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Christmas Around The World

Christmas is a popular festival celebrated throughout the world. It is a most awaited festival, which signifies love and harmony, joy and happiness. Though the main theme behind the celebrations is same everywhere, it is celebrated in various ways across the different countries. The variation in the cultures and traditions of these countries resulted

in different styles of celebration. Colorful Christmas decorations, sharing of gifts, sending "season's greetings", having elaborate meals, singing carols, getting together with family and friends, feel good spirit of the season and wishing everyone "Merry Christmas" are some common worldwide Christmas traditions.

Around the world Christmas traditions also include cultural festivities, which are simply a culture's way of celebrating. Many Christmas practices originate in Germanic countries, including the Christmas tree, the Christmas ham, the Yule log, holly, mistletoe, and the giving of presents. Although Christmas decorations, such as a christmas tree, are considered secular in many parts of the world, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia bans such displays as symbols of Christianity. Some communities consisder Christmas a pagan festival that is not sanctioned by the Bible and for that reason, Christmas celebration was banned in Russia from 1917 untill 1922.

The celebration of Christmas was, however, brought about by Christians. Christians in different parts of the world have various traditions for celebrating Christmas, but one thing is in common. Christmas is celebrated in the honor of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior of mankind.

In many countries, corporate companies, schools, and communities celebrate Christmas weeks before 25th december hosting Christmas parties and dances. Thers are some Christmas pageants as well that include a retelling of the story of the birth of Christ. Groups of people and children may go about the neighbourhood singing christmas carols. For some, Christmas is also a great time to do some charity or fund raising activities. On Christmas Eve, a special meal of Christmas delicasies is served. In some regions, particularly in Eastern Europe, these family feasts are preceded by a period of fasting.

In the southern hemisphere, Christmas is during the summer. This is in contrast with the traditional winter iconography, and hence in Australia you see a red fur-coat wearing Santa Claus surfing in for a turkey barbecue on Bondi Beach. Japan has also adopted Santa Claus for its secular Christmas celebration, but New Year's Day is a far more important holiday. In South Korea, Christmas is celebrated as an official holiday.

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