Merry Christmas 2022: Check out these Christmas traditions from around the world
Merry Christmas 2022: Christmas is referred to as Yuletide in Germany, Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, and Noël in French. From the Victorian Era to contemporary times, here are some weird, some common Christmas traditions followed by the Christian community from around the world
Every year on December 25, various celebrations are held by the Christian community across India and the world, to mark the birth of Jesus Christ and Christmas is referred to as Yuletide in Germany, Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, and Noël in French. According to the New Testament, Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Joseph and Mary and the month and date of his birth are not known but by the early-to-mid-fourth century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25 and this date was later adopted around the world.
A common custom is that many individuals and churches set up a nativity scene, depicting the birth of Christ where a manger or barn is recreated, and there are figures representing Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. They are usually surrounded by angels, the biblical Magi, shepherds and animals like a donkey, ox and camels.
In the run-up to Christmas, people often go door-to-door in small groups singing carols to add to the festive cheer while decorations form an integral part of the charm of Christmas. People love decorating their houses and offices with wreaths, candy canes, holly, mistletoe and stockings and of course, a Christmas tree — whether really tall or miniature — with colourful ornaments, is a must.
The custom of kissing underneath mistletoe reportedly began in the Victorian era when people believed it lead to marriage and promoted fertility. Fruit cake became a universal offering for Christmas when it was discovered that plums and cherries could be preserved for a long time by soaking it in large solutions of sugar, which was cheap at the time.
The white stripes on the cherished candy canes represent the purity of Jesus Christ, the three red stripes stand for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and the red stripe represents Jesus Christ’s blood. Christmas trees symbolise eternal life and were introduced in England when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, who was a German.
Germans used to host a procession on Feast Day of Adam and Eve carrying “paradise trees” with apples representing the forbidden fruit. Santa’s reindeers were introduced in Clement Moore’s 1822 poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas now called Twas the Night Before Christmas while the legend of Santa Claus goes back hundreds of years to a monk named St Nicholas, who is said to have been born sometime around 280 AD in Patara, near Myra in present-day Turkey and became the subject of legends as he was admired for his piety and kindness.
In modern times, Christmas has come to be associated with the mythical figure of Santa Claus, the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. Each year, on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus rides on his sleigh from the North Pole to give gifts to children all around the world and kids wake up early in the morning to open their presents.