“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open” said, Albus Dumbledore.It is this cheerful and happy season of Christmas that let’s us keep all our differences aside and celebrate it with love and merriment..
The most exciting part of Christmas besides the shopping and the thrill of receiving gifts is the tradition of lighting up and decorating the Christmas Tree. It’s wonderful to see that how everyone’s thought process has come be secular and everyone wants to participate in the Christmas Traditions and bring in the new year exultantly!!
There are so many Christmas Traditions around the world that it is heart warming to see the amount of joyfulness the season brings with it.
India – The diversity of this country is what makes all celebration special. The midnight of the Christmas Eve is most important time for all celebrating Christmas as people attend the midnight mass.People often walk to the mass with their family and friends. From decorating Christmas trees to hosting parties for Christmas, to lighting up their houses and Christmas trees and exchanging gifts with their loved ones, people in India celebrate the festival with cheerfulness. Each house in India is bound to be decorated with a Christmas Star.
USA – United states Of America has many traditions that are practiced while celebrating Christmas considering the diverse population it nests.From turkey meals to threaded popcorn to decorate the Christmas Tree to making Ginger Bread houses are some of the many traditions people practice in USA. People even decorate their houses and leave out cookies and milk for dear Santa and his helpers. Now that’s definitely a wonderful way to celebrate a happy and lit Christmas.
UK – Did you that in United Kingdom it was Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria who popularized decoration of Christmas Trees.From Christmas Cakes to carol singing to enjoying the Boxing Day( the day after Christmas) leave, UK has a fine way of celebrating Christmas by topping it all with wonderful fireworks. The most famous Christmas lights in the UK are in Oxford Street in London and the most famous fireworks are in London and Edinburgh.
Germany – In Germany, one of the biggest part of Christmas is Advent which means ‘coming’ in Latin.It resonates with the coming of Jesus into the world.People use the four Sundays before Christmas to prepare for it. Advent Calendars are used in German homes and people light one candle at the beginning of each week.The Christmas Trees are traditionally bought into the homes on Christmas Eve however if there are small children in the house the trees are secretly decorated by the Mother. Germany is well known for its Christmas Markets where all sorts of Christmas foods and decorations are sold especially the beautiful glass ornaments.
Austria – We all know of the Amigos Santa Claus and St.Nicholas but did you that they have a third amigo known as Krampus who is a big horned monster clothed in rags and carries chains. He’s meant to punish children who have been bad! Well, we definitely do not want anyone scared on Christmas, so let’s be good throughout the year.In Austria, there are huge Christmas markets set up right from November that people flood from across the world. The children believe Christkind brings them gifts and treats. Christkind is described as a golden-haired baby, with wings, who symbolizes the new born Christ.Skiing is pretty famous around Christmas and New years’ in Austria.
Italy – One of the most popular ways of celebrating Christmas in Italy is telling a story of Christmas by using a crib.It is known as the Nativity crib scene.The city of Naples is famous for its cribs for sure. One old Italian custom is that children go out Carol singing and playing songs on shepherds pipes, wearing shepherds sandals and hats. People in all countries believe in sitting down together and having a big family meal while people exchange gifts too.
Japan – The fun part is that Christmas Eve in Japan is celebrated in more of a romantic day than as a religious festival. In Japan, Christmas in known as more of a time to spread happiness and with certain customs being passed on from other countries, people have started celebrating Christmas only a few decades ago. Parties are held for kids and adults alike and people cherish the moments by enjoying themselves to the fullest
Philippines – I love how the length and breadth of this festival is spread out in Philippines. People in the Philippines like to celebrate Christmas for as long as possible! The playing of Christmas carols in shops can start in September! The decorations consist of lanterns and ‘parol’ which is bamboo pole having a lighted star on it. The Noche Buena (midnight feast) is a big, open house, celebration with family, friends and neighbors dropping in to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.You defnitely cannot miss the mesmerizing “Giant Lantern Festival”, hosted by Philippines which has people flocking from across the world to witness it’s beauty.
Canada – Canada too houses people from different traditions and backgrounds and my favorite Canadian being Shawn Mendes and the Canadian Prime Minister – Justin Trudeau . Canadians like to decorate their houses with Christmas Trees, lights and other decorations. There’s often Christmas stockings hung by the fireplace, ready for Santa! People sing carols and exchange gifts along with having meals with family and friends. The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is one of the oldest and largest Santa parades in the world! Going skiing, skating and tobogganing are also popular if there’s snow at Christmas!
Norway – One of the most unorthodox Christmas traditions’ observed in Norway is of people hiding their brooms. It’s a tradition that dates back centuries to when people believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. Well, that would sure make way for some Halloween inspired Christmas.
It’s wonderful to see that almost all countries across the world have large Christmas Markets and being prepping for Christmas at-least a month in advance. People believe in the spirit of unity and togetherness and they display just that on Christmas. From decorating and lighting up trees and their houses to exchange of gifts, Christmas will always be special as long as we stand heart to heart and hand to hand!!