These celebrations are a "Novena" or nine days before the 24 which is the "Noche Buena" or "Holy Night". • These Posadas are an enactment of looking for lodging of St. Joseph and Virgin Mary, called The Pilgrims going to Bethlehem for the Census according to the Scriptures. In Spanish we called them: "Los Peregrinos, San José y la Virgen María". Each family in a neighborhood, will schedule a night for the Posada to be held at their home, starting on the 16th of December and finishing on the 24th on Noche Buena.
Christmas in Africa • Christmas is celebrated throughout the African continent by Christian communities large and small. There are approximately 350 million Christians in Africa. On Christmas day carols are sung from Ghana on down to South Africa. Meats are roasted, gifts are exchanged and family visits made. The Coptic Christians in Ethiopia and Egypt celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December in their calendar, which is the 7th of January for most of the rest of us. Kwanzaa is not celebrated in Africa, as it's an African-American holiday. And unless you're in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, there's little chance of anyone enjoying a white Christmas in Africa.
Christmas in Brazil • One tradition is to create a nativity scene or Presépio. The word origins from the Hebrew word "presepium" which means the bed of straw upon which Jesus first slept in Bethlehem. The Presépio is common in northeastern Brazil (Bahia, Sergipe, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Maranhão, Ceará, Pernambuco, Piauí and Alagoas). The Presépio was introduced in the 17th century, in the city of Olinda in the state of Pernambuco by a Franciscan friar named Gaspar de Santo Agostinho. Nowadays presépios are set up in December and displayed in churches, homes, and stores. • The people of Northern Brazil, as in Mexico, enjoy a version of the folk play Los Pastores or "The Shepherds." In the Brazilian version, there are shepherdesses rather than shepherds and a gypsy who attempts to kidnap the Christ Child. • Papai Noel (Father Noel) is the gift-bringer in Brazil. According to legend, he lives in Greenland. When he arrives in Brazil, he usually wears silk clothing due to the summer heat. • A huge Christmas dinner, unusual in the hot summertime, includes turkey, ham, colored rice, and wonderful vegetable and fruit dishes.
Christmas in the UK • In most of the countries of the UK, the festive season begins at Advent. During this time, holly wreaths are made with three pink, one white and one purple candle. Shops however, start selling Christmas decorations from mid-November to enthusiastic Christmas shoppers who prefer to have a one-upmanship over their friends and neigbours. In England as well as in most other nations of the U.K., the beautiful Christmas Trees are an essential part of traditional Christmas decorations. In England, the decorating of Christmas trees has been widely popular since around the 1850s when Prince Albert had a Christmas tree set up in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria and their children. In modern times, the Christmas decorative items last until 6 January (Epiphany). It is considered bad luck to have these at home even after this date.
Christmasin Sweden • In Sweden, the celebration of Christmas lasts almost two months. The fun begins with Advent. Each Sunday before Christmas a candle is lit on an advent wreath made of a stick that is decorated with white lichen and paper-mache mushrooms or red berries. • December 13 is St Lucia's Day. On this day, the eldest daughter in a family wears a white robe and a head wreath with candles. All dressed up, she serves the family St. Lucia buns (Lussekatter) and coffee in bed. A big event is the Lucia choir show. Young girls portray Lucia and "terns" (tärnor). Boys take part as starboys, tomtenissar (Jultomten's helpers) or ginger cookie characters.
Christmas in Australia • A traditional meal includes a turkey dinner, with ham, and pork. A flaming Christmas plum pudding is added for dessert. In the Australian gold rushes, Christmas puddings often contained a gold nugget. Today a small favor is baked inside. Whoever finds this knows s/he will enjoy good luck. Another treat is Mince Pies. Some Australians and particularly tourists often have their Christmas dinner at midday on a local beach, Bondi Beach in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs attracts thousands of people on Christmas Day. Other families enjoy their day by having a picnic. If they are at home, the day is punctuated by swimming in a pool, playing Cricket out the backyard, and other outdoor activities.
Christmas in Austria • The feast of St Nicholas marks the beginning of Christmas in Austria. The saint accompanied by the devil asks children for a list of their good and bad deeds. Good children are given sweets, toys and nuts. Gifts that are placed under the tree are opened after dinner on Christmas Eve. Brass instruments play chorale music room church steeples, and carol singers, carrying blazing torches and a manger from house to house, gather on the church steps. • Silent Night was first sung in 1818, in the village church of Oberndorf. There is a story told of how Christmas was almost spoiled for the villagers that year.
Christmas in Egypt • The Coptic Church is an Orthodox Church and in the Coptic Church Christmas is celebrated on the 7th January. Advent is observed for forty days and during this period people are expected to fast eating no meat, poultry or dairy products. Some people only do this during the last week of Advent. On the Eve of Christmas everyone goes to church wearing a completely new outfit. The Christmas service ends at midnight with the ringing of church bells, then people go home to eat a special Christmas meal known as fata, which consists of bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat.
Christmas in Paris • Joyeux Noëll • Today, the family arranges a manger on a small stage in a prominent part of the house. In Provence, the children bring rocks, branches and moss to make a setting for the manger. Little terra-cotta figures, known as "santons" or little saints are grouped around the manger to represent the Holy Family, the other characters of the story of the Nativity, and the people of the village: the mayor, the priest, the policeman, the butcher, the baker, the miller, the farmer. In the stable is a reproduction of the legendary manger of Bethlehem, with the ox and the donkey placed close to Jesus, and Mary and Joseph in theforeground welcoming the visitors.
TheEnd Merry Christmas