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  1. C H R I S T M A S 2 0 0 7 191 Countries in the world

  2. Christmas TraditionsAround the World Canada Mexico Chile New Zealand EnglandPortugal FinlandRussia GreenlandSweden HungaryThailand Ireland Ukraine Korea Vietnam

  3. Christmas in Canada • During the twelve days of Christmas small groups of belsnicklers, or masked mummers, appear in neighborhoods, ringing bells, making noise, seeking candy or other treats. • Hosts may try to guess who the mummers are and if they guess right the mummer removes his or her disguise and stops making rude noises and actions. • The Christmas Banquet is called reveillion. • After attending midnight mass, families serve pork pies. • In Quebec they display Crèchesor nativity scenes in their homes as the Christmas decoration. Return to Index

  4. Christmas in Chile • Little figures made of clay are placed under the Christmas tree called pesebre. • Father Christmas is known as Viejito Pascuero. • He wishes everyone a Feliz Navidad and Prospero Anc Nuevo. (Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year) • A drink called “Rompon” {eggnog} is served. • Families eat a Christmas pudding made with dried fruit. • At midnight families will sit around the tree to open presents. • On Dec. 25 people usually go to the beach, park or other interesting place. Return to Index

  5. Christmas in England • One of England's customs is mummering. • The English gift giver is called Father Christmas. He wears a long red or green robe, and leaves presents in stockings on Christmas Eve. • The day after Christmas is called boxing day because boys used to go round and collect money in clay boxes. When they were full they would break them open. • Eggs, fruit, spice, lumps of meat and dried plums were added. The whole mixture was wrapped in a cloth and boiled. This is how plum puddingbegan. Return to Index

  6. Christmas in Finland • In the Scandinavian countries, a little gnome named Julenisse puts presents under the tree at night. The children leave porridge out for him. • It is from the Scandinavian countries that we derive most of our “Yule Log” traditions. The dark cold winters inspired the development of the traditions concerned with warmth and light. • The Yule log was originally the entire tree. The tree was brought into the house with quite a ceremony. The end of it would be placed into the hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. The tree was fed into the hearth slowly so that it lasted throughout the Yule season. Return to Index

  7. Christmas in Greenland • Family gatherings, drinking coffee and eating cakes, as well as giving of brightly wrapped presents which might consist of a model sledge(sleigh) or a pair of tusks. • Everyone in the village gets a gift and children go from hut to hut, singing songs. • After eating and singing, everyone gets a piece of Mattak, which is whale skin with a strip of blubber inside. It tastes like coconut but is very tough to chew. • Another food is Kiviakwhich consists of raw flesh of an auk (bird),which has been buried whole in sealskin, for several months. • This is the one night of which the women are waited on by the men. Return to Index

  8. Christmas in Hungary • The main Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve. The evening is called Szent-este or Holy Evening. • On December 6th the children receive a visit from Mikulas or St Nicholas. He arrives wearing the robes of a bishop, with a red miter on his head, a staff in one hand and a sack full of small presents. • Accompanying him a "Devil" boy in a black costume, complete with horns and long tail. He holds a switch made of dry twigs, ready to smack any "naughty" children. • The presenting of nativity plays is an important part of the Hungarian Christmas tradition. Return to Index

  9. Christmas in Ireland • Christmas in Ireland lasts from Christmas Eve to the feast of the Epiphany on January 6, which is referred to as Little Christmas. • Irish women bake a seed cake for each person in the house. • St Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas, is almost as important with football matches. • For children, the WrenBoys Procession is their big event. Boys go from door to door with a fake wren on a stick, singing, with violins, accordions, harmonicas and horns to accompany them. The reason for the ceremony is to ask for money 'for the starving wren', that is, for their own pock. Return to Index

  10. Christmas in Korea • South Korea is the only East Asian country to recognize Christmas as a public holiday. • The children call Santa Claus “Santa Haraboji” (Grandfather Santa) • Many of the Western holiday customs have been embraced by the people, such as gift-giving, sending Christmas cards and decorating trees. • After church services and fellowship they will go caroling to church members homes and are treated to snacks and hot drinks. Return to Index

  11. Christmas in Mexico • Their main celebration is called La Posada.This is a procession of the re-enactment of the search for shelter by Mary and Joseph, before the birth of Jesus. • Santa is not predominant, but the bright red suit is represented in the traditional flower of the season, the poinsettia. • The belief is that a young boy, on his way to see the nativity scene gathered green branches to give as a gift. He was laughed at as he walked. Upon placing the branches near the manger, bright red poinsettia flowers started to bloom. • On Christmas day a piñata is broken. • Those children that have been good also receive a gift on January 6, from the Three Wise Men. Return to Index

  12. Christmas in New Zealand • It is combined with summer holidays, so as well as present-buying and parties, families are preparing for trips to the beach. • The persona of Fr. Christmas has changed and he has become more like the Santa Claus in the United States and Ireland. • As well, people have been forced to change as a result of the Maori culture. The spirits and creatures of this culture resemble the elves and gnomes of the European Christmas traditions. • The story of the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated with a special service. This is appropriate to New Zealanders way of life as they had no motels, and they have many shepherds who take care of their flocks, in doing so, they can see the true meaning of Christmas. Return to Index

  13. Christmas in Portugal • The tradition of gift-giving was defined mostly by the strong Christian religious beliefs of the people. • On the eve of January 5, the children place their shoes along the windowsills and doorways and fill them with carrots and straw. • They do this hoping to lure the Wise Men to their homes to fill their shoes with gifts and treats. • The Portuguese "Christmas log," is a piece oak that burns on the hearth all day. Return to Index

  14. Christmas in Russia • The feast of St. Nicholas (December 6) was observed for many centuries, but after the communist revolution, the celebration of the feast was suppressed. • During the communist years St. Nicholas was transformed into Grandfather Frost. • Babouschka brings gifts for the children. Like Italy's La Befana, the story is that Babouschka failed to give food and shelter to the three wise men during their journey to visit the Christ Child. Return to Index

  15. Christmas in Sweden • Christmas season begins with the St. Lucia ceremony. This begins at dawn on Dec. 13th. The youngest daughter from each family puts on a white robe with a red sash. She wears a crown of evergreens with tall-lighted candles attached. She wakes her parents and serves them coffee and Lucia buns. (Swedish pastry) • Christmas trees are usually put up in the home 2 days before. Decorations consist of apples,candles and little red capped gnomes. • After Christmas Eve dinner, someone dresses up as Tomte or Christmas gnome. The tomte, unlike Santa Claus is supposed to live under the floorboards of the house or barn and ride a straw goat. He distributes gifts. Return to Index

  16. Christmas in Thailand • It is not a holiday in Thailand but is enjoyed and celebrated by the people. • The children attend school on Christmas Day but Santa is usually at the school passing out candy to them. • Schools have beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the middle of the playground. • Many students go to school, that day, with party hats on. Return to Index

  17. Christmas in Ukraine • Sviata Vechera OR "Holy Supper" is the central tradition of the beautiful Christmas Eve celebration. The table is set with a few straws of hay on it, as a reminder of the manger in Bethlehem. • When the children see the first Star in the eastern evening sky (symbolizing the trek of the Three Wise Men) the Holy Supper may begin.. • At the end of the Sviata Vechera the family sings Kolyadky, Ukranian Christmas carols. • Father Frost visits all the children on a sleigh, pulled by only 3 reindeer. • The celebration of Christmas takes place on January 7 and is usually a peaceful and quiet event. Return to Index

  18. Christmas in Vietnam • Christmas (Chung Mung Guiang Suhn) is one of the four most important festivals of the Vietnamese year. • Children put their shoes in the front of the door, to find them with presents in them on Christmas morning. • Chicken soup is served at the Christmas party. Return to Index

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