Let us together build a new community,where we can live in peace and share some fun!
HomeHome  PortalPortal  CalendarCalendar  GalleryGallery  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log inLog in  

Share | 

 Christmas around the world

Go down 

Number of posts : 869
Age : 27
Location : Gondor
Job/hobbies : Writing poetry
Humor : Very good,some people say
Registration date : 2007-10-08

PostSubject: Christmas around the world   Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:19 am

X-mas around the world

All around the world, Christmas is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year. Many people look forward to family parties and the exchanging
of gifts. Others observe the season in a more solemn fashion with
religious ceremonies and prayers. For Christians the world over, it is
a time to celebrate joy on the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Albania to Australia & Germany


The people eat a Christmas Eve meal of pancakes made without butter or
oil. At the end of the meal, each person leaves a spoonful of food on
his or her plate, to show gratitude for having more than is needed.
Then, everyone stands to swing the table back and forth while singing:
"May there be plenty in this house. May the time for a wedding be near."

In Armenia, the favored meal is fried fish and boiled spinach, eaten on
Christmas Eve. They believe that the Virgin Mary ate boiled spinach on
the night before Christ was born. Armenian festivities last for three
days and include visiting and parties.

Christmastime is Austrialia is often very hot. The traditional meal
might consist of a turkey dinner with ham and pork. Mince pies and a
flaming Christmas plum pudding are frequently part of the dessert.
During the gold rush, the pudding would sometimes contain a gold
nugget. Today, a small favor is baked inside. Whoever finds this
trinket is believed to be blessed with good luck. Some Australians (and
tourists) have their Christmas dinner on the beach. Bondi Beach in
Sydney's eastern suburbs in particular attracts thousands of people on
Christmas Day. "Carols by Candelight" is an Australian trdition which
began in 1937. It takes place every year on Christmas Eve, when tens of
thousands of people gather in the City of Melbourne to sing their
favorite songs while holding candles. A favorite Christmas decoration
is the Christmas Bush, a native plant which sports tiny red-flowered

Christmas Day is an important occasion in Bulgaria. A special meal
consisting of at least twelve dishes is prepared...all of them without
meat and each one representing a separate month of the year. The dishes
consist of beans, a variety of nuts, dried plums, cakes and the
traditional Banitza.
The entire family eats and finishes the meal at the same time, from a
table covered with straw. In past times, Christmas was celebrated in a
different fashion. Boys and young, unmarried men would visit houses,
singing songs to bestow health and wealth upon the family. They were
rewarded with money and food. They carried long sticks to hold the kravai (round breads with a hole in the middle) which they often received as compensation for their caroling.

For the small percentage of Chinese people who are Christians and who
celebrate Christmas, the observed customs are similar to those
practiced in the United States. Most erect artificial trees decorated
with spangles, paper chains, flowers and lanterns. Chinese Christmas
trees are known as "Trees of Light" and their Santa Claus goes by the
name of Dun Che Lao Ren, which means "Christmas Old Man."

Czech Republic
One ancient Christmas custom is for a girl to tell her fortune by
putting a cherry twig in water on December 4th. If the twig blossoms
before Christmas Eve, this is believed to be an indication that she
will marry during the coming year.

An old but enchanting
Czechoslovakian legend tells of how children were once asked to take a
gift to put beside the crib in church. One family had no money with
which to buy such a present, but was determined that their children
should take something. They found an orange, which they felt would
suffice, but were disappointed to find it molding at the top. Deciding
to scoop out the rotted parts, they thought they would place a candle
in the top and turn it into a lantern. When this proved to be rather
ordinary looking, one of the daughters took a red ribbon from her hair
and tied it around the middle. They had difficulty in getting the
ribbon to stay in place, so they fastened it with four small sticks,
upon the ends of which they put a few raisins. Apprehensive of the
reactions of the other children, the makeshift lantern was nonetheless
taken to church, where the priest acknowledged the gift and told the
congregation how special it was. His reasoning for such a statement was
as follows: The orange is round like the world and the candle stands
tall and straight, giving light in the darkness, just like the love of
God. The red ribbon encircles this "world" and is a symbol of the blood
shed by Christ when he died for humankind. The four sticks point in all
directions and symbolise North, South, East and West, as well as
representing the Four Seasons. The raisins are reminiscent of the
fruits of the Earth, nurtured by the sunshine and the rain.

Each Sunday in Advent, guests are invited to join in the lighting of
the candles on the Advent Crown. Adults drink a warming mixture of red
wine, spices and raisins, and children drink a sweet fruit juice,
something like strawberry. Everyone eats small cakes of batter which
have been cooked over the fire in a special pan and dusted with icing

The Coptic Church in Egypt is an Orthodox Church and Christmas is
celebrated on December 7th. Advent is observed for forty days and,
during this period, people are expected to fast, eating no meat,
poultry or dairy products. Some people are inclined to do this only
during the last week of Advent. On Christmas Eve, everyone goes to
church wearing an entirely new outfit. The Christmas service ends at
midnight with the ringing of church bells and people return to their
homes to eat a special Christmas meal known as fata,
which consists of bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat. On Christmas
morning, people in Egypt (and other areas of the Middle East) visit
friends and neighbors. They carry kaik with them, which is a type of shortbread, as a gift for those they call upon. Kaik is usually consumed with a drink known as shortbat. For Christians, Christmas Day is a public holiday.

In Ethiopia, the Christmas holiday is known as Ganna
and is celebrated on January 7th. The celebration take place in ancient
churches carved from solid volcanic rock and also in more modern
churches that are designed in three concentric circles. Males sit in a
separate area from the females, while the choir sings from the outside
circle. People receive candles as they enter the church. After these
are lit, everyone walks around the church three times and then stands
throughout the remainder of the Mass, which may last up to three hours.
Christmas meals usually include injera, a sourdough pancake, which serves as both a plate and an eating utensil. Doro wat,
a spicy chicken dish, might be the main meal and is served in a
beautifully decorated basket. The giving of gifts plays a very small
part in the Ethopian Christmas celebrations. Children usually receive
very simple presents, such as clothing.

Villagers cut pine boughs and pile them in a long, green carpet from
the top of a hill the center of the village. This carpet is for the
Christ Child. Finns eat a special Saint Stephen's Day porridge on
Christmas Day and cookies are an important Scandinavian Christmas
treat. Houses are given an extra good cleaning in readiness for the
season and hours are spent in the kitchen, cooking and baking special
treats for the family festivities. Some Finns fell their own trees
(usually firs) which are tied to sleds and then taken home to be
decorated. Natives of all Scandinavian Countries give food to birds at
Christmas, since all the seeds, nuts and insects are covered with snow.
Extra grain is left in the yard or garden for birds on Christmas Eve,
and a sheaf containing an additional supply of nuts and seeds is often
tied to a pole. In many rural areas, the people will not begin their
own Christmas meal until the birds have eaten dinner.

Back to top Go down
View user profile http://viggoshome.netgoo.org

Number of posts : 869
Age : 27
Location : Gondor
Job/hobbies : Writing poetry
Humor : Very good,some people say
Registration date : 2007-10-08

PostSubject: Re: Christmas around the world   Sun Nov 18, 2007 3:20 am

X-mas around the world

All around the world, Christmas is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year. Many people look forward to family parties and the exchanging
of gifts. Others observe the season in a more solemn fashion with
religious ceremonies and prayers. For Christians the world over, it is
a time to celebrate joy on the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Albania to Australia & Germany

Children put shoes on the doorstep or by the fireplace on Christmas Eve, in order that Petit Noel (the "Christ Child") or Pere Noel
("Father Christmas") might fill them with gifts. The houses are
decorated with misteltoe, considered to be a symbol of good luck, and
the French gift-giver has been known to leave sweets, fruit, nuts and
small toys hanging on the Christmas tree. In cathedral squares, the
story of Christ's birth is reenacted by both living players and
puppets. In Provence, an area of southeastern France, the entire family
helps bring in the Yule Log, which must be large enough to burn from
Christmas Eve until New Year's Day. Many years ago, part of this log
was used to make the wedge for the plough as good luck for the coming
harvest. French families often set up a small Nativity scenes in their
homes and, for their Christmas meal, will frequently serve Strasbourg
(liver) pie and black pudding.

Germany & Austria
Many Christmas customs practiced around the world today are believed to
have originated in Germany, the chief of which is probably the
Christmas Tree. The modern German Tannenbaum
is traditionally decorated in secret by the matriarch of the family and
revealed on Christmas Eve. The trees are decorated with lights, tinsel,
ornaments and candy, lubecker marzipan being one of the favored
sweets. Marzipan is a type of almond candy which can be colored and
moulded into many different shapes, such as fruit or toys. Some people
have Christmas trees in their homes for each member of the family.
Often, German families make their own gifts. The women and girls
frequently give presents of hand-embroidered kerchiefs or sofa
cushions, while the men and boys carve figures, both human and animal,
from wood and paint them in bright colors. Children leave letters on
their windowsills for Christkindl, a winged figure dressed in
white robes and wearing a golden crown who distributes gifts.
Sometimes, the letters are decorated with glue and sprinkled with sugar
to make them sparkle. There is also a Christmas Eve character called Weihnachtsmann, or "Christmas Man," who bears a strong resemblance to Santa Claus and often comes bearing gifts.

On Christmas Eve, everyone gathers for the Bescheerung
(the ceremony of lighting the tree). Afterward, the Christmas story is
read, children receive their gifts, and everyone eats fruits, nuts,
chocolate and biscuits from brilliantly decorated plates displayed
close to the tree. Many German families enjoy roast goose for Christmas
dinner, followed by cookies and beautifully-made gingerbread houses.
Other popular treats include Christstollen (long loaves of bread bursting with nuts, raisins, citron and dried fruit), Lebkuchen (spice bars) and Dresden Stollen (a moist, heavy bread filled with fruit). Another favorite is the Christmas tree pastry known as Christbaumgerback,
a white dough that can be pressed into shapes and baked for tree
decorations which can later be consumed when the tree is taken down.

In German, Dickbauch
means "fat stomach" and is a name given to Christmas Eve because of the
tradition that those who do not eat well on that occasion will be
haunted by demons during the night. So, in addition to all the other
food available, such dishes as suckling pig, Reisbrei (a sweet
cinnamon), white sausage, macaroni salad and many regional dishes are
on hand, should anyone feel the need to partake of a snack.

December 21st, traditionally
the shortest day (or longest night) of the year, is Saint Thomas' Day.
In some parts of the Sauerland, whoever wakes up late or arrives late
to work on that day is issued the title: "Thomas Donkey." The person is
given a cardboard donkey and is the subject of numerous jokes
throughout the day. This gentle abuse comes to a delicious end with the
eating of round, iced currant buns called Thomasplitzchen.
According to German legend, on Christmas Eve, rivers turn to wine,
animals converse with each other, tree blossoms bear fruit, mountains
open to reveal precious gems and church bells may be heard ringing from
the bottom of the sea. Of course, the legend tells that only the pure
in heart are able to witness this Christmas magic...all others must
content themselves with the traditional German celebrating, which
begins on December 6th, Saint Nicholas' Day.

The Feast of Saint Nicholas
also marks the beginning of Christmas in Austria. Brass instruments
play chorale music from church steeples and carol singers, carrying
blazing torches and a manger, travel from house to house before
gathering on the church steps. Christmas is one of the most important
Austrian holidays. In the countryside, farmers chalk the initials of
the Three Wise Men on the archway of the stable door..."C" for Caspar;
"M" for Melchior; and "B" for Balthazar. This is to protect the herd
from illness during the coming year. Christmas trees are lit and in
many villages, "shelter-seekers" plod through deep snow from farm to
farm, reenacting the plight of Mary and Joseph who sought shelter on
the eve of Christ's birth.
In the Alpine regions,
families descend from their mountain homes into the valley below. They
hold aloft torches to light their way. Carolers gather in church towers
and village squares to guide the people toward the Christmas services.
All shops, theaters and concert halls are closed, since this is
considered a special evening to be spent only with family and closest
friends. Following the services, people return home for Christmas
dinner, which is often a dish of Gebackener Karpfen, or fried carp. Dessert may include a chocolate and apricot cake known as Sachertorte and Austrian Christmas cookies called Weihnachtsbaeckerei.
After the meal, the ringing of a bell signals the opening of a
long-locked door and, for the first time that season, children are
allowed to witness the Christmas tree, glimmering with lights and laden
with colored ornaments, together with gold and silver garland, candies
and cookies. Beneath the tree may usually be found a manger scene,
arranged in elaborate fashion. Almost every family owns a hand-carved
manger and figures which have been handed down from generation to
generation. The head of the family reads from the Bible about Kristkindl
(the Christ Child) and traditional carols, such as "Silent Night" and
"O'Tannenbaum" are sung, after which, the presents are distributed and
opened. Advent wreaths made from various types of Christmas greenery
and suspended by ribbon from a decorative and colorful stand are
favorite seasonal decorations.

Back to top Go down
View user profile http://viggoshome.netgoo.org

Number of posts : 869
Age : 27
Location : Gondor
Job/hobbies : Writing poetry
Humor : Very good,some people say
Registration date : 2007-10-08

PostSubject: Re: Christmas around the world   Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:53 pm

X-mas around the world

All around the world, Christmas is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year. Many people look forward to family parties and the exchanging
of gifts. Others observe the season in a more solemn fashion with
religious ceremonies and prayers. For Christians the world over, it is
a time to celebrate joy on the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Great Britain to Iran

Great Britain
The traditional species of Christmas tree is the Norway Spruce, which
was native to the British Isles before the last Ice Age and was
reintroduced into the country sometime prior to the 1500s. Children go
caroling on Christmas Eve...or even several evenings before...and
stockings are hung by the fireplace or at the foot of the bed to be
filled with toys and treats by Father Christmas. Children write letters
to Father Christmas, listing their requests, but instead of dropping
them in the mailbox, they are tossed into the fireplace where the
draught carries the notes up the chimney and Father Christmas reads the
smoke. Family presents are placed beneath the Christmas tree. Many
primary school children perform Nativity plays for the parents and
local people. Many years ago, live animals, including an ox and an ass,
would have been used in the cast but today, such beasts are portrayed
by children dressed in costume. The plays recreate the stable scene and
center around the Christ Child...usually a doll placed in a crib of
wood. The remainder of the cast, including Mary, Joseph, the shepherds
and the Wise Men are all played by the children. Many children also
make "Christingles" (for an explanation of this tradition, see the
"Czechoslovakia" section) in their classrooms and gather together to
light them in a church service which raises money for the Church of
England Children's Society.

December 26th is the Feast of
Saint Stephen and the British call the this day after Christmas "Boxing
Day." It is when most families give gifts, also known as a "Christmas
Boxes," in the form of money or food to tradespeople, such as milkmen
or postmen or others who have served them during the year. This custom
is unique to Great Britain. Traditionally, it was on December 26th that
the alms boxes in English churches were opened and their contents
distributed to the poor. It was also the day when indentured servants
were given the day off to celebrate with their families. Thus, it
became traditional for working people to open their "Christmas Boxes"
on December 26th. The ancient roots of the Boxing Day custom are

Christmas in England began in
596 A.D., when Saint Augustine and his monks landed, bringing
Christianity to the Anglo Saxons. The old medieval type of English
Christmas dinner would include brawn (headcheese), roast peacock,
boar's head and mutton pie (from which the modern mince pie developed).
English cooks originally baked pies in the shape of a manger. Modern
Christmas dinners consist of a roast turkey, goose or chicken with
stuffing and roast potatoes, followed by mince pies. The pulling of
Christmas crackers containing a party hat, riddle and toy (or other
tiny trinket) often accompanies the Christmas meal. Later, Christmas
cake may be served...a richly baked fruit cake decorated with marzipan,
icing and sugar frosting. Another traditional feature of Christmas Day
afternoon is the Queen's Christmas Message to the nation, broadcast on
radio and television.

During the late 1400s, King
Henry VII introduced the "wassail bowl" to England from Scandinavia.
Originally, the bowl contained a mixture of hot mulled ale, curdled
cream, roasted apples, sugar, eggs and spices (such as cloves, ginger
and nutmeg). It was served from huge bowls, often made of silver or
pewter, for the purpose of enhancing the general merriment of the
season. "Wassail" derives from the Old English words "waes hael," which
mean "be thou well" or "good health." Legend states that a beautiful
Saxon maid named Rowena presented Prince Vortigen with a bowl of wine
while toasting him with this greeting. Over the centuries, a great deal
of ceremony developed around the custom of drinking wassail and the
bowl was carried into a room with great fanfare. A traditional carol
was sung to honor the drink and, finally, the steaming hot beverage was

The first ever Christmas card
was posted in England during the 1840s but the decorations, in general,
have much earlier origins...many associated with pagan rituals
predating the Dark Ages. The English were also the first nation to use
mistletoe as a decoration during the Christmas season. Each year since
1947, the country of Norway has presented Great Britain with a large
Christmas tree which is erected in Trafalgar Square and commemorates
Anglo-Norwegian cooperation during the Second World War.

A tradition which survives
from the Middle Ages is "mumming," when people known as "mummers"
donned masks and acted out Christmas plays which were performed in
towns and villages. Its descendant is the popular form of Christmas
entertainment for children called a pantomime...a song and dance
dramatization, usually comedic in nature, of a well-known fairy
tale...which encourages audience participation. Traditionally, the
"principal boy" in a pantomime is played by a female and the "evil
witch" or "ugly sister" or "wicked stepmother" character is portrayed
by a male.

In Ireland, where Christmas
celebrations are more religious in nature than a time for parties,
trees are bought throughout the month of December and decorated with
colored lights, tinsel and baubles. Some Irish people favor an angel on
the top of the tree...others, the star. The house is adorned with
garlands, candles, holly and ivy. Wreaths and mistletoe are hung on the
door. Lighted candles are placed in windows on Christmas Eve. Usually
red in color and decorated with holly, these candles serve as a guide
that Joseph and Mary might be looking for shelter. Seed cakes are baked
for each member of the household and three puddings are prepared...one
for Christmas, one for New Year's Day and one for Twelfth Night. After
the Christmas evening meal, bread and milk are left out and the door
unlatched as a symbol of hospitality.

In Scotland, Christmas is
traditionally celebrated in quiet fashion because the Church of
Scotland, Presbyterian in nature, has never placed any great emphasis
upon the Christmas festival. Any customs which are observed are similar
to those of the English. Merry-making is saved for the Scottish New
Year's Eve known as "Hogmanay," a word derived from a type of oat cake
traditionally given to children on New Year's Eve. Scottish bakers use
griddles to bake oatmeal cookies known as "bannock cakes," which are
served at Christmastime, as well as on other occasions. In Wales, the
customs observed are again similar to those of the English. The Welsh,
however, ae particularly fond of their Christmas carols.

Of course, no traditional English Christmas dinner would be complete
without the flaming plum pudding.

On Christmas Eve, carols are usually sung by small boys to the beating
of drums and the tinkling of triangles. They go from house to house and
are rewarded with dried figs, almonds, walnuts, sweets and, sometimes,
small gifts. Very few presents are exchanged between friends and family
during Christmas. Instead, small gifts are given to hospitals and
orphanages. Priests sometimes visit homes sprinkling holy water around
in order to dispel any bad spirits which may be hiding in the houses.
Most Greek families decorate their tress with tinsel and a topmost
star. Any gifts which are exchanged are done so on January 1st, Saint
Basil's Day. On Christmas Eve, groups of people gather around the
holiday table to feast upon figs which have been dried on rooftops,
served with spicy, goden Chrisopsomo bread, and such sweets as kourambiethe,
a Greek nut cookie. During the twelve days of Christmas, there is a tradition called
kallikantzeri when, it is believed, mischievious goblins appear from below the earth.

Christmas trees are decorated with candles and bright ornaments.
However, such trees have to be imported since none grow this far north.

Holy Land
Christmas in the land where Christ is believed to have been born is
often full of travelers who come to celebrate the holidays in this area
of the world. In a certain grotto, there is a 14-pointed silver star
upon the floor where the birth is said to have taken place. There are
three Christmas Eves in the Holy Land. One occurs on December 24th and
is celebrated by the Protestant and Catholic Churches. The second is
for the Greek Orthodox, Coptic (or Egyptian) and Syrian Churches and
the third is for the Armenian Church. All three services are conducted
at the same time, but in different parts of the churches, as well as in
different languages. For lunch, a meal of turkey (spiced with pepper,
cinnamon and nutmeg) is served with rice, pine nuts and almonds. During
the early evening, members of Protestant church groups travel the
streets singing carols. On Christmas morning, children open presents
before breakfast, after which the Protestants go to church and then
call upon friends and relatives, while the Catholic priests visit homes
in order to bless the water, from which all family members take a sip.
to members of the Greek Othodox church, Epiphany holds great
importance. They hold a special church service during which a cross is
dipped into water and blessed. People then take the hallowed water home
with them and drink three sips before eating anything.

The main celebrations take place on Christmas Eve.
The evening is known as Szent-este,or "Holy Evening." Prior to attending Midnight Mass, families gather
around the Christmas tree to sing carols and open presents left by Baby
Jesus and the Angels. On December 6th, the children receive a visit
from Mikulas (Saint Nicholas), who arrives wearing the robes of
a bishop with a red mitre on his head, a staff in one hand and a sack
full of small gifts in the other. He is accompanied by a boy in black
costume, complete with horns and a long tail. This boy carries a switch
made of dry twigs with which to smack any naughty children. Each child
receives a small present...usually a tiny toy or sweets...from Mikulas.
The presenting of a Nativity play is an important part of Hungarian
Christmas tradition. Performed by groups of children or adults, these
plays are often combined with puppets and are accompanied by songs and
musical instruments. Often, dancing is also part of the performance.

The Poinsettia is the favored Christmas flower and the churches are
usually decorated with this brilliant bloom for the Midnight Mass. In
Southern India, Christians place small clay lamps on the rooftops and
wall of their houses at Christmas...a tradition similar to that of the
Hindus during their festival known as Diwalli.

In Iran, the land where the Wise Men are believed to have originated,
the people call Christmas "The Little Feast." During the first 24 days
of December, Christians in Iran eat no meat or eggs and drink no milk.
In Syria, it is believed that the trees bow their heads on the Eve of
Epiphany in reverence to the Christ Child.

Back to top Go down
View user profile http://viggoshome.netgoo.org

Number of posts : 869
Age : 27
Location : Gondor
Job/hobbies : Writing poetry
Humor : Very good,some people say
Registration date : 2007-10-08

PostSubject: Re: Christmas around the world   Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:13 pm

X-mas around the world
All around the world, Christmas is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year. Many people look forward to family parties and the exchanging
of gifts. Others observe the season in a more solemn fashion with
religious ceremonies and prayers. For Christians the world over, it is
a time to celebrate joy on the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Italy to Lebanon & Middle East

In Italy, the people fast, going with little or no food, the day before
Christmas. At the end of the day, a celebration meal is eaten, in which
a light Milanese cake known as panettone is featured. Families then hold a ceremony around the Prespio,
a miniature Bethelehem scene complete with the Holy Family, shepherds
and Wise Men, usually hand-carved from clay or plaster, and very
detailed in feature and dress. An ox and ass are an important part of
the tableau because legend states that these animals warmed the Christ
Child with their breath. The scene is often set out in the form of a
triangle and provides the base of a pyramid-like structure called the ceppo,
which is a wooden frame arranged to make a pyramid several feet high.
Tiers of thin shelves are supported by this frame which is entirely
decorated with colored paper, gilt pine cones and miniature colored
pennants. Small candles are fastened to the tapering sides and a star
or tiny doll is hung at the apex. The shelves above the manger scene
hold small gifts of fruit, candy and presents. The ceppo is the ancient "Tree of Light" tradition which became the Christmas tree in other countries. Some houses have a ceppo for each child in the family. While the mother places a figure of the Bambino or infant Jesus in the manger of the Prespio,
the rest of the family prays. After this, the Christmas gifts are
brought in and distributed from a large crock known as the "Urn of
Fate," which contains empty boxes as well as presents, but always holds
one gift for each person. At twilight, candles are lighted around the Prespio,
prayers are said and the children recite poems. Italian children set
out their shoes for their female version of Santa Claus...La
Befana...to fill with gifts of all types, such as toys, candies and
fruit. If the children have been good, their shoes are full of good
things on Christmas morning but if they have been bad, their shoes are
full of coal. Christmas Day itself is reserved for religious ceremonies
and the Pope gives his blessing to crowds who gather in Vatican Square.
The traditional seasonal dish is Capitone,
a large female eel, roasted or baked or fried, served with Magi cakes
(small baked wafers). North of Rome, the favored food might be pork or
sausage packed in a pig's leg and smothered with lentils, or turkey
stuffed with chestnuts. Christmas sweets such as panettone (cake filled with candied fruit), torrone (nougat) and panforte
(gingerbread) made with hazelnuts, honey and almonds, are also popular
seasonal food items. As a general rule, all Italian Christmas sweets
contain nuts and almonds. Peasant folklore states that to eat nuts
favors the fertility of the earth and aids in the increase of flocks
and family. In Ancient Rome, honey was offered at this time of year, in
order that the New Year might be sweet.
A delightful but rapidly disappearing Italian custom is the ushering in of the coming festivities by the Piferari,
or fifers. They descend from the mountains of the Abruzzo and Latium
while playing inviting and characteristic tunes on their bagpipes, said
to be reminiscent of the music played by the shepherds at the crib of
the Christ Child. Another tradition is the burning of the Yule Log,
which must stay alight until New Year's Day. Christian legend tells
that the Virgin Mary enters the homes of the humble at midnight, while
the people are away at Midnight Mass, and warms her newborn child
before the blazing log.

For most Japanese who observe Christmas (only about one per cent), it
is a purely secular holiday devoted to the love of their children and
the giving of gifts. Nevertheless, stores and homes are usually
decorated with evergreens during the season. The ancient Japanese
priest-god Hoteiosho
makes for an excellent Santa Claus because he has eyes in the back of
his head and, thus, can easily watch how all the children behave.
Christmas trees are decorated with small toys, dolls, paper ornaments,
gold paper fans, lanterns and wind chimes. Miniature candles are placed
among the branches and one of the most popular ornaments is the origami
swan. Japanese children have exchanges thousands of these folded-paper
"Birds of Peace" with young people all over the world as a pledge that
war must never happen again.

Latin America
The Christmas season lasts from December 16th through January 6th in
Mexico. Mexican families look forward with much anticipation to the Posada
on each of the nine nights prior to Christmas Day. The family members enact the Posada
to honor the memory of the search for rooms by Mary and Joseph on the
first Christmas Eve. They form a procession and go through the house,
led by two children who carry figures of Mary and Joseph. At the door
of each room, the children beg to enter but are refused. When they
reach the room containing the altar, the wanderers are admitted. The
figures of Mary and Joseph are placed in a tiny stable in a miniature
Bethlehem. The figure of the Infant Jesus is not put into the Manger
until Christmas Christmas Eve, the last night of the Posada This principal holiday adornment is called el Nacimiento (meaning Nativity scene). A decorated Christmas tree may be incorporated into el Naciemiento
or set up elsewhere in the home. The purchase of a natural pine,
however, represents a luxury commodity to most Mexican families and the
typical arbolito, or "little tree," is often artificial...a
bare branch cut from a copal tree or some type of shrub collected from
the countryside.

A social hour follows the final Posada,
during which the host or hostess
invites everyone into the courtyard to help break the pinata.
This is a brightly-decorated pottery crock or papier-mache figure
(often shaped like a bull or a donkey) filled with gifts and candy. It
is suspended from the ceiling, porch, roof or tree branch by a cord.
The children are blindfolded and take turns trying to break open the pinata with a stick. When it bursts, gifts and candy scatter to the ground and the children rush to pick up the treats.

Children in Honduras also enjoy the pinata
celebration, as do those in Guatemala, where the Christmas Tree
tradition has recently joined the Nativity scene as a popular ornament
due to the large influx of German immigrants. Gifts are left under the
tree on Christmas morning for Guatemalan children but parents and
adults do not exchange gifts until New Year's Day. Throughout the
Christmas season in Guatemala, several religious statues are taken for
an elaborate procession. At the rear of the parade is an image which
represents God (although this white-beared man may also resemble a
department-store Santa). Marimbas and chirimias accompany the procession. Christmas Eve festivities end at midnight with a Misa de Gallo,
or the Mass of the Rooster. Manger scenes are displayed in churches and
in public areas, although the image of the Christ Child is not added
until Christmas Eve.

Flowers are typically used
for Christmas decorations instead of evergreens in most Latin American
countries where Christmas is celebrated during the warm season. The
Poinsettia and Noche-Bueno are in full bloom in Mexico during

Most South American children
believe that it is the Wise Men who bring them their gifts. Children in
Brazil (where trees are sometimes decorated with tiny pieces of cotton
to represent falling snow) and the Argentine find gifts in their shoes
on Christmas morning. On the Eve of Epiphany, the twelfth day after
Christmas, they leave water and hay on the doorstep for the Wise Men's
camels. People go to church with their families at Christmas and then
attend a family gathering. At midnight, after their meal, which usually
consists of pork or turkey, accompanied by cider, beer or juice, they
drink a toast and then the adults dance or engage in conversation,
while the younger people go outside to watch firework displays.

Children in Bolivia receive their gifts on Epiphany while the people of Chile hold a fiesta on Christmas Day. This festival resembles the American county fair. Most Indians in South American Countries also hold a fiesta during the Christmas season. Beneath the Chilean Christmas tree, called a pesebre, little clay figures are displayed and Father Christmas is known as Viejito Pascuero.

In Puerto Rico, many families
celebrate Christmas Eve with large suppers, followed by music and
dancing. The children usually receive their gifts on both Christmas Eve
and on the morning of Epiphany, January 6th. Nativity scenes are common
in churches and public buildings.

Lebanon & the Middle East
Approximately two weeks prior to Christmas, people in Lebanon and
elswhere in the Middle East plant seeds...chick peas, wheat grains,
beans and lentils, for example...in cotton wool. The seeds are watered
every day and, by Christmas, have shoots about six inches in height.
These shoots are used to surround the manger in Nativity scenes.
Figures are fashioned from brown paper and placed above the tableau.
Traditionally, people visit friends on Christmas morning and are
offered coffee, liqeurs and sugared almonds. Lunch is the most
important seasonal meal, usually consisting of chicken and rice and Kubbeh,
which is made of crushed boiled wheat and mixed with meat, onion, salt
and pepper. The whole family gathers for the meal, customarily at the
home of grandparents or the eldest son.

Back to top Go down
View user profile http://viggoshome.netgoo.org

Number of posts : 869
Age : 27
Location : Gondor
Job/hobbies : Writing poetry
Humor : Very good,some people say
Registration date : 2007-10-08

PostSubject: Re: Christmas around the world   Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:25 pm

X-mas around the world

All around the world, Christmas is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year. Many people look forward to family parties and the exchanging
of gifts. Others observe the season in a more solemn fashion with
religious ceremonies and prayers. For Christians the world over, it is
a time to celebrate joy on the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Malta to Yugoslavia

Traditionally, Christmas is centered around the crib or presepju.
The child's version of the church crib is known as a grotta.
The cribs are to be found everywhere in Malta, varying in size and detail.
The crib figures are called pasturi
and represent the Holy Family, shepherds, angels, villagers and animals
such as cows, donkeys and sheep. The Nativity scenes are surrounded by
lights and plants. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is the climax of all
religious activities. The entire family attends and everyone weard new
clothes for the occasion. Mass begins with songs by choirs and the
highlight of the evening is the reading of the Nativity story by a
ten-year-old boy.

People exchange gifts on December 6th, which is the Feast Day of Saint
Nicholas, or on the evening before which is known as Sinterklass Eve.
A man dressed in the rich robes of a bishop to represent the saint
questions the children about their behavior during the year. He is
believed to journey from his homeland in Spain by boat, sometimes
accompanied by a helper known as "Black Pete" or "Black Peter," who
wears Spanish-style clothing. Many people travel to the Amsterdam docks
to greet the saintly gift-giver, who mounts a snow-white horse and
rides through the streets in a magnificent parade. He promises to
return during the night with gifts for those who have been good. The
children fill wooden shoes with cookies and candy for the benefactor,
who takes the offerings and leaves toys and other gifts in their place.
In these Lowland Countries of Europe, Christmas Day is purely a
religious occasion. Farmers often blow long horns at sunset each
evening during the Christmas period. The horns are blown over water
wells, which accentuates the sound. This is done to announce the coming
of Christmas.

In Luxembourg, from the
beginning of December, streets and store windows in all major cities
are richly illuminated and decorated. Glittering Christmas trees adorn
public squares and outdoor markets are often favorite places to
purchase gifts. Christmas Eve is usually celebrated with friends and
family and many people attend Midnight Mass, after which the family
will gather for a supper consisting of a typical menu: black-pudding
with mashed potatoes and apple sauce. Some cities produce Nativity
plays, with children as the actors, while others give concerts on the
afternoon of December 25th. In some villages, these concerts are
followed by a Christmas Tree auction, the profits from which are given
to charitable organizations.

The Yuletide season begins on December 21st, Saint Thomas' Day. Cakes
are specially baked for the saint on Christmas Eve. Another Norwegian
custom is "shooting in Christmas," which dates back to an ancient
belief that witches appear on Christmas night. Young people go
visiting, creeping up to houses and shooting a gun to frighten any
loitering witches. The Norwegian Christmas pudding contains an almond.
It is believed that the person who finds the almond in his or her
portion of the pudding will be the next to marry. Many people take a
trip to the woods to select a Christmas tree. This is a modern custom
since the Christmas tree was not introduced into Norway from Germany
until the latter half of the Nineteenth Century. Decorating of the tree
is done on Christmas Eve, usually by parents behind closed doors while
the children wait outside the room. Then follows a Norwegian ritual
known as "Circling the Christmas Tree." Everyone joins hands to form a
ring and then walks around the tree singing carols. Afterward, gifts
are distributed.

The Philippines is the only Asian nation in which Christianity is the
religion chosen by the people. Celebrations begin nine days before
Christmas with a mass known as Misa de Gallo, where the story of Christ's
birth is read from the Bible. A Panunuluyan
pageant is held each Christmas Eve, with a couple chosen to renact the
search for shelter originally experienced by Mary and Joseph. Mass is
heard on an hourly basis on Christmas Day so that everyone may have the
opportunity to attend. Religious services include the pastore,
or play, based on the details of the Nativity. The play concludes with
a star from the upper part of the church sliding down a wire and coming
to rest over the church's Nativity tableau. The people call their
favorite Christmas dish colacion. It is made by cooking fruit
with various root sprouts. In each family, one or two members remain at
home to serve any guests who happen to come visiting. The remaining
family members receive their colacion at other houses. Most
familes do not have fresh pine trees since they are very expensive.
Handmade trees are the most common, in an array of different colors and
sizes. Star lanterns or parol appear everywhere in December.
They are made from sticks of bamboo covered with brightly-covered rice
paper or cellophane, usually featuring a tassel on each point. There is
normally one in every window of each house...a symbol of the Star of
Bethelehem. Some Christmas celebrations are believed to have evolved
from old tribal customs which have been mixed with other influences.
Serenading cumbancheros (strolling minstrels) usually end the Christmas
festivities by singing Maligayang Pasko to the tune of "Happy Birthday."

People fast the entire day prior to Christmas and then indulge in a
feast at nightfall. A vacant chair for the Holy Child always stands at
the festive table and a few straws are scattered upon the table or
spread beneath the tablecloth as a reminder to everyone of the stable
in which Christ was born. Small semi-transparent wafers of unleavened
dough known as Oplatek
are baked and stamped with Nativity figures. These are blessed by the
priest and then exchanged with friends and family, much like Christmas
cards in other parts of the world. Traditionally, Advent is the most
important season with special church services called Rororaty
being held every morning at 6:00 a.m. The four Sundays of Advent are
believed to represent the 4,000 years of waiting for Christ. In some
Polish homes during Advent, beeswax is poured on water and fortunes
told from the shapes which emerge.

Poland is rich with
intriguing traditions and legends. The first star which appears on
Christmas Eve night holds such importance as a remembrance of the Star
of Bethelehem, that the evening itself is called Gwiazdka, or "little star."
The moment the star appears, everyone exchanges greetings and good wishes.
Families gather together for the Wigilia
(Christmas supper) which is the most carefully-planned meal of the
Polish year. An even number of people must be seated around the table
or tradition states that someone might die in the year to come.
Traditionally, there is no meat served at the Wigilia, which begins
with the snapping of the Oplatek.
Everyone at the table breaks off a piece and eats it as a symbol of
their unity with Christ. Custom dictates that the number of dishes in
the meal must be odd...usually nine or eleven. An even number would
eliminate any hope of an increase in wealth, children or anything else
found to be desirable. Dishes vary from region to region, but almost
always include poppy-seed cake, beef broth soup, prune dumplings and
poppy-seed noodles. After supper, nobody leaves the table until a
signal is given by the head of the house. Then, they all rise in
unison. This is the result of an old belief that the first to rise will
die before the next Christmas Eve. In some villages, crumbs are saved
from this festive meal to be sown in the Spring. They are said to
bestow medicinal power to the grasses upon which they are sprinkled.</p><p>

The remainder of Christmas
Eve is spent telling stories and singing songs around a Christmas tree
decorated with nuts, apples and ornaments made from eggshells, colored
paper and straw, all of which have been brightly-painted. Christmas
gifts are tucked below the tree. At midnight, the children are put to
bed and the adults attend Pasterka, or "Shepherd's Mass."

Carols are an important part of Romanian Christmas tradition. Singers
walk the streets of the villages and towns holding in their hands a
star fashioned from board and paper and painted with biblical scenes,
or displaying icons of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. Pork is the
favorite seasonal meal, washed down with wine or plum brandy.

On Christmas Day, hymns and carols are sung and people gather in
churches which are decorated with Christmas Trees (called Yelka),
flowers and colored lights. The Christmas meal includes a variety of
different meats, goose and suckling pig being the favorites. In the
rural areas, hay is spread upon floors and tables in order to encourage
horse feed to grow. Children in Russian villages formerly celebrated
Christmas Eve by going from house to house, shouting and singing until
people came out and gave them treats. This custom may have originated
from a much older tradition in which crowds of children drew a
beautiful girl through the streets on a sled, stopping at each house to

Saudi Arabia
Christian Americans, Europeans, Indians, Filipinos and others living in
Saudi Arabia are obliged to celebrate Christmas privately in their own
homes. Christmas lights are generally not tolerated and most families
place their Christmas trees somewhere inconspicuous.

South Africa
In South Africa, Christmas is a summer holiday. Christmas trees are far
from common, but windows are often draped with sparkling cotton, wool
and tinsel to represent snow.

The people enjoy dancing at Christmastime. After Midnight Mass on
Christmas Eve, the streets quickly fill with dancers and onlookers. The
words and music for the Christmas dance, known as the Jota, have been
handed down for centuries. Spaniards call their miniature Nativity scene
the Nacimiento. Another popular Christmas custom is Catalonia,
a lucky-strike game. A tree trunk is filled with treats and children
hit at the trunk trying to knock out the hazel nuts, almonds, toffees
and other goodies. One Spanish Christmas custom not at all common
anywhere else in the world is that of Hogeuras, or bonfires.
This tradition originated long before Christmas itself and was the
observance of the Winter Solstice...the shortest day of the year and
the beginning of Winter. The ceremony is characterized by people
jumping over fires as a symbolic protection against illness. This
fire-jumping is seen primarily in Granada and Jaen. Christmas dinner is
never eaten until after midnight. It is a family feast, often featuring
Pavo Tufado de Navidad, a turkey with truffles (truffles being a
mushroom-like delicacy found underground). After the meal, everyone
gathers around the Christmas tree to sing carols and hymns. This
rejoicing continues until the early hours of the morning.

Christmas Day is spent
attending Church services, followed by further feasting and more
merry-making. Another custom peculiar to Spain is that of "swinging."
Swings are erected throughout the courtyards and young people swing to
the accompaniment of songs and music. The people believe their
gift-givers to be the Three Wise Men, who are seen everywhere in Spain
during Christmastime, visiting hospitals, orphanages and other such
institutions. The men who dress in these garments and portray the
generous Magi come from all walks of life. Legend tells that the
original Wise Men travelled through Spain on their way to Bethelehem
and Spanish children have a great fondness for these Three Kings,
particularly Balthazar.

Back to top Go down
View user profile http://viggoshome.netgoo.org

Number of posts : 869
Age : 27
Location : Gondor
Job/hobbies : Writing poetry
Humor : Very good,some people say
Registration date : 2007-10-08

PostSubject: Re: Christmas around the world   Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:28 pm

X-mas around the world

All around the world, Christmas is one of the happiest and busiest times of the year. Many people look forward to family parties and the exchanging
of gifts. Others observe the season in a more solemn fashion with
religious ceremonies and prayers. For Christians the world over, it is
a time to celebrate joy on the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Malta to Yugoslavia

Celebration of the Christmas season begins on December 13th, Saint
Lucia's Day. The youngest daughter from each family puts on a white
robe with a red sash and wears a crown of evergreens adorned with tall,
lighted candles. She wakes her parents and serves them coffee and Lucia
buns. The other children sometimes accompany her...the boys dressed as
"star boys" in long white shirts and pointed hats, carrying star wands.
This origins of this custom are associated with Saint Lucia, a
Christian martyred in Syracuse during the Fourth Century for her
beliefs. The Swedish ceremony of Saint Lucia itself is relatively
recent and represents the traditional thanksgiving for the return of
the Sun.

Children believe that elves called Juul Nisse
help them with many holiday tasks. The elves are rewarded for their
work by gifts of food left for them at night. On Christmas Eve, there
are candle-lit processions to church and, in the home, candles are lit
by the matriarch of the family which, it is hoped, will burn brightly
that night as a traditional sign of good luck. Part of the festive
decorations include a goat crafted from straw, which stands ready to
butt any disobedient children, while other decorations include
colorfully-painted wooden animals and straw centerpieces. Most people
buy their trees well before Christmas Eve, but it is not uncommon for
the trees to be taken inside and decorated only a day or two prior to
Christmas. Evergreen trees are adorned with stars, sunbursts and
snowflakes made of straw. Other decorations may include candies,
apples, Swedish flags and figures of small gnomes wearing caps with red
tassels. Some families adorn their houses with red tulips.

For many Swedes, fish is the main dish of the Christmas feast.
They prepare their lutfisk from the finest catch and serve it with
a special sauce. In other regions, Julafton, the Christmas Eve dinner,
may be a smorgasbord (open buffet) which includes julskinka (Christmas ham)
and pickled pigs feet. The people also enjoy pepparkakor, a gingerbread biscuit
often shaped like a heart, star or goat, and Juulgrot (also known as Risgryngrot),
a special pudding made of rice and milk, which is served hot with
sprinkles of cinnamon and sugar. Hidden in the pudding (sometimes
referred to as porridge), is a single almond and tradition states that
whoever finds the almost will marry during the coming year. After
Christmas Eve dinner, a friend or family mentor dresses up as Tomte, the
Christmas Gnome. Tomte
is believed to live under the floorboards of the house or barn with his
straw goat, upon which he rides. The make-believe Christmas Gnome,
wearing a white beard and dressed in red robes, distributes gifts from
his sack. Many are delivered with a humorous rhyme that give hints
about the contents of the present.

Young people visit nine fountains on their way to midnight church
services. They take three sips of water from each fountain. A legend
tells that if they do this, they will find their future spouse waiting
at the door of the church. The week prior to Christams, children dress
up and visit homes with small gifts. Bell-ringing has become something
of a tradition in Switzerland and each village competes with it
neighbors when calling people to Midnight Mass. After the service,
familes gather to share huge homemade doughnuts known as ringli and to
drink hot chocolate. The Swiss gift-giver is Christkindl, a white-clad
figure who wears a veil held in place by a jeweled crown. Christkindl,
who arrives to the herald of a silver bell and the lighting of tree
candles, enters each house to distribute presents from a basket carried
by her child helpers. In some areas, it is believed that animals are
able to speak at midnight on Christmas Eve and that the beasts kneel in
honor of the Christ Child.

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th by Catholics and on January
7th by Orthodox Christians. Christmas is the most popular Ukraine
holiday. During the Christmas season (which also includes New Year's
Day), fir trees are decorated, traditionally including a spider web of
good luck for the family, and parties are thrown. One particularly
charming custom is that of a child star-bearer who walks with each
group of carolers, carrying a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem.

United states and Canada
Christmas celebrations differ greatly between the regions due to the
variety of nationalities who have settled in the United States.
Generally, cities, towns and even simple villages are adorned with
sparkling lights and colorful decorations. Store windows are full of
enticing gifts and people decorate their homes and lawns with fairy
lights and festooned trees. Many churches and houses put up a creche
or tableau of the Nativity scene, complete with a manger surrounded by
Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, Angels and Shepherds. For weeks prior to
the holiday, people begin to prepare for the festivities. Gifts are
bought or made and wrapped with brightly-colored paper and ribbons.
Greeting cards and gift packages are sent to friends and family, and
some practice in church choirs or rehearse Christmas plays. On
Christmas Day, families traditionally gather to exchange presents,
although some people exchange their gifts on Christmas Eve. The
Christmas meal is usually served in the afternoon and usually features
turkey, chicken, duck, goose or ham.

In some areas, people still
follow the Christmas customs of the early settlers. In Pennsylvania,
for example, the old German and Swiss ceremonies may be observed while
the Moravian familes usually erect a miniature Nativity scene called a putz,
which means "ornament," beneath the Christmas tree and gifts may be delivered
by Belsnickle,
who taps children with his switch if they have misbehaved during the
year. Some Moravians may also bake cookies in the shapes of sheep,
camels and angels and add them to the putz and engage in
musical services where the congregation partakes of simple food while
the choir sings appropriate hymns and anthems. Customarily, the
congregation must be served sweet buns and coffee in the time it takes
to sing three hymns. Candles are distributed, made of beeswax...an
ancient belief being that bees were made in Paradise...and, as the
final anthem is sung, everyone raises their lighted candles in praise.

In Minnesota and Wisconsin,
many Scandinavian traditions are still in use and French customs remain
popular in Louisiana and the Canadian Province of Quebec. In some
Southern states, firearms are shot into the air on Christmas Day to
greet distant neighbors and Colonial doorways are often decorated with
pineapple, a symbol of hospitality. In Boston, carol singing
festivities are famous, the singers accompanied by hand bells, while in
Washington D.C., a huge and spectactular tree is lit ceremoniously when
the current President presses a button and turns on the tree's lights.
In New Orleans, a huge ox is sometimes parades around the streets
decorated with holly and ribbons tied to his horns. In California,
Santa Claus may sweep in on a surf board and, in Hawaii, Christmas
begins with the arrival of the Christmas Tree Ship, which transports an
enormous cargo of Christmas fare. The Hawaiian Santa Claus also arrives
by boat and, in the shopping areas, his helpers are displayed as menehunes,
the legendary "little people" who are thought to have been the first
inhabitants of Hawaii prior to seizure of the islands by the
Polynesians. Palm trees are strung with decorations and fragrant
flowers are hunt in leis around the indoor Christmas tree.

In Alaska, most Christians
celebrate the holiday on December 25th, just like those in the
Continental United States. Santa Claus may arrive for a pre-Christmas
visit, but the food, gift-giving and decorations are much the same as
what might be seen in Texas or Wisconsin. One traditional Alaskan
custom, however, is that of star on a pole, which is taken from door to
door, followed by Herod's Men who try to capture the decoration. Songs
sung in the home include Aleut words, such as Gristuusaaq suu'uq, which
means "Christ is born" (where everyone joins in the closing chorus),
or Mnogaya leta,
meaning "God grant you many years." After the caroling, the host or
hostess provides maple-frosted doughnuts, cookies, candy, fish pie and,
sometimes, smoked salmon.

From ancient times, Native
Indians have held religious dances to coincide with the Winter
Solstice. Franciscan monks succeeded in bringing this Indian
celebration and the Christmas Holy Day together. Just south of Santa
Fe, in the San Felipe Pueblo, is held perhaps one of the most unique
Christmas Eve dances. Shortly after the priest has delivered the
Christmas Eve sermon and departed, birdcalls burst from the loft
(produced by blowing into a shallow dish of water through a split,
perforated hollow reed). An insistent drum takes over and dancers move
into the blazing light of the altar. Dressed in masks, animal skins,
feathers, coral sheels, turquoise and head dressed with authentic
antlers, these dancers perform the deer, turtle, eagle and buffalo
dances. Women carry a spring of Hakak, the sacred spruce tree, which
represents eternal life which they believed helped to create mankind.
German settlers migrated to Canada from the United States in the 1700s,
taking with them many of the Christmas traditions still celebrated
today...advent calendars, gingerbread houses cookis and Christmas
trees, for example. French Canadians, believing it to be unlucky if a
cat meows in the house on Christmas Eve, feed their cats particularly
well on December 24th. In some provinces, a large winter festival
called Sinck Tuck
is celebrated by the Eskimos with dancing and a gift-giving party,
while in Labrador, turnips are saved from the summer harvest and given
to children, with a lighted candle inserted into a hollowed-out hole.
In Nova Scotia, which was settled by Scottish highlanders, songs and
carols which originated from Great Britain two centuries ago are sung
on Christmas morning.

The traditional Vietnamese religions are Buddhism and the Chinese
philosophies of Taoism and Confucanism. Nevertheless, during French
rule, many people converted to Christianity. Christmas is one of the
four most important festivals of the Vietnamese year (the other three
being the birthday of Buddha, the New Year and the Mid-Autumn
Festival). Those Vietnamese who are Christians observe the religious
rituals and, on Christmas Eve, attend Midnight Mass. Afterward, people
return to their homes for Christmas supper, usually consisting of
chicken soup...or turkey and Christmas pudding for the more wealthy.
The European customs of Santa Claus and the Christmas Tree are
gradually gaining in popularity and children have recently begun to
leave out their shoes on Christmas Eve.

Children celebrate the second Sunday before Christmas as Mother's Day.
While their mother sits quietly, the children steal in and tie her feet
to the chair. Then, they shout: "Mother's Day, Mother's Day, what will
you pay to get away?" She gives them gifts. The following Sunday, the
father receives the same treatment...with the same favorable results
for the children. The Serbs believe they will have bad luck if the badnyak
(Christmas log) burns out and someone stands watch over the log all night.
A Serbian Christmas Cake, called a chestnitsa
is baked containing a silver coin. The coin is believed to bring good
luck to whoever finds it in his or her portion of the cake. The Serbs
serve roast pig at Christmastime in honor of Bozhitch, an ancient
Sun God whose name now means Christmas.

Back to top Go down
View user profile http://viggoshome.netgoo.org

PostSubject: Peru   Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:34 pm

Back to top Go down
Sponsored content

PostSubject: Re: Christmas around the world   

Back to top Go down
Christmas around the world
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
» Christmas Wishes & Holiday.
» Steam Traction World Updates
» Tourists in the world
» Christmas tree skirt pattern

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Viggo's home under the sky :: Site discussion :: Whatever-
Jump to:  

©2009 Viggo's home under the sky
Free forum | © phpBB | Free forum support | Report an abuse | Forumotion