Christmas Around The World

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S: Christmas Around The Wor

FC: Johnny, Brian, Ashlynn, and Kylie | Edu 217 Group 7

1: In Italy Christmas is celebrated for a much longer period of time then we do, there it's celebrated for a three week period. Eight days before December 25, Novena is observed. During this time children go from house to house singing and reciting poems. The week before, dressed as shepherds, kids go from house to house again reciting poems but this time they receive money to buy gifts. Then, 24 hours before Christmas Eve a celebration meal is served. Then, from the Urn of Fate presents and empty boxes are picked, there is one gift for each person. After the family prays around the Presepio. Then on Christmas Day, at noon, many families gather together at the Vatican square to hear the Pope give his blessing. Finally, on January 6, Epiphany arrives and children are allowed to open their presents, but they are not delivered by a Santa Claus they are delivered by an ugly witch on a broom. Befana supposedly missed the baby Jesus being born because she lost her way, so she flies from house to house leaving gifts in hope that the baby might be there. | ITALY

2: Great Britain | Christmas in Great Britain is quite similar to Christmas in America. The children write letters to Father Christmas at the North Pole, but instead of sending them by mail they set them into the fireplace and hope they go up the chimney before catching fire. They also hang stockings at the fireplace and open gifts on Christmas morning, that are brought by Father Christmas, as well as having a large family dinner. At Christmas dinner there is a cracker at each setting to be popped after the toast for good luck and plum pudding filled with treasures. After dinner most families gather in the living room to watch a speech on tv from the British Monarch. Another similarity is mistletoe, Great Britain was the first to use it for Christmas. Something different about Christmas festivities in Great Britain is the Christingle service, that some Churches hold on the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Christingle service is a carol service if Scandinavian origin where every child receives an orange and a candle wrapped in a red ribbon. The candle represents Jesus and the ribbon is for the blood of Christ and the love of God.

3: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! | In Holland, they combine some of the same traditions we share in America along with some of their own very different traditions. St. Nicholas, dressed in bishop robes, arrives early in November with gifts, with the help of Black Pete, who is dressed in Spanish robes. St. Nicholas arrives at Amsterdam docks, and rides through town on a snow white horse.Together the two spend the year preparing gifts and recording children's behaviors in a big book. During Christmas time farmers will blow long horns at sunset to announce the coming of Christmas. The Christmas festivities continue to December 5th which is Stinkerlaas Eve and again presents are given as well as received. Sintkerlaas lived in Spain and records the behavior of children in his red book while his helper, Piet, stocked gifts. Not only do they believe in two different gift giving traditions they also spend Christmas Day at church as a religious day, until afternoon when everyone returns home with family to sit around the tree and sing carols and tell stories. | Holland

4: Dear Santa, I want one of everything | Austria is another place where Christmas is celebrated over a period of time, here the feast of St. Nicholas marks the beginning of Christmas. On December 6th St. Nicholas (Heiliger Nikolaus) is accompanied by the devil and he asks children about their good and bad deeds, and the good children receives gifts. Unlike Christmas in America, gifts are opened on Christmas Eve after dinner, where the Christ Child brings presents. Instead of listening for the jingle of sleigh bells children listen for the tinkling of bells that accompanies him. | Austria

5: In Norway Christmas begins on December 13th with the Saint Lucia ceremony. "At the crack of dawn, the youngest daughter from each family puts on a white robe with a sash, a crown with evergreens and tall-lighted candles, accompanied by the other children, the boys dressed as star boys in long white shirts and pointed hats. They wake their parents, and serve them coffee and Lucia buns, lussekatter. The custom goes back to a Christian virgin, Lucia, martyred for her beliefs at Syracuse in the fourth century. The Saint Lucia ceremony is fairly recent, but it represents the traditional thanksgiving for the return of the sun." The festivities continue on December 23rd where the family gathers to eat a porridge that holds an almond, whomever gets the almond wins a prize. A tradition similar to America is on December 24th they go to a church service then have a nice Christmas Eve dinner, and while the children sleep Julenissen (Santa) arrives with gifts. Then on Christmas Day they have a large family meal around noon that lasts for hours. Other Norweigan traditions include the little gnome Nisse who guards the farm animals and plays tricks on children if they forget to leave him a bowl of porridge. Julebukk (Christmas Buck) is a goat like creature that brings gifts between Christmas and New Years Eve. | Norway

6: Germany

7: bChristmas preparations begin December 1st with baking, making gifts and decorations. December 6th is St. Nicholas Day. This is when Christmas starts in Germany. Children leave a shoe or boot by the fireplace and St. Nicholas comes and fills that shoe with candy if the children were good and twigs if the child was bad.Some of the decorations are made out of Chrsitbaumgeback, which is white dough that is molded into shapes and then baked. Small dolls made of fruit are a traditional Christmas toy. Children place letters on their windowsills for Christkind. Christkind is almost like a Christmas angel in the sense that he is a Winged figure who dresses in white and gold clothes and wears a golden crown. Some believe that the Christkind is the Christ Child and that he brings the gifts on Christmas Eve.That doesn’t mean that Santa Clause does not exist in Germany. He also brings gifts on Christmas Eve and he is known as Weihnachtsmann. Another favorite tradition is making very elaborate ginger bread houses. They place advent wreaths on a table with red candles in the center that are lit on each Sunday of advent and then one on Christmas Eve. Children have houses that the windows open to reveal a picture and a countdown to Christmas Day. | German Traditions

8: DENMARK | Unlike the traditional Santa Clause, Denmark has a mischievous elf, Nisse that lives in old farmhouses and plays jokes on the people that lived there. The families that live in the farmhouses want the jokes to not be as harsh so they leave him a bowl or rice pudding or porridge to eat. At the dinner on Christmas eve they eat rice pudding with a magic almond inside. The lucky person who finds the almond in their pudding wins a prize. Like most places Denmark believes that Christmas Eve is a special time that should be held in the highest of respects. It is known as Juleaften and is Denmark's biggest occasion of the entire year. Using bits of wood, bright paper, and straw, the people of Denmark enjoy and take pride in making their own decorations for the Christmas season. They tree is decorated by the parents in secret from the children. The children don't get to view the tree until after Christmas Eve dinner. The candles are lit on the Advent Crown on Each Sunday of Advent.

9: Poland | The Christmas season traditionally begins with the start of advent in Poland. They have special 6am church services known as Roraty. On Christmas Eve wax is poured into a glass of water and a persons fortune can be told through the shapes that come out of it. A favorite Christmas treat is piernik. This a honey cake in a variety of shapes. A common form of decoration is a decoration made of paper chains and electric lights. It is called the pajaki. The Polish also like to use mobiles, egg shells and stars for their decorations. During advent, Gwiadorze or star carriers, walk the streets and sing Christmas carols or recite verses. Christmas Eve is the most important day of the Polish Christmas. It is the first day of fasting and then feasting. They stand outside and wait anxiously in hopes of being the first to spot the fist star of the night which the call the little star. During the Christmas meal Oplatek, a piece of bread with a holy image on top is served, along with 12 different vegetarian dishes.Santa Claus in Poland is known as Swiety Mikolaj

10: Canada | Canadian Christmas traditions are very similar to American traditions. Although some traditions vary from Province to Province. In Labrador turnips are saved and then hollowed so that children can put a candle inside them. In Nova Scotia they sing Christmas Carols each morning. Belsnicklers travel through the different neighborhoods looking for candy or treats and by ringing bells and making lots of noise. In Quebec nativity scenes called Crches are displayed in their homes. Immediately following midnight mass on Christmas Eve they eat pork pie called tourtiere. Santa Claus is the same in both Canada and America.

11: Brazil | A favorite tradition in Brazil is to create a nativity scene that they call Presepio, which means “the bed of straw upon which Jesus first slept in Bethlehem”. Papai Noel is the Brazilian Santa Claus in he is believed to reside in greenland. When he brings gifts to the children in Brazil he dresses in silk because it is so hot. Many attend a midnight mass. Midnight mass is called Missa do Galo and it is the first hour of the Christmas day. During the day on Christmas there is a feast, which they have named Ceia de Natal that means going to the beach. The common decorations are not made of snowflakes or candy canes, but of flowers picked from their own gardens. They celebrate but setting off fireworks when the evening comes. The Christmas celebration continues until Three Kings Day on January 6th. That is the day that the three wise men brought their gifts to baby Jesus.

12: France | Once dinner is over and the family has retired to bed, they leave a fire burning and food and drinks on the table in case the Virgin Mary comes. Children leave their shoes or wooden clogs called sabots in the hearth for le petit Jesus to fill with presents. In the north of France, children are given gifts on December 6, which is St. Nicholas' Day, instead of Christmas Day. The adults give each others presents on New Year's Day. Families will have a three kings cake with a bean hidden in it and whoever finds the bean in their slice is the king or queen for the day.The French have a feast called le reviellon. The French have several different main courses for the feast depending on the region of France for example in Alsace the main course is goose, in Burgandy they have turkey with chestnuts, and in Paris they have oysters and pat de foie gras.

13: During advent which lasts for forty days people fast for forty days people are supposed to not eat meat, poultry or dairy products however some people only do this during the last week of Advent. On Christmas Eve people wear a new outfit and go to church. The church service ends at midnight with the ringing of the church bells. After church everyone goes home to have fata which is a special Christmas meal consisting of bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat. On Christmas it is a tradition for people to visit their friends taking with them a type of shortbread called kaik and give it to the people they visit. the kaik is eaten with a drink called shortbat. Christmas is considered a public holiday. | Egypt

14: Like friends, It's the Old Ornaments that mean the most. | Australia is below the equator so during their Christmas it is summer. It is not uncommon for it to be near 100 degrees Fahrenheit so instead of staying inside for Christmas they spend their time outside. For Christmas dinner Australians have a meal of turkey, ham, pork, and flaming Christmas plum pudding for dessert.Some people will have their meal as a picnic on a local beach, this is especially true for tourists. some times Santa will make special appearances but instead of appearing at a mall he goes to the beach and will arrive on a surfboard or a boat. Every year on Christmas eve people gather for Carols by Candlelight and sing Christmas songs in the light of many many candles this is most popular in Melbourne where tens of thousands of people gather. | AUSTRALIA

15: In Sweden Christmas trees are put up two days before Christmas and are decorated with candles, apples, Swedish flags, small gnomes wearing red tasseled caps, and straw ornaments.Instead of just Santa delivering presents there is a little brownie named Jultomten who helps Santa Claus deliver presents to the children who were good. It used to be that after Christmas Eve dinner someone would dress up as a tomte and hand out presents. A tomte is a gnome that lives under the floorboards of the house and wears red robes and a beard and rides a goat. The Swedish now celebrate Christmas with Santa instead of the tomte. Christmas dinner or Julafton consists of julskinka, or Christmas ham, pickled pigs feet,lutfisk, or dried codfish, many different kinds of sweets, and Risgryngrot a special rice porridge with an almond hidden inside and whoever finds it in his or her bowl will marry within a year. | SWEDEN

16: "Although it's been said, many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!" | Christmas in Belgium occurs on December 6th. There are two Santa Clauses in Belgium. One is named St Nicholas he visits the people who speak Waloon. St Nicholas visits twice once on December 4th to find out who was good and who was bad then once more on December 6th to give good kids presents and bad kids twigs. The other Santa is Pere Noel, who he comes only once on December 6th with a companion named Pere Fouettard to give presents or twigs to those who speak French. The reason that both Santa Clauses come on December 6th is that, that is their birthday. Recently there has been more people celebrating Christmas on December 25th and in a more american fashion and that is because of the movies and storybooks from America. | BELGIUM

17: Korean Christmas: The Korean Christmas is similar to western Christmas with a few differences. Korean Christmas cards are less expensive than American Christmas cards. They also have landscape scenes on them and say "seasons Greetings" instead because everyone doesn't celebrate Christmas. Christian Churches hold the same Mass's and add on baptisms on Christmas day. Not all families have trees for Christmas and the ones that do decorate mildly compared to the U.S. The big Christmas tradition is Caroling and when they come to your house it is tradition to invite them in for hot drinks and treats.

18: Have a Holly Jolly Christmas | Japanese Christmas: The Christians in japan make up less than one percent, but you will see that japanese celebrate Christmas with as much vigor as Christian nations. They started by not celebrating it at all and manufacturing items that were sold for Christmas. Then it eventually was absorbed into there society were they have extremely lavish decorations not just in stores and homes, but in communities as well. Hoeiosho is the japanese name for santa. One big difference between Japan's Christmas tradition and ours is that the favorite Christmas music is Daiku, ninth symphony by Beethoven

19: Chinese Christmas: Chinese don't really celebrate Christmas the holiday is New Years. The Chinese who do celebrated Christmas are ones with young families that have children. Yet, they still have decorations and businesses still decorate for the holiday. Most, families don't ,although, it is becoming more popular as the years go by with the growth of christianity in China. The biggest tradition is Dec. 27 when the chinese go to church and at the end the priest reads all the names of the people who live in the area. When he is done they place them on paper horses then burn them in hopes that they will rise from the ashes and go to heaven.

20: Tibetan Christmas: There are even fewer Christians in Tibet. Yet they do practice Christmas in a very private celebration in there homes which includes very little customs of western traditions. Gifts are rarely given only to little children and they are very modest due to the poverty level in this country. The biggest way of celebrating is have a meal with the family and prayer that day. Sometimes they will travel to camps or cities were there is a stronger Christian population that family lives at and celebrate there. This country really doesn't celebrate Christmas at all.

21: Philipene Christmas: In the Philipenes they celebrate Christmas with a lot of tradition mixed strongly with Catholic Christian views. Everyone attends mass at midnight of Christmas eve at church then shortly after they have a grand feast. Then the following day Christmas morning they go to mass at 10a.m. after mass they visit there elders to pay respect which, is an old tradition that has been practiced long before Christianity. After paying respect the families eat another great meal or small one. If they eat a small lunch they save the grand meal for dinner. After lunch is when the children open there presents. Now, the givers of presents is parents but, Godparents are expected to give the majority of gifts to the children.

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Kylie
  • By: Kylie
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  • Title: Christmas Around The World
  • Tags: christmas
  • Published: about 5 years ago