Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, around two thousand years ago. Since his birth, Christmas has been celebrated as a festival of sharing and happiness.
Christmas is celebrated all over the Christian world and beyond, and there are numerous different traditions that the people have been following, throughout the world. For children in America, it is the time when one is trickled by the snowflakes, rides on the sledges, and decorates the Christmas trees.
There is no doubt that it has become a universal festival, celebrated by people of different cultures in their own, unique way. The traditions followed in different parts of the world to celebrate Christmas, are largely influenced by the local cultures.
All around the world, Christmas is celebrated with much fanfare and pomp. School-going kids seem to be the most excited souls in the world during this time. Their parents often teach them about the true meaning of Christmas, and they enjoy singing the melodious Christmas carols. Here are some of the most unique Christmas traditions followed across the world.
Mothers bake a Christmas plum pudding, and hide a lovely Christmas favor in it. There is also a tasty turkey dinner, with pork and ham. Christmas carols are sung on the Christmas eve. A Christmas bush, a native plant is surrounded by hundreds of people, just like in the case of Christmas trees, in America.
Canada has a very interesting practice. There are masked people called the Belsnicklers or the mummers who go around the neighborhood, creating a din. They go from house to house, asking children if they were good or bad, and gift the good children with candies and treats.
Children in Denmark have a great time enjoying the mischievous pranks of an elf, called Nisse. They leave the elf, a bowl of pudding at night so that he does minimum mischief. Nisse plays pranks on adults, and leaves Christmas gifts for the children.
Another interesting tradition is that if the thorns are burned to ashes, the family is said to have a good fortune for the rest of the year. If there are embers left, each family member can jump three times over it, and ask for a wish to be granted.
Many families in Japan have adopted the Western traditions of Christmas, like cooking turkey, decorating the Christmas trees, etc. However, the traditional angle of celebrating Christmas in Japan includes Hotei-osho. He is a Buddhist monk who, just like Santa, gets presents for the children.
When one shares the special bread, the person receiving it has to forgive the giver for any misconducts in the past.
Children in Russia receive gifts from Babushka, a legendary grandmother who did not provide food and shelter to the three wise men. She did not go along with them, and later on regretted her decision. She ran after them trying to catch up, and to have a look at baby Jesus. Thus, she gives gifts and presents to any child she comes across.
These are some of the traditions, celebrated at the time of Christmas, around the world. It should be noted that though the way of celebrating Christmas may change from region to region, the underlying factor of spreading joy and sharing remains the same.