Christmas is a big holiday not only in the United States, but also in European countries, and in other parts of the world as well.
Costa-Ricans, for example, make the huge models of the stable, where the Christ was born, and they are often made them as big as a room, where they are kept, so that the Christ can be as comfortable as possible in His Manger.
Micronesians, who are mostly Protestant Christians, normally celebrate this day as the church family day. They attend the local church services that include a message from their minister, and a missionary in the area, singing carols and hymns and receiving gifts where strangely each recipient applauds himself while going to receive the gift. The most common church gifts there are two bars of soap.
Since I am originally from the Ukraine, I would like to share some information with my readers on how we celebrate winter holidays over there.
In Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, that are former Republics of the Soviet Union, New Year’s is widely celebrated instead of the religious festival of Christmas.
Normally people have a few days off around New Year’s.
Everyone stays up all night on New Year’s Eve celebrating the coming New Year, exchanging gifts with the family, having a tost with champagne right at midnight, and after that continuing eating and having tosts all night.
After eating for a few hours, many people go outside where the celebration continues: people sing songs in the streets (you can hear music here and there), play snow balls, skate, do sledding and go to the the Main New Year’s/Christmas Tree at the Main Square. Many people stay up till 4-6 am celebrating.
It’s a really fun holiday, and everyone always looks forward to it.
Christmas is still celebrated, but it falls on the 7th of January according to the Orthodox Church Calendar, and it’s not as big of a holiday as in the United States.
Traditional Russian Orthodox Christmas involves special prayers and a fast of 39 days(!) till the first star appears in the sky on Christmas Eve.
The star heralds the beginning of a twelve-course supper, one course each for the twelve apostles.
Traditional Russian New Year’s/Christmas dishes are too many to mention.
They include fish, red and black caviar, variety of salads, cabbage stuffed with rice and beef called golubtsy, cooked dried fruit called kompot and many others.
On Christmas Day, people sing hymns and carols and gather in churches.
Churches are decorated with Christmas trees known as ‘Yelka’, flowers and colored lights.
Russian Santa Clause is called Grandfather Frost (Dedushka Moroz in Russian) and usually distributes presents to children in Russia with the help of his granddaughter called Snow Girl, a pretty girl with long braded hear wearing a long coat and a cute fur hat.
I hope you enjoyed reading my article about “Christmas Traditions Around the World”, and this is just a small piece of information on holidays around the world.
Every country of the world is very unique, and has different traditions of celebrating Christmas.
I personally enjoy celebrating Christmas in the United States, and for me and my family it is the biggest holiday of the year.
Merry Christmas to all my readers! Have a safe and happy holiday!
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