It’s December! We all know what that means. Yes, the Christmas decorations have already been retrieved from a number of lofts up and down the UK and the huge range of fairy lights have been switched on; we thought it would be interesting to see how the rest of the world celebrates the Christmas season.
Christmas starts early in Hungary; on the eve of December 6th, children clean their shoes and put them outside near a window or door before they go to sleep. In the morning, candies or small toys appear in the shoes in red bags. It’s also a tradition that children visit relatives on 24th December, whilst the Christmas tree and more gifts are delivered to their house by angels and ‘Little Jesus’.
Hungarians aren’t the only country to have more than one day of gift-giving, as in Latvia people believe Father Christmas brings gifts on each of the 12 days of Christmas starting on 24th December, which certainly makes the festive period last longer! Santa must be shattered after all those extra nights working!
Christmas Day falls in the summertime and the warm weather means BBQs and Christmas dinner on the local beach aren’t uncommon. However, decorations still include snow-covered scenes and Christmas trees. Maybe opening the presents on a beach having a BBQ is the way forward for a different Christmas Day!
It could surprise some to know that in Italy, Christmas trees aren’t very common at all, as the Italians instead decorate wooden pyramids with fruit. Christmas Eve see’s a big feast to celebrate the season which can have more than 10 dishes on the menu! And of course the burning of the Yule Log, this has to be kept burning until New Years Day.
Canadians have been known to eat ‘Chicken Bones’ over the Christmas period, something which may not sound like a treat, but is actually pink cinnamon flavoured sweets. Cookie-baking parties are also not uncommon in Canada.
Things are also sweet in parts of the USA, where some Americans thread popcorn on string to decorate their Christmas trees with. Pretty sure we would be eating the popcorn, rather than threading it on a piece of string!
In Caracas, the capital, roads are closed off and people traditionally roller-skate to a morning Church service each day between 16th and 24th December. Often, for fun, some younger children tie a piece of string from their big toe and hang it out of the window before bed, so skaters who pass by in the morning on the way to Mass can tug the strings, that’s definitely a different kind of alarm clock!
Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with artificial spiders and webs, as they believe that if a real web is found in the morning it is a sign of good luck.
The hanging of mistletoe that is considered to be a good omen. Not sure if it’s just all that kissing that’s the good omen!Posted : Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 at 14:46