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Christmas Celebrations

Christmas is a popular festival celebrated throughout the world. Though the main theme behind the celebrations is same everywhere, every country has slightly different customs related to Christmas celebration. We are discussing here some of these unique and interesting ways to celebrate Christmas around the world:


A feast on Christmas Eve in Belgium usually starts with a drink and 'nibbles', followed by a 'starter' course such as seafood. It is followed by stuffed turkey and dessert usually comprising of 'Christmas log' - cake made with cream. Father Christmas or 'Saint Nicholas' brings presents to children on December 6th celebrated as 'St. Nicholas Day' long before Christmas. Christmas breakfast consists of special sweet bread called 'cougnou' shaped like a baby Jesus.


Here, Father Christmas is known as Papai Noel and the prosperous hold a gala feast on Christmas Eve consisting of chicken, turkey, ham, rice, salad, pork, fresh and dried fruits along with beer. Those who cannot afford it generally celebrate Christmas with chicken and rice.


Finnish people claim that Santa Claus lives in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturi, north of the Arctic just as people of Greenland claim the home of Santa Claus to be in their country. Hundreds and thousand of letters from all over the world come in the name of Santa Claus to Finland. Finland also has a big tourist theme park called 'Christmas Land' near the said residence of Father Christmas. Finnish people clean their houses and decorate them for three holy days of Christmas including the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. The breakfast on Christmas Eve consists of rice porridge and plum fruit juice followed by decoration of spruce tree for the day. The 'peace of Christmas' is broadcast on radio and TV at mid-day while the traditional Christmas dinner at evening consists of macaroni, rutabaga, carrot and potato with cooked ham or turkey. People visit cemeteries and graveyards to place a candle on the graves of their family members and loved ones.


In France, Christmas is known by the name of 'Noël' and Father Christmas is known as 'Père Noël'. Decorated Christmas trees are a must and Christmas meals are means of family gatherings where good meat and best wine are served.


Germans often place 'Adventskranz', a wreath of leaves with four candles, four weeks before Christmas and on each Sunday of Advent, another candle is lit to welcome the Christmas. Little wooden 'cribs' are kept in homes to welcome the holy child. Father Christmas known as 'Der Weihnachtsmann' brings presents in the late afternoon of Christmas Eve and fish or goose is cooked on Christmas Day.


India has over 26 million Christian population in the country and one can witness caroling processions on streets in the large cities. Special bargains and discounts are available on the occasion of Christmas and go to church and then gather for a Christmas dinner. In some areas, there are lights decorating the outside of the house and yards, while in other areas, only insides are decorated. The regional influences can be seen in South India, where small clay oil-burning lamps are used as Christmas decorations and are placed on roofs and top of the walls like the Hindu festival, Diwali. In Northwest India, the tribal converts sing their special carols the whole night through and tell the story of Christmas to everybody. Mumbai has one of the largest Roman Catholic communities in India and there people create a beautiful Nativity scene as the people come to visit them and admire the artwork. Stars are the main part of Christmas decorations, often in the shape of stars. Christmas trees are either artificial or are often replaced by mango tree or banana plant trimmed with ornaments and garlands. Latvia Latvians' Father Christmas brings presents on each of the 12 days of Christmas while their Christmas Day consists of cooked brown peas with bacon (pork) sauce, small pies, cabbage and sausage. Portugal Parents act as Father Christmas to put presents for their kids to find in the morning under the Christmas tree or in their shoes by the fireplace and the special Christmas meal consists of salted dry codfish with boiled potatoes to be eaten at midnight on Christmas Eve.

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