How to celebrate Christmas in other countries of the world
Christmas for residents of many countries of the world is one of the most important events of the year. It is customary to celebrate it bright, fun and «tasty.»
In the CIS countries, the traditions of celebrating this celebration are almost the same, but I wondered how representatives of other nations and states are preparing for such a significant date. In this article I will tell how to celebrate Christmas in other countries of the world, and tell you about the most interesting customs.
Traditions of different countries
The day Jesus was born was called Merry Christmas. But despite this, Christians and Catholics celebrate it on different days.
For example, for the followers of Christianity, Christmas falls on January 7, and for Catholics — on December 25. Nevertheless, the meaning of this momentous event is the same — everyone glorifies Jesus Christ and rejoices in his birth.
In addition, each country has its own traditions and customs, which give the holiday some peculiarity and originality.
Austrians start preparing for Christmas in 4 weeks. This period is called the “advent”, during which it is customary to observe fasting, decorate the house and prepare gifts for loved ones.
The main Christmas decoration is a wreath of Christmas tree or fir branches and 4 candles. As a rule, they decorated the table, and every Sunday the Advent was lit by one candle.
Last week before Christmas is the time to prepare gifts, and they are usually not bought in stores, but in Christmas markets and fairs.
In houses, traditionally, a live Christmas tree is installed and beautifully decorated with toys, sweets and tinsel. Instead of garlands, candles are usually used that create a special festive atmosphere, but their ignition cannot be called safe.
Get rid of her January 6th. Celebrate Christmas in the evening of December 24, in a close circle of family.
The main treat for a festive dinner is roasted carp or fried goose. Also on the table is necessarily present pastries.
At the end of the celebration, those present in the house light up the sparklers and exchange gifts.
In England, they usually prepare for Christmas in a few weeks. First of all, the house is decorated with garlands, sprigs of mistletoe and holly.
Also, these plants are traditionally present in the festive wreath, which adorn the front door.
A lush Christmas tree or fir tree is installed in the house, and it is richly decorated with toys, tinsel and lanterns. Gifts must be prepared in advance, even special promotions are held in the stores, allowing you to purchase goods with big discounts.
For the English, Christmas is a family celebration. It is customary to celebrate it in the parental home, where they arrange a gala dinner, browse family photos, exchange gifts and sing Christmas songs.
The main treat is baked turkey with gooseberry sauce, which is usually cut by the host. As the main dessert, pudding is served, which traditionally is prepared by the whole family, at the same time making wishes, and putting a ring, a coin, a thimble and a button into it. Depending on what little thing gets caught in a piece of pudding, next year a person will have a certain event:
- ring — marriage;
- coin — financial well-being;
- thimble — unmarried life for a woman;
- button — a single life for a man.
Despite the external severity and restraint, the Germans love holidays, and always celebrate them on a grand scale. For them, Christmas is not a one-day event, but a special holiday period, which begins on November 11, and is called the “fifth season”.
These days in city squares they organize fairs and various fun events where thousands of people converge — they talk, sing songs, dance, drink mulled wine and eat traditional dishes.
The direct celebration of Christmas takes place on the evening of December 24th. By this time, close down markets, restaurants and shops, empty the streets.
Residents of Germany celebrate this day in the family circle for a delicious dinner, followed by an exchange of gifts. 9-11 dishes are usually put on the table, the main of which are fried carp or roast pork with sauerkraut, and potato salad.
At night in the churches reign Mass, which goes most families. In the morning, everyone gathers again at the table to taste a stuffed goose, symbolizing good luck and prosperity.
Preparation for Christmas in Denmark begins with the first November Friday. Festive paraphernalia appears in the stores and in the markets, including Christmas trees, cypresses and pines. In addition, on this day the first batch of Christmas dark beer with a sweet aftertaste is produced.
Streets are decorated with festoons, thatch goats and red hearts. In urban areas establish central trees, under which put a box to collect money in need.
Danes decorate their houses in red and white colors, using Christmas decorations, tinsel, garlands, candles and various souvenirs. A week before the celebration, they get a special candle with 7 divisions, and they set it on fire every day, giving only one division to burn out.
The celebration usually takes place in the family circle. Relatives at 7 o’clock in the evening gather at the table, and begin the Christmas dinner. The main treat is pork roast with sweet and sour cabbage or roast goose, and potatoes are traditionally served as a side dish.
For dessert, be sure to prepare rice pudding with cherry syrup.
In Denmark, they believe in gnomes, and believe that they protect homes from trouble, support the well-being of the family and are responsible for the yield in the new year. Therefore, the inhabitants of the country are trying in every possible way to appease them, and on Christmas Eve they must bring to the attic treats, including a spoonful of porridge.
2 weeks before Christmas, active preparation for this important event begins. In addition to decorating the house and buying food for a festive meal, there is a tradition in Iceland, which is to put children’s shoes on window sills. It is believed that they should put gifts Joulasveyna — Christmas creatures that look like little old men.
There are 13 of them, and every night one of them comes to the home of Icelanders to play pranks and leave a present.
Celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24th. Relatives and friends gather for a festive dinner, where the main treat is a white partridge or ham, baked in honey glaze, which is sometimes supplemented with pineapples. On this day, it is not customary to drink alcohol — it is replaced with the traditional drink yolael, which is a mixture of orange soda and malta, resembling kvass.
For dessert, they usually serve gingerbread cookies, cakes and sweets, but the main “sweet” is gifts that are exchanged after dinner.
In Slovakia, there is an interesting tradition, which is somewhat similar to the Icelandic custom, and it consists in exposing children’s shoes on the windowsill. Children do it on Saint Day. Mikulas, who falls on December 5, in the hope of receiving a gift.
According to legend, Mikulas comes accompanied by an angel and a devil who help him decide whether a child behaved well and whether to leave him a gift.
Slovaks begin to celebrate Christmas on the Holy evening of December 24th. The whole family is going to dinner at this day. The table is covered with a beautiful tablecloth, and in the corners under it are put coins — it is believed that in this way financial well-being is attracted to the house.
In order for no one to be ill next year, they put a metal object under the table. To strengthen the family ties the legs of the table are twisted with a chain.
Also traditionally decorate the house, and decorate a Christmas tree or pine.
Among the Christmas treats must be present such dishes as baked carp, cabbage soup and gingerbread. After the feast, everyone exchanges gifts. On December 25, Slovaks gather in small companies, dress up, take musical instruments and go from house to house, singing carols.
Thus, they wish people a prosperous next year, and exorcise evil spirit from their homes.
On the island of Cyprus, Christmas is celebrated on December 25, and before that a strict 40-day fast is observed. On the eve of the celebration each housewife should bake kulluri — Christmas bread.
Also at the dinner table, there are always traditional dishes, including stuffed chicken or turkey, homemade pasta, cake, ravioli and various sweets.
In the early morning of December 25, island residents wake up with bells ringing. Families go to church to listen to the Holy Liturgy about Jesus Christ.
The celebration begins at lunch. During the feast, 3 obligatory toasts are pronounced: for high yields next year, for good health, and for freedom.
For dessert, they serve a cake, which the host must cut, the first piece is meant for Jesus, the second for the poor wanderer and the house, and only then they treat the people sitting at the table.
For Italians, Christmas is a purely family holiday, which is customarily celebrated beautifully and in a big way. In Italy, they decorate not only houses, but also city streets — they set up decorated Christmas trees, it is not uncommon to cover the sidewalks with red paths and hang garlands.
During holidays, dzamponyara walk along the main streets — this is the name for people who entertain people with music, dancing and performances.
On the evening of December 24, families gather around the holiday table, where they must have traditional noodles, which are called tagliatelle, as well as fish dishes. The next day, arrange a Christmas dinner, which is going to only relatives.
Among the treats, mainly meat dishes, and for dessert traditional panettone, torrone or pandoro pies are served.
Despite the fact that Serbia celebrates Christmas according to Orthodox traditions, it still has some elements of paganism. Residents of the country celebrate the birth of Christ on January 7, but active preparation begins on the 5th. It is believed that this day can not punish children, because next year they will be naughty.
On January 6 they slaughter a lamb or a piglet, decorate the house, prepare festive dishes, and also the hostesses bake special bread, into which they put a coin. All households should eat piece by piece, and whoever gets a coin will be rich next year.
Early in the morning of January 6, the head of the family with children and grandchildren goes to the forest to pick up the badniak, while notifying the villagers about their intentions with a shot from a hunting rifle. Badnyak is a freshly chopped log of young oak.
It must be in the house for Christmas. City residents buy badnyak on the market.
After that, the whole family goes to church for divine liturgy.
The festive feast begins in the early morning of January 7th. All family members must wear something new.
The main treat is a roasted pig or lamb, slaughtered the day before. It is served with stewed sauerkraut.
For dessert, usually cooked small cakes and cake.
Preparing for Christmas in the Czech Republic begins with decorating the house. Here it is customary to decorate a Christmas tree, only it is not cut, and they buy it live, in a pot.
Gifts are placed under the holiday tree, which according to the legend is not brought by Santa Claus or Santa Claus, but by Ezhishek — as the Czechs call Jesus Christ.
In the Czech Republic, Christmas is celebrated on December 24th. In the morning on this day, it is necessary to wash with cold water, and the villagers go to the stream. In addition, every year the inhabitants of Prague go with the whole family to the Vltava River, on the coast of which the fishmongers are located.
According to tradition, you need to catch or buy live carp, and release it into the water. After that, you can go home and start a Christmas dinner, where the main dish is usually carp.
For dessert, it is customary to serve a wicker cake called “Vanochka” and cookies.
On December 26, carollers go from house to house, sing songs, dance and wish for happiness in the new year. In the old days, negligent men were driven out of the house on this day, but today they put a bundle of things near their beds, as if hinting that it was time for them to start arranging their lives on their own.
At Christmas, girls always wondered. For example, to find out if she will marry next year, it was necessary to eat an apple on the threshold of the house and if after that a man passes by, then the wedding will be.
In Japan, few people celebrate Christmas, because among the inhabitants of the country only 1% profess Christianity. But, despite the fact that this holiday is not nationwide, on the streets you can see artificial Christmas trees decorated with garlands, toys, hearts, cupids and bells.
The Japanese celebrate Christmas in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. They do not praise Jesus, but confess feelings to a loved one, or are looking for their soul mate on this day.
Celebrate the celebration on December 25 and, as a rule, in a close circle of family and close people. Couples in love arrange a romantic dinner, and family people have a tradition, according to which the owner of the house should buy a biscuit cake with cream, and bringing it home, cut and treat all households and guests.
Let’s sum up
- In any country, Christmas is considered a family holiday, and it is usually celebrated in the parental home.
- On holiday it is customary to decorate a house and install a dressed Christmas tree.
- At Christmas, be sure to give gifts to each other.
- The main purpose of the celebration is not only to glorify Jesus Christ, but to unite the family.
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