Christmas Around the World Germany

Evergreen:The German Tannenbaum is usually put up and decorated on Christmas Eve, though some families opt to erect their tree during the Advent season. Traditionally, the Germans used the fir tree, but nowadays the spruce is widely used. Decorations may include tinsel, glass balls or straw ornaments and sweets. A star or an angel tops the Tannenbaum, and beneath the tree, a nativity scene might be set up and the presents next to it. Germans also usually continue to use real lit candles instead of electric lights on the tree.

The first known Christmas tree was set up in 1419 in Freiburg by the town bakers, who decorated the tree with fruits, nuts, and baked goods, which the children were allowed to remove and eat on New Year's Day. The town guilds and associations first brought evergreens inside their guild houses and decorated them with apples and sweets. Candles were eventually added to the decorations. Already since the Middle Ages, ordinary Germans had been bringing yew, juniper, mistletoe, holly, evergreen boughs - any plant that maintained its green color through the lifeless and dreary winter months - into their homes. Even in areas where forests were sparse, the tradition took hold; people in Northern Germany, for instance, used Christmas pyramids (Weihnachtspyramiden) in lieu of Christmas trees. The pyramid form was created using sticks that were then decorated with fir branches. By 1800, the custom of bringing a tree into the home was firmly established in many German-speaking regions and continued to spread throughout Europe, and eventually, around the world. The custom was brought to North America by German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 18th century.

Evergreen Tree during winter

Okay so now let's talk about a different country. Let's talk about Great Britain!

In great Britain people don't send letters to Santa, They put alcohol on it and burn it in a fire so he will receive it up the chimney.

Boxing Day

Boxing Day follows Christmas day and is a nationally recognized holiday in the UK, also called a bank holiday. It was originally the day for servants and tradesman to receive presents from their employers but it’s now basically a big shopping day for Brits. It’s similar to Black Friday in the U.S. Your boss may wonder why you didn’t go into the office as it’s not an official holiday in the U.S. Maybe celebrate this one after work and get your shop on?

France

In Southern France, a log is burned in people's homes from Christmas Eve until New Years Day. A long time ago, part of the log was used to make the wedge for the plough as good luck for the coming harvest.

On Christmas Eve, children leave their shoes by the fireplace to be filled with gifts from Pere Noel. In the morning they also find that sweets, fruit, nuts and small toys have been hung on the tree.

Spain

In Spain instead of having Kriss Kringle, St.Nicholis, or Santa, They have three kings. Just six days later comes the most magical moment of the year, especially for the little ones. On 6 January they get their presents from the Three Wise Men. In Spain it is Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar who bring Christmas presents to children who have been good during the year. After writing a letter, in which they tell the Kings which presents they would like, the long-awaited day finally arrives. The Wise Men parade through the streets of cities, towns and villages all over Spain in traditional cavalcades. Their camels loaded with presents, they go through the streets handing out sweets, accompanied by their royal pages. Little by little the colourful floats go by, entertaining all the family. Of all these parades, the one in Alcoi, Alicante, is particularly outstanding - it is Spain's oldest. When night falls, children go to bed early to wait for Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar to come in through the window and leave presents in their shoes.

"Mass of the rooster"

Most people in Spain go to Midnight Mass or 'La Misa Del Gallo' (The Mass of the Rooster). It is called this because a rooster is supposed to have crowed the night that Jesus was born. Most families eat their main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve before the service.

Italy

The Christmas season lasts for 3 weeks in Italy. It goes from December 17 to January 6.

During this time children go from home to home reciting Christmas poems and singing.

In Italy, children wait until January 6, Epiphany to open their presents.

In Italy they have La befana

In Italian folklore, Befana (pronounced [beˈfaːna]) is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St Nicholas or Santa Claus. A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany or in Italian La Festa dell'Epifania.

Let's talk about Netherlands / Holand

It is easy to celebrate holiday traditions from the Netherlands, and many families - both with Dutch ancestry in other countries and those who live in the Netherlands - have created personal blends of traditional celebrations and modern holidays.

Some families, for example, split gift giving between Sinterklaas Avond and December 25, and different sides of the family may host similar meals on each day for everyone to share. However you choose to celebrate this universal holiday in a uniquely cultural way, you will be sure to have a very Vrolijk Kersfeest!

Let's talk about Sweden!

Instead of Santa they have Jultomten, or just tomten, is the being who brings the gifts at Julafton (the evening of December 24). The gifts are called julklappar, and are probably a modern version of the Yule log. Jultomten does not climb down the chimney, he delivers the gifts in person. This task is often performed by an old man who secretly dresses up as JultJultomten, or just tomten, is the being who brings the gifts at Julafton (the evening of December 24). The gifts are called julklappar, and are probably a modern version of the Yule log. Jultomten does not climb down the chimney, he delivers the gifts in person. This task is often performed by an old man who secretly dresses up as Jultomten and knocks at the door with a sack of gifts.

The origin of the modern Jultomte is a hybridisation between the pre-Christian being called Tomte and the (originally Dutch) Santa Claus. A Tomte is mostly portrayed as a small, gnomelike spirit being who lives on a farm and takes care of it (or the family) while the farmer family are asleep. He might be a gift giver if the farmers treat him and the livestock correctly. The tomte is an echo of ancient ancestral cult. It is thought that the tomte was considered a spirit of previous generations at the homestead, and there are references to them following the family/clan, when they move. Despite its different cultural roots, the Jultomte (Tomte of Jul) is today portrayed similarly to the commonly known image of Santa Claus.

That is what tomte looks like

Poland:In Poland, Christmas Eve is a day first of fasting, then of feasting. The Wigilia feast begins at the appearance of the first star. There is no red meat served but fish, usually carp. The supper, which includes many traditional dishes and desserts, can sometimes last for over two hours. It is followed by the exchange of gifts. The next day, the Christmas Day, is often spent visiting friends. In Polish tradition, people combine religion and family closeness at Christmas. Although gift-giving plays a major role in the rituals, emphasis is placed more on the making of special foods and decorations.

Switzerland:Christmas Trees are popular in Switzerland and are often bought and decorated on Christmas Eve. Some people like use real candles on the tree, which are traditionally lit on Christmas Eve (when the presents are being opened!) and on New Year's Eve (for good luck).

Ukraine:Christmas Traditions in Ukraine. Christmas in Ukraine is celebrated January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar as in most of other Orthodox Christian countries. ... In most parts of Ukraine on the Christmas Eve people create so-called 'Vertep' (means cave in ancient Greek). These are scenes from Bible of Jesus birth.

Russia:A matryoshka doll (Russian: матрёшка; IPA: [mɐˈtrʲɵʂkə] ( listen), matrëška), also known as a Russian nesting doll, or Russian doll, is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. ... Matryoshka dolls are often referred to as "babushka dolls", babushka meaning "grandmother" or "elderly woman".

Mexico

Poinsettia plants are native to Central America, especially an area of southern Mexico known as 'Taxco del Alarcon' where they flower during the winter. The ancient Aztecs called them 'cuetlaxochitl'. The Aztecs had many uses for them including using the flowers (actually special types of leaves known as bracts rather than being flowers) to make a purple dye for clothes and cosmetics and the milky white sap was made into a medicine to treat fevers.

U.S.A

IN the U.S.A (where I live) we have Santa Claus and he comes and gives you gifts, you leave milk and cookies for him. he is allergic to peanuts. So don't give him peanut butter cookies.

Credits:

Created with images by Supermac1961 - "German flag flying against a blue sky" • ryan037 - "evergreen" • 27707 - "union jack flag red" • Hans - "flag italy blow" • Theme Park Tourist - "untitled image" • AJEL - "netherlands flag dutch flag" • Omar Omar - "Mexicali6" • Identity Photogr@phy - "Flag"

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