CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD

Germany

In other parts of Germany,the gift bearer is called Kris Kringle or Weihnachtsmann (Christmas man), and he may arrive by mule or white horse. He peeks in a window to check on the children as they sleep.

Germans have Christmas trees just like we do! They use evergreen trees as shown in the picture. (I don't think they will take them inside covered in snow!!)

Great Britain

Holly, ivy, and mistletoe are important parts of the English holiday. Children used to search the woods for branches of holly to decorate their homes.

Mumming is another English tradition. People will dress in costumes and masks to put on Christmas plays.

France

On St. Nicholas Eve French children leave their shoes by the fireplace or radiator in hopes that they, too, will receive treats.

On Epiphany, the French often bake a Twelfth Night Cake called Galette des Rois. there is a a bean or tiny china doll baked inside, and the finder becomes the king or queen for the day.

Spain

Outdoor markets open in December, selling drums, tambourines, small guitars, and other instruments that will accompany groups of people as they sing.

A king cake is a type of cake associated in a number of countries with the festival of Epiphany at the end of the Christmas season; in other places, it is associated with the pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras/Carnival.

Italy

In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve in a similar way to St Nicholas or Santa Claus.

Pizzelle are traditional Italian waffle cookies made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter or vegetable oil, and flavoring. Pizzelle can be hard and crisp or soft and chewy depending on the ingredients and method of preparation.

Sweden

The annual candlelit Lucia procession on 13 December is perhaps one of the more exotic-looking Swedish customs, with girls and boys clad in white full-length gowns singing songs together. Among the youngest, anyone can be Lucia; as the children get older, the competition will harden.

Switzerland

Christkindl or Christkindel are diminutive versions of Christkind. Christkind and Belsnickel are also found among communities of Volga German descent in Argentina. A well-known figure is the Christkind at the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, which is represented by a young woman chosen every year for this task.

church bells are also important

Russia

Before the communist revolution, a character called Babouschka brought the children gifts. Like Italy's La Befana, the story is that Babouschka refused the Three Wise Men food and shelter on their journey to visit Christ Child. So now, according to tradition, she still roams the countryside visiting children's homes during Christmas.

Ukraine

The Ukraine Christmas tree wears a spider web for good luck. There is a story about a poor old woman who didn't have anything to put on her Christmas tree, but when she woke up spider webs were on her tree.

Mexico

The poinsettia is a commercially important plant species of the diverse spurge family. The species is indigenous to Mexico. It is particularly well known for its red and green foliage and is widely used in Christmas floral displays.

United States

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure of Western culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children.

Santa Claus's reindeer form an imaginary team of flying reindeer traditionally held to pull the sleigh of Santa Claus and help him deliver Christmas gifts.

That was Christmas Around the World.

Credits:

Created with images by kevin dooley - "Christmas #33" • Theme Park Tourist - "untitled image"

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