Merry Christmas 2021 How Christmas Is Celebrated Around The World China, UK, Brazil, India

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New Delhi: Christmas celebrations differ in each country, while they do overlap with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and the mass the night before, it’s more than what you saw in Home Alone, White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life. Much of the celebrations we know today is heavily influenced by American cinema.

There are different cultures celebrations merge with the styles of celebration of the country and state.

ALSO READ: Merry Christmas 2021 Cake Recipes: Here are 5 Cake Ideas to Make Christmas Holidays

Here are some festivals you probably didn’t know about:

The UK: Like most places, Christmas Day, is an off, the night before Christmas known as Christmas Eve children would set out Mincemeat pies (small tarts made of dried fruits) and brandy for Santa Claus to have as a snack before he leaves since he has to visit so many houses. There’s a night mass, which enters into midnight officially marking Christmas Day and on Christmas day the whole family gathers which includes aunties, uncles, grandparents for a meal later that day. After the main course, it is time for the Christmas crackers, invented by London baker Tom Smith in 1847, Christmas crackers have become a UK holiday staple. They’re a fun festive table decoration which Brits enjoy after eating the main course of their Christmas dessert. Two people grab each end of the cracker, pull, which makes a loud sound snap and small gifts fall off, they sometimes contain party hats or jokes. Then they share a Christmas pudding which is a steamed fruit cake that is topped with burning brandy. On Christmas day there’s a broadcast of the Queen’s wishes for everyone which until 1952 it was played on the radio then it was telecasted on the television.

China: Since China has a very small percentage of the Christian population, it isn’t celebrated in the ‘westernized’ way. In China, the festival is considered to be a romantic holiday though it is not a public holiday. It is mostly popular in the more prosperous and international coastal cities, particularly in Shanghai. Chinese young people celebrate with friends or their significant others. They might choose to go out to a movie, karaoke or go shopping. Young couples make it a day for dating and celebrate by exchanging small gifts. Large public businesses in China’s metropolises do put up extravagant lights and decorations, as well as special gift items for sale. Colourful, cellophane-wrapped ‘Christmas apples’ are one such gift, which can be found everywhere.

Germany: In Germany Christmas celebrations begin much early, during which Christmas markets are put up in Nuremberg where families go to buy small knick-knacks and fresh ingredients. Children also put their shoes, stockings or plates outside, so if Saint Nicholas does not come into the house, he can still leave some fruits, nuts and sweets for the children. Many Germans display a traditional wooden Christmas pyramid in their living room. This pyramid is a little carousel with angels and a nativity scene, that stand on several levels and spin. Families usually read the Christmas stories together and sing Christmas carols on that evening and later enjoy a meal and eat a ‘Christmas Stollen’, a traditional German Christmas cake with raisins. The celebrations don’t just end there, on January 6, children dress up as The Three Wise Men go house to house, singing carols and collecting money for charity.

India: In India, the celebrations are influenced by English traditions, Indian Christians put up a star at the beginning of Advent. The star is usually made of paper inside which a bulb is put in, signifying the light The Three Wise Men followed. On the night of Christmas Eve, they attend mass which ends after midnight then share coffee or cake before they head home. During Advent, those who wish to fast do it until Christmas officially begins. On Christmas day families & friends gather for a large meal, depending on the State, the meal may differ. Fruit Cakes are baked in large numbers which are distributed to family & friends. It is made with dry fruits which are soaked in rum for days sometimes even for a month before it is added to the spiced cake batter. Indian Christians do decorate a Christmas tree which is usually a Norfolk Pine Tree or a plastic tree, with various baubles and tiny lights. They also display the Nativity scene at church and homes.

Brazil: Christmas is one of the most awaited festivals in the country because of the large Catholic population, especially the children, but the festival falls during the warm tropical weather. First, they attend the Missa do Galo (English: Rooster Mass) because mass happens at midnight on Christmas Eve. Display of the Nativity scene is essential along with other decorations and it is displayed at churches, homes & stores. However, all of this has to be removed by January 6 which is the Three Kings Day. Christmas dinner, or in Portuguese “Ceia de Natal”, is served on the evening of December 24 accompanied by lots of music. This may include Chicken, Pork or Turkey and other Brazilian food. A month before Christmas, people gather to pick an Amigo Secreto which is like secret Santa, where you draw a name and you have to buy them a present. Christmas trees are usually look-likes of the European Christmas tree but in plastic. Celebrations can last into late at night. On December 25, everybody gathers again for lunch to finish the leftovers from the night before.

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