Christmas is all around the world!

Fron USA to Europe, from Africa and Asia and South America: Xmas is all around!

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Christmas is all around the world!

Christmas is all around the world! The Norwegian Christmas celebrations begin with the feast of December 24, followed by a visit from Julenissen, who brings gifts to children who believe him. After a quiet December 25th, another important celebration follows, Boxing Day, where children, going from door to door, receive small coins from neighbors.

Joulupukki or Christmas Goat is the Santa Claus of the Finns. He too, travels on a sleigh pulled by a reindeer delivering gifts to good children. The Christmas tree, which is erected in Trafalgar Square in London, is considered the best known and most famous in all of Great Britain.

Also in Great Britain it is customary to buy Advent calendars which are open day by day and inside there are chocolates. During the British Empire it was customary to transfer British traditions, customs and habits to the elites of the colonies; several countries even after independence have maintained the same customs as the United Kingdom.

In Germany, Christmas traditions vary from region to region. Following the day of St. Nicholas, which for most children represents the real Santa Claus who brings gifts on Christmas Eve, he places the gifts under the tree after eating a simple meal.

The gifts are brought by Weihnachtsmann, which in German means Santa Claus and resembles St. Nicholas, by Christkind, literally Baby Jesus, a goblin, whose resemblance to the Baby Jesus is the subject of controversy. In some parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Knecht Ruprecht also appears, a little devil who takes the place of Santa Claus to humiliate and kidnap childre In the USA and Canada, the tradition of Santa Claus is essentially the same as that of the Anglo-Saxon; only Quebec follows the French tradition of Père Noël.

Central elements of the US Christmas celebrations are: the Christmas tree, the ice rink at Rockefeller Center in New York and the Christmas decorations of the White House. For even 50 years, Norad has kept an original tradition alive, that is, it traces the Christmas transit of Santa Claus, obtaining considerable attention from the mass media.

In Southern Europe, Christmas is a fusion of modern and ancient traditions that date back to the Holy Roman Empire. Here too: food, religious observances, nativity scenes and gifts are the most important events. In some regions the gifts are purchased for the day of the Epiphany, brought by the Befana, while in others by the Infant Jesus on the day of Christmas Eve or at Christmas as well as for Saint Lucia of Syracuse.

In recent years, the figure of Santa Claus has also become increasingly important in Italy. In Taiwan, December 25 is considered to be the day the Constitution of the Republic of China was signed in the year 1947. And it is extremely popular, as if it were Christmas.

Japan considers December 25 an official holiday and has adopted the same Western nat tradition the delight of Santa Claus, but the most important day is January 1st. It is also considered a day to spend with your loved one.

In India, in many schools, this period is considered as Christmas holidays; they begin just before Christmas and end a few days later, usually on January 1st. In Hindi, Christmas is called Bada Din, which also celebrates Santa Claus and the buying of gifts.

Nativity scenes are deeply rooted in South American Christmas traditions, both in families and in public places. In Peru, where there is a strong component of Native American descendants, Christmas figures are often hand-carved in a very ancient style.

In Mexico, on the other hand, the traditions linked to processions are very much alive, events that mimic and exalt the birth of Christ. Lunch in these areas is also very important and varies from area to area and from region to region.

Here, too, Christmas is celebrated with lights, parties, holidays and, since it is summer in the southern hemisphere, even with fireworks, especially in Brazilian cities.