Christmas is celebrated in many ways,
For children in different places,
Religion and social customs,
Help determine what each person faces,
A lot of tastes, sights, smells and sounds,
Are found in cultural spaces,
Synagogues, Mosques and Churches,
Enjoy celebrations of many races,
One thing is for certain at this time of year,
Families from all over gather from far and near.
~ Mr. J Warman
In America there are many traditions that are influenced by France, Poland, UK, Italy and Mexico. The traditional western European families favor “Turkey with all the trimmings”. Eastern Europeans favor the polish sausage, cabbage dishes and soups.
The New England states Christmas shops are open all year round. Carol singing, reindeer and snowmen are part of the celebration along with a spectacular light show.
Santa Claus finds his way into children homes by leaving presents for kids that have been good all year and stockings of coal for those that have not, so the tale goes.
Popular scene is the “Nativity Scene”. Using the crib to tell the story was made popular by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. In Naples there is a still a street of nativity scene makers called the ‘Via San Gregorio Armeno’.
Old Italian customs is for children to go out carol singing wearing Shepard hats and sandals. On Christmas Eve, many Italians do not eat meat they will eat more seafood instead, it is known as The Feast of the Seven Fishes (‘Esta dei Sette Pesci’ in Italian).
On Christmas day ‘Babbo Natale’ (Santa Claus) might bring children small gifts.
During the month of December small gifts are given up until the day of Christmas. Another tradition in parts of Norway, families light a candle every night from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.
Norwegian Christmas Tree decoration are small paper baskets called ‘Julekurver’ which made in the shape of a heart. Popular Christmas bread is ‘Julekake’, which has raisins, candied peel and cardamom in it.
The main meal is normally pork or mutton ribs served with ‘surkal’ (white or red cabbage, finely chopped and cooked with caraway seeds and vinegar) and potatoes.
Christmas is a time to reflect, remember and rediscover the year with family and friends. It is time to extend our branches to those in need as the story goes in the children’s book “The Giving Tree”. Whether opening a door for someone, a smile to a passer-by or a helping hand are all important to those in need. Look to your community, friends and family this holiday season and celebrate humanity.
To learn more about Christmas Around the World visit WhyChristmas.com and read more about this special holiday and how other countries celebrate Christmas.