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Christmas Around the World

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Christmas, one of the most beautiful times of the year to cozy up with hot chocolate as
you watch beautiful white flakes cover the ground. But let’s take a little trip around the world
seeing how December 25th is celebrated…
In America as you know the tradition is for kids to leave christmas cookie out for Santa
with a big cup of milk. The families usually get together for a festive meal and exchange gifts. It
is customary to send and give Christmas cards to people. A lot of people write Xmas instead of
Christmas as a short way to symbolize the cross.
France on the other hand starts celebration a little early, on the 6th of december they
start with St Nicholas day. On this day the children get sweets and little gifts. Later on on
Christmas eve, Children put their polished shoes out in front of the chimney and so that ‘Père
Noël’ (Father Christmas) fills the shoes with sweets. Christmas Day is celebrated with large
feasts and present exchanges.
Iceland has a similar shoe approach, children put their shoes on the windowsill so the
‘Yuletide Lads’, the Santa Claus, fills the shoes with little gifts. Celebrations start on the 24th
with families getting together and enjoy good food and a visit midnight mass.
Now taking it over to the Philippines, there is a tradition of having a Christmas
lantern,called a ‘paról’. The lantern is star-shaped, in remembrance of the the star of Bethlehem,
and mostly made out of bamboo and paper.
Singapore’s main focus is the details, decorations with masses of tiny fairy lights.
Stunning decorations can be seen everywhere in the main shopping districts. This is considered
unusual because of how commercialized it is, when Singapore is extremely Christian based.
In Australia, the weather is a little different than America so it is tradition in the weeks up
to Christmas to join in Christmas picnics. These picnics are organized by various churches and
sing Christmas carols on the beach. It similar to America’s fourth of july picnic and beach
gatherings just without fireworks.
In Brazil, you will almost always be able to spot a ‘presepio’, also known as nativity
scene, in front of a church. The tales there are that ‘Papai Noel’, or Father Christmas, travels
from Greenland to Brazil to give presents to all the kids. Many cities display Christmas trees just
like America and often celebrate with fireworks. In Brazil, you say ‘Bom Natal’ or ‘Boas Festes’
if you wish somebody Merry Christmas.
South Africans, celebrate Christmas Day with their families holding a ‘braai’, which is
similar to a BBQ, since it is summer season there as well. Many people go to Christmas mass
and attend many music festivals leading up to the day.
It’s amazing to see how different we all are yet be all celebrate the same holiday together.
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and cozies up in front of the fire place.

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The student news site of Bridgeport Central High School
Christmas Around the World