Christmas Around the World
On this festive season, giving you a brief on how celebrations are done on christmas around the world –
Christmas Around the World: France
In many regions in France, Christmas celebrations start with St Nicholas day on the 6th of December. Then children get sweets and little gifts. Cities are decorated in France, especially in the Alsace region, where they say the first decorated Christmas trees appeared as far back as the 14th century.
Christmas around the World: Italy
The nativity scene display with a crib filled with straw, originally stems from Italy and is now common occurrence in many countries around the world. In Italy, ‘Babbo Natale’, that’s how Father Christmas is called in Italian, hands out presents like toffees, toys etc. to children on Christmas Day.
Christmas in England
The tradition of Christmas observance is believed to have begun in England in 596 AD, when St Augustine landed on her shores with the message of Christianity on his lips. The present day Christmas festivities here sees the celebrators adorning their homes with Christmas trees, lights, tinsel and other decorative items in the days counting to the festival. The traditional Christmas dinner in England is a mouthwatering affair with the main dish being roasted turkey with vegetables and sauces. The dessert is usually a rich, fruity Christmas pudding with brandy sauce.
Christmas in Iceland
In Iceland, children put their shoes on the windowsill so the ‘Juletide Lads’, the Santa Claus, fills the shoes with little goodies. Christmas celebrations in Iceland start on 24th of December, Christmas eve. Families get together and enjoy good food and many visit midnight mass.
Christmas Around the World: India
The tradition of Christmas observance was introduced here with the colonization of Europeans. Though the country gained its independence in 1947, many European customs and festivals stayed on. The fact that there is the presence of a Christian community in India, helped the maintaining of these traditions in no less a way. Today, Christmas is the biggest and most-loved festival of Indian Christians. The festival is also enthusiastically celebrated by people of other religions residing here.
Christmas around the World: Singapore
In Singapore, about two in ten people are Christians. Christmas however is very commercialized in Singapore and Christmas decorations with masses of tiny fairy lights. Stunning decorations can be seen everywhere in the main shopping district, Orchard Road as you can see in the image below.
Christmas around the World: USA
Christmas Eve is not an official holiday here. Hence most people have to work. However, many workplaces hold Christmas parties or celebrations, so there is a celebratory air to the day. For kids, it is a day of great joy since most schools and other educational establishments are usually closed. In the evening, most people add final touches to their home decorations. Many also set up the Christmas tree in their homes on this day.
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