Christmas around the world

By Braeden

Christmas in Italy

In some parts shepherds bring musical instruments into the villages, play and sing Christmas songs.In some parts shepherds bring musical instruments into the villages, play and sing Christmas songs.In the week before Christmas children go from house to house dressed as shepherds, playing pipes, singing and reciting Christmas poems. They are given money to buy presents.A strict feast is observed for 24 hours before Christmas Eve, and is followed by a celebration meal, in which a light Milanese cake called panettonefeatures as well as chocolate.Presents and empty boxes, are drawn from the Urn of Fate - lucky dip, which always contains one gift per person. By twilight, candles are lighted around the family crib known as the Presepio, prayers are said, and children recite poems.

Christmas in Bazil

Brazilians are a mix of different ethnic people, and as a former Portuguese colony, they have many Christmas customs which originate from this heritage.One tradition is to create a nativity scene or Presépio. The word originates from the Hebrew word "presepium" which means the bed of straw upon which Jesus first slept in Bethlehem. The Presépio is common in northeastern Brazil. Nowadays presépios are set up in December and displayed in churches, homes, and stores.

Christmas in New Zealand

In New Zealand Christmas is combined with summer holidays, so as well as present-buying and parties, families are preparing for trips to the beach. Shops are decorated with Father Christmas in his red cloak and white beard, as well as snow scenes.The New Zealand traditions of Christmas have mostly come through the English settlers who began arriving their in the late 18th Century. In the last 20 or 30 years the persona of Father Christmas had changed and he is referred to as Santa Claus and has become much more like the Santa of the United States and Ireland. As well people have been forced to change as a result of the Maori culture. The spirits and creatures of the Maori culture resemble the elves and gnomes of European Christmas traditions.

Christmas in Greece

    Christmas trees are not commonly used in Greece. In almost every home the main symbol of the season is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire is suspended across the rim; from that hangs a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross. A small amount of water is kept in the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh. Once a day, a family member, usually the mother, dips the cross and basil into some holy water and uses it to sprinkle water in each room of the house. This ritual is believed to keep the Killantzaroi away from the house.

Christmas in Africa

    Preparation for Christmas in the Congo begins when some group is designated to prepare the annual Christmas pageant.Christmas day begins with groups of carolers walking to and fro through the village, along the roadway, by the houses of the missionaries, singing the lovely carols known the world around. Often people may be awakened by a group of carolers beginning to converge on the house of worship. They return home to make final preparation as to the clothes one must wear and also as to his offering for the Christmas service.

Christmas in France

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.Nearly every French home at Christmastime displays a Nativity scene or crèche, which serves as the focus for the Christmas celebration. The crèche is often peopled with little clay figures called santons or "little saints." In addition to the usual Holy Family, shepherds, and Magi, the craftsmen also produce figures in the form of local dignitaries and characters. The craftsmanship involved in creating the gaily colored santons is quite astounding and the molds have been passed from generation to generation since the seventeenth century. Throughout December the figures are sold at annual Christmas fairs in Marseille and Aix.

    Eiffel Tower in Christmas