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CHRISTMAS IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

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CHRISTMAS IN
DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
Kolyada E.A.
Christmas in India
Christian community in India
celebrate Christmas with
pomp, gaiety and devotion.
Celebrations of Christmas
festival begin on the eve of
Christmas on 24th of
December and continue till
New Year's Day.
Christmas Day called
'Bada Din' (Big Day)
in Hindi is a national
holiday in India and
people from all
religions join their
Christian friends to
make the most of the
joyous celebrations.
Preparations for Christmas
Preparations begin at least a month in
advance. People clean the house to give
it a fresh new look. Ladies start
preparations for the traditional Christmas
cake. Hectic shopping activity takes place
as everyone buys new clothes for the
festival. Christmas Gifts are also bought
for friends, relatives and kids in the family.
In South India Christians light clay
lamps on the rooftops and walls of their
houses, the same way as Hindus
decorate their homes during the Diwali
Festival. In several states of India a
popular custom is to decorate banana
or mango tree instead of traditional pine
tree. In northwest India, the tribal
Christians of the Bhil tribe go out night
after night for a week during Christmas
to sing their equivalent of carols the
whole night through.
CHRISTMAS IN GOA
Most exhilarating celebration of Christmas can be
seen here. A lot of tourists come to the beaches
Goa during Christmas festival to watch Goa at its
cultural best. One can enjoy Goa music and dance
during Christmas festivities. Catholics in Goa
participate in the traditional midnight mass
services locally called Missa de Galo or Cock
Crow as they go on well in the morning. The
Carnival is the most important event at Goa. This
is similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Christmas in Portugal
The country of Portugal do
celebrate Christmas, because
their
main
religion
is
Catholicism.
They
sing
Christmas songs like "Happy
Christmas",
"Silent
Night",
"White
Christmas".
The
Portuguese, on Christmas eat
boiled cod fish, and they also
eat turkey for lunch. The people
of Portugal open their presents
on midnight, they also decorate
their house with paper ribbons,
candles, flowers.
Christmas in Italy
Celebration lasts for three
weeks, from December 6th to
Christmas Eve, beginning with
a novena, or nine-day period
of religious devotion. The
celebrations end with the feast
of Epiphany on January 6th.
During the novena, children go
from house to house to recite
Christmas poems in return for
small coins with which they
buy sweets.
In another Italian
tradition, children
write letters to their
parents, extending
wishes for a
wonderful Christmas
celebration and
including promises
that they will be
good.
December 24th is a day of abstinence from
meat, but the evening meal is usually a
lavish banquet. It generally includes
capitone, a dish made with fried eels. A
traditional vegetable dish is cardoni, of which
Jerusalem artichokes and eggs are the chief
ingredients. Sweets include torrone, a
nougat candy, and cannoli, or pastries filled
with cream cheese.
Christmas in Africa
Christmas day begins
with groups of carolers
walking to and fro
through the village,
along the roadway, by
the houses of the
missionaries, singing
the lovely carols known
the world around.
Christmas in South Africa is a
summer holiday. There is no snow,
but it has many flowers, many
beautiful varieties of cultivated and
wild flowers being in their full pride.
Dinner is eaten outdoors
with everyone sitting in a
circle to share the meal of
rice, beef and biscuits.
Games are played in the
afternoon, and at night
fireworks light up the sky.
Christmas in Japan
The celebration of Christmas in
Japan is quite different from
western countries.
The major religions in Japan are Buddhism
and Shinto and the population of Christians
is only ВЅ of 1%. In spite of this, Christmas
is a popular festival in Japan.
The main celebration of the festival revolves
around Christmas Eve and not Christmas day.
Though December 25th is not a national
holiday in Japan, Japanese tend to celebrate
Christmas especially in a commercial style.
People of this country celebrate this festival by
eating a 'Christmas cake'. One can find many
variety of Christmas cakes on this occasion.
Exchange of Christmas Gifts
Exchange of Christmas gifts is common
among Japanese on this occasion. Within the
family parents give presents to their children,
but the children do not give presents to the
parents. Reason behind this is that only
Santa bring presents for all.
Like US and Australia, families also have a
Christmas tree on this occasion and now
having lights on the outside of house has
become more popular.
Christmas
in France
Unique and delightful Christmas
traditions are followed in France. The
centre of attraction in all homes is the
Nativity scene that is decorated with
cute little clay figures called 'Santons'
or 'Little Saints'.
These colourful little saints are a special
and age old feature of Christmas in France
and are prepared all round the year by
skilled craftsmen in the south of France.
Popular Santons include shepherds, Magi,
Holy Family besides local characters and
dignitaries.
Christmas Tree is not
so popular but it is
symbolic presence can
be felt in the Christmas
Cake. The traditional
French Christmas
Cake is prepared in the
shape of Yule log and
is called the buche de
Nol, meaning
"Christmas Log“.
On the eve of Christmas, children leave their wooden
clogs called sabots by the fireplace so that their favorite
Christ Child or Pere Noel could fill it with gifts. Children
believe that Pere Noel travels with his companion Pre
Fouettard, who tells Pere Noel about the behavior of
each child in the past year.
Adults usually wait until
New Year's Day to
exchange gifts.
Christmas in Australia
There is summer-like weather during
December in Australia, and most
Australian families go away and spend
their holidays in a resort or on the
beach. Swimming is always popular.
Australians also sing carols by candlelight
and decorate their homes with flowers and
other plants. Generally, Christmas is
celebrated along traditional lines and
families often travel great distances to be
together. Church is attended in great mass
on Christmas Day. Services are often held
very early in the morning.
Many carols sung
are Australian,
celebrating Christ's
birth with an
imagery drawn from
the Australian
Christmas Bush,
which flowers at
Christmas. Other
songs sung and
listened to are
about Snow and
Snowmen.
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