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Got The Christmas Shakes Yet? Share Your Christmas Experience!

24-Dec-2014.By: ELSIE Osho

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It’s Christmas again. It is a season people look up to with excitement and unexplainable anticipation. Research has it that 70 out 100 people that look forward to Christmas and its giving are children and teenagers, while the rest 30 constitutes of the elderly ones in the society. While the latter figure will say it's so because they have had too many Christmas already in their lifetime and have seen it all- the young one’s enthusiasm for Christmas celebration will soon die like ours; others oppose this premonition and put it to them that if they have always had a memorable Christmas every year then they will look forward to more.

You will agree that Christmas comes with a strange feeling, if one wants to call it that. The feelings of happiness, joy, sharing and love swallow everyone up.

Christmas celebrations differ in different part of the world. While some nations of the world welcome the season with open arms and look forward to more times; others don't take it to be anything but just an opportunity for party-starved people to eat, drink, spend excessively and have unlimited fun till the season blows away.

Whether it is celebrated or not, the fact remains that Christmas is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, and it is celebrated culturally by a large number of Christians and non-Christian alike, as it is an integral part of the year-end holiday season.

There are some very strange and unique practices of how the Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world. Just a few will be highlighted.

USA -The United States of America has many different traditions and ways people celebrate Christmas, because of its multi-cultural nature. Many customs are similar to the ones in the UK, France, Italy, Holland, Poland and Mexico. The traditional meal for Western European families is turkey or ham with cranberry sauce. Families from Eastern European origins favor turkey with trimmings, keilbasi(a Polish sausage), cabbage dishes, and soups; and some Italian families prefer lasagne!

Some Americans use popcorn threaded on string to help decorate their Christmas tree!

Serbia Tradition: requires the tying up of their mum and dad. Here it's not traditional to give presents at Christmas, but on the Sundays before. Two Sundays before December 25th the children tie up their mum. She then has to pay a ransom in the form of gifts to be freed. The following Sunday the same happens with dad.

Germany Tradition: this is also practiced in Austria and some parts of Switzerland, St Nikolaus (the saint on whom many countries base Santa Claus. Santa is accompanied by a scary devil-like (Santa's spooky helper) character as a warning to children not to be bad. In France there's a similar figure called La Pere Fouettard.

Italy Tradition: Presents on a broomstick is a good witch called La Befana, who delivers children's presents on January 6th using a broomstick rather than a sleigh. But if you've been bad - expect lumps of coal.

Scandinavia Tradition: Porridge is prepared at home instead of cookies and carrots. Across the region a gnome like character - called Tomte in Sweden and Nisse in Norway - is believed to protect barns and brings presents too. Every Christmas the children leave a bowl of porridge out for him.

Spain Tradition: There's a different sort of Christmas log in Spain. In the region of Catalonia traditional Nativity scenes get a cheeky addition in the form of a character called the ' caganer'. Sometimes they are shepherds, but can even be footballers or politicians.

Australia Tradition: Rudolph the red nosed Kangaroo is very significant to the Australian Christmas celebration. Of course Down Under The Christmas falls in summer. Their tradition has it that Father Christmas swaps his reindeer for 'six white boomers'or kangaroos. It's also traditional to enjoy a barbecue on the beach on the big day.

India Tradition: Instead of decorating a Christmas tree -mango trees are decorated. For Christians on the sub-continent fig trees aren't common. Instead mango trees are often decorated instead and mango leaves used to brighten up homes.

Greenland Tradition: Their Christmas comprises mainly of a rotting bird feast. The hardy folk in the Arctic Circle tucks into some unusual dishes. Kiviakis decomposed bird that has been wrapped in sealskin and buried under a stone for several months. They also feast on mattak, slices of raw whale skin and celebrate.

Ukraine Tradition: Spider webs on the tree. Yes! It may sound more like a Halloween tradition than a Christmas one, but Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with spider webs. Legend says that a magic spider once visited a poor family at Christmas and turned the webs in their home into gold and silver.

Bulgaria Tradition: One of the Christmas traditions is koleduvaneinvolving boys singing carols outside neighbors' houses, then patting them on the back with decorated sticks.

Greece Tradition: Christmas celebration is about basil and burning shoes. Basil is wrapped around a cross and used to sprinkle holy water around the house to ward off mischief making goblins called killantzaroi. It's also traditional to burn old shoes for good luck in the following year.

Venezuela Tradition: Roller-skating to the Church. In the capital, Caracas, roads are closedoff so that locals can bladeto morning mass - they even tie pieces of string and dangle them out of the window, so if they oversleep, passersby will be able to tug on the string and wake them up.

Brazil Tradition: Presents in shoes. Brazilians celebrate the legend that animals gain the power of speech on Christmas night while children here get their presents in their shoes rather than stockings from Papa Noel.

Jamaica Tradition: John Canoe parade. Christmas time is marked by the 'John Canoe' parade, which dates back to the times of slavery, where people dress up in wacky masks and costumes. Curried goat is often on the menu for Christmas dinner.

Mexico Tradition: In the run up to Christmas time the Festival Of The Radishes sees farming folk carve the vegetables into human figures, including those from nativity scenes.

Czech Republic Tradition: Czechs are taught not to eat anything on Christmas Eve until a special dinner is served so that they can try and see a mystical 'golden pig' appear. Another tradition sees a girl putting a cherry twig in water on December 4th. If it blossoms before Christmas Eve the girl will marry the following year.

Poland Tradition: The main meal is on Christmas Eve. Poles have placed a piece of iron under the Christmas dinner table to make sure everyone has strong legs. The table legs have to be strong too - there are traditionally 12 courses, two of which are carp.

Iceland Tradition: There are 13 Santas in Iceland. These Yule lads, more troll like than our traditional Father Christmas, traditionally come down from the mountain one by one during the days of the festive period, leaving presents or rotten potatoes depending on the child's behavior. They have names like Door Sniffer and Meat Hook.

Christmas isn't that widely celebrated in the rural areas of China, but it's becoming more well known. This is because only about one percent of them are Christians. The strange thing is that most of the world's plastic Christmas Trees and Christmas decorations are made in China, but the people making them might not know what they are for!!!

A tradition that's becoming popular, on Christmas Eve, is giving apples. Some people go Carol singing, although not many people understand them or know about the Christmas Story. Jingle Bells is a popular Carol in China!

Every country's way of celebrating Christmas is unique to them. Bringing it home; a reasonable amount of Nigerians seeChristmas as a time to travel back to their home towns while a few see it as a time to travel out, but all see it as a time to really wine-down; on getting to the village they give to their family and loved ones lavishly so the villagers know they have arrived. For the one's that remain in town they stock their refrigerators with chickens and fill their store with yams, bags of rice, groundnut oil etc.. As Nigerians we have a culture of sharing cooked food with neighbors ranging from pounded yam and white soups, rice and chicken stew or goat meat stew... Decorate the house with a Christmas tree, and shape extremely well because the season brings in the slash price syndrome that everyone takes advantage of.

How we celebrate the Christmas is unique to each and every individual as long as we have a good time, and share happiness, love and have fun with our family and friends. Let's reach out to neighbors, friends and colleagues and share the beatitudes and the bliss of the season because it only comes once in a year.

How do you celebrate Christmas? Share your unique Christmas experience with us and let’s have fun together.

Once again we say, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Last Updated: 13-Jul-2017 10:09 AM

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