The fact that Christmas is a time of joy is certainly recognized practically all over the world. Every country, however, celebrates it in its own way. Traditions and legends, in fact, vary greatly depending on the culture, and influence the way people celebrate this holiday.
Let’s discover together the most particular and unique customs, which lead us to talk about “Christmases Around the World“.
Christmases Around the World – Europe
In France, children place their shoes neatly, because the Child Jesus will spend the night of the 24th storing his gifts inside them.
He will also decorate the Christmas tree with fruit and sweets. It is tradition to light a log of wood to warm Jesus during the cold night. From this custom, also derives one of the most popular Christmas sweets, the bùche de Noêl.
In Spain, however, the most celebrated day in the Christmas period is December 28, the day on which the Reyes, the Three Kings, arrive. On horseback or in carts, they parade through the cities and distribute sweets and candies.
In Finland, in addition to the classic Christmas tree, people prepare a second tree for the birds outside the houses. It is, in fact, a sheaf of wheat tied to a pole and decorated with appetizing seeds. Also in other countries there is this nice thought about the small birds that fill with their chirping the hours of the day. In Germany, for example, people spread wheat on the roof of their houses so that even the birds can celebrate Christmas Day.
Christmas Legends in Asia
In India, Catholic churches are festively decorated to hold the Midnight Mass, which usually lasts 2 or 3 hours. Tree decorations are not on a fir tree, but on large bananas. The Indians in this period accentuate their sense of hospitality, which is already considered sacred. In fact, they visit their loved ones and welcome them, exchanging fruit, sweets and flowers and singing with them. Even Indians of non-Christian religion participate in some way in the celebrations, whose principles are close to other celebrations typically Indian.
In Japan Christmas did not exist and, very recently, it was borrowed from Western countries. It is celebrated by decorating the cities with Christmas trees and typical Japanese lanterns on every corner of the street. There are gifts and the wealthiest families give something to the poorest so that they too can have a good time on this feast day. The figure who replaces Santa Claus and brings the gifts is Hoteiosha.