One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is seeing how different people around the world celebrate Christmas. The melting pot of people who make up America have brought so many traditions with them that you may see many different ways of celebrating this festive occasion in and around Crestview. For many people, Christmas is traditionally celebrated on December 25, but many other cultures celebrate for several days (or nights). For instance, in Germany it’s much more common to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. Let’s take a look at how some people around the world celebrate!
From December 16 to Christmas Eve, children in Mexico often perform Posadas, which is the Spanish word for “Inn.” During these parades from house to house (kind of like the English tradition of caroling), children hold luminaries to ‘light the way’ and commemorate Joseph and Mary’s journey to the inn in Bethlehem. The Mexican people also use another kind of play called the Pastorelas, which are often comical accounts of the shepherds who find their way to attend Jesus’s birth. One of the Mexican traditions you might see in the U.S. is the cooking of tamales for the holiday.
Young couples in Japan often treat Christmas Eve as a fancy date night. But one of the most interesting traditions of Christmas in Japan is that the traditional meal is fried chicken, thanks to a 1970s advertising campaign by Kentucky Fried Chicken. Fast-food restaurants in Japan that offer fried chicken experience some of their busiest times of the year during the Christmas season. And then there’s the Japanese Christmas Cake. In the United States, fruitcake is common during the holidays, but in Japan it’s a sponge cake with white buttercream frosting and strawberries — essentially strawberry shortcake! If you’re ever traveling in Japan at Christmas, you can also expect to hear a familiar refrain: Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ is the most popular piece of Christmas music.
Norway and Great Britain
This Christmas tradition is a little different, as it’s a longstanding tradition built on a somber time in the world. Each year, Norway gives an enormous Christmas tree to the United Kingdom to honor and give thanks to the people of Great Britain for the aid that the citizens of the UK gave to Norway during the second World War. Eventually the tree is transported to Trafalgar Square, where it’s trimmed and decorated. The lighting ceremony for this tree is a huge moment, as thousands of people come to see the lights when they’re finally turned on.
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Peace on Earth
However you celebrate Christmas (or your own version of the holidays), we hope that this will be a time of kindness, giving, and reflection. Peace on Earth, good will to men.
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