Jagran Post

Christmas celebrations around the world

New Delhi: Christmas is all about celebration to mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is an occasion when people strengthen relationships with their families. This is also the time people help less fortunate members of their society.

Streets lighten up with fancy lights, Confectionaries filled with delicious Xmas cakes, Shopping malls filled with lavish gift items, family get-together to celebrate the birth of Christ… and the year ends. But everybody does not necessarily celebrate the same way. Each and every country has its own way to rejoice the Christmas. Let’s have a look on Christmas celebration around the world.

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In Britain:

Britons greet Merry Christmas on Christmas Day. Christmas is extravaganza event for them. They wrap presents, bake cookies and hang stockings over the fireplace. Then a group of people gather around an X-mas tree and one of them begins to tell a classic holiday story, "A Christmas Carol." Children write letters to Father Christmas with their wishes and toss their letters into the fire so their wishes can go up the chimney. Many towns and cities have a public event to mark the switching on of Christmas lights. People begin to decorate their homes from early December with Christmas trees and holly wreaths which traditionally include three purple, one pink and one white candle.

In US:

Americans greet ‘Merry Christmas’ to mark this occasion. It is a widely celebrated festival in the US. The Christmas holiday season begins every year by the end of November which ends in the beginning of January. Traditionally, Children in US leave a glass of milk and plate of Christmas cookies for Santa Claus nearby. Family gifts wrapped and placed near an X-mas tree, including presents to be given to pets, are exchanged. Friends exchange wrapped presents and tell each other, ‘Do not open before Christmas.’

In Australia:

In Australia, Christmas occurs during the height of the summer seasons. Christmas festivities take place outdoors. As per Australian traditions, decorations are quite similar to those of the United Kingdom and North America and similar wintry iconography is commonplace. The tradition of sending Christmas cards is widely practiced in this country.

In Nigeria:

Christmas Day is public holiday in Nigeria, where Nigerians have custom to empty the city and town and get back to their ancestral land to help less fortunate people. They greet Eku Odum Ebi Jesu as Happy Celebration on the birth of Jesus Christ. They decorate palm trees and hang palm branches both inside and outside their homes. The palm branches represent peace and are a symbol of Christmas. They may light sparklers and dress in costume at Christmastime.

In Philippines:

Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in the calendar and it is widely celebrated. This country celebrate the world's longest Christmas season, with Christmas carols heard as early as September 1. They greet Maligayang Pasko as Merry Christmas. On December 16 the bells ring at 4:00 A.M. to announce the first mass of the Christmas season. They decorate with parols which are three dimension stars made out of paper which they can hang on their Christmas trees. Some people spend months making them to hold in parades on Christmas Eve and prizes are given for the best parols.

In Venezuela:

In Venezuela, Christmas is celebrated as a religious occasion. They greet Feliz Navidad as Happy Nativity. The celebration begins on December 16 with daily early morning masses through December 24. Families gather on December 24 to formally celebrate Christmas after mass. They gather for the traditional feast which includes hallaca, tamales, pan de jamon and dulce de lechoza which is a dessert made with green papaya and brown sugar. It is cooked for hours and then served cold. Children receive gifts from Baby Jesus.

In Lebanon:

In Lebnon, they greet Meelad Majeed as Birth Glorious on Christmas Day. In this day Lebanese children grow sprout shoots from wheat grains, lentils or bean sprouts starting a month before Christmas. When the sprouts are three to six inches high, they decorate their homes and manger scenes with the shoots. At midnight on Christmas Eve, Baby Jesus will be placed into the manger and bells ring announcing the anniversary of Christ's birth.

In Japan:

Japanese greet Meri Kurisumasu as Merry Christmas. They serve beautiful cakes on Christmas Eve decorated with white frosting, strawberries and holiday ornaments. The children will find gifts from Santa Kurohsu or Hoteiosho under their evergreen trees decorated with tiny candles, dolls, wind chimes and gold paper fans.

In Iceland:

Icelandic people greet Gledileg Jol as Merry Christmas. For Christmas celebration, Icelandic children will decorate their homes with Christmas pockets and little stairs for the elves which they believe visit their homes from December 12 through December 24. The elves leave gifts in their shoes.

In Greece:

In this country people greet Kala Christouyena as Merry Christmas. Greek children go from house to house singing Christmas carols on Christmas Day. They play instruments such as drums, harmonicas and triangles. Sometimes people will give them treats such as cookies, candy or coins.

In France:

People in France greet Joyeux Noel as Joyous Christmas and they give more thrust on special cuisisnes like in southern France, they serve a dessert to honor Jesus and the twelve apostles. One of these desserts is the Yule log which is a cake to represent the actual yule log which many people burn in their homes from Christmas Day until New Years Day for good luck.

In Ethiopia:

Ethiopians greet Melkm Ganna as Wishing You a Happy Christmas. Ethiopians observe Christmas on January 7 and celebrate Timkat (Christ's baptism) on January 19. Timkat last for three days and on the first day the priests collect church scrolls of the Ten Commandments and carry them to tents where people come to pray.

In Bolivia (South America):

People of Bolivia greet Feliz Navidad which means Happy Nativity. Bolivian children leave shoes and stockings out to receive presents from El nino Jesus. They leave a clay figure of what they would like next to a figure of Jesus in their family's nativity scene.

JPN

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