By: Luis Gomez-Flores
During the month of December, there is one word that explains all the skating, caroling, gift giving and decorations lining the streets. That one word, no matter in what language it is translated in is “Christmas.” “I love to listen to christmas songs,” said Brevard High School freshman Jessica Austin, “they are just so much fun to listen and sing along to.”
Mexico- In Mexico, the holidays are celebrated from December 16 to January 6. The earliest events are the posadas, these are religious processions that reenact the search for shelter for baby jesus. These are held one every night, and start nine days before Christmas. Kids receive presents on both Christmas day and the Three Kings day (January 6). Three Kings day is a day that celebrates the Magi giving presents to the baby Jesus. On this day, the children put shoes or stockings outside along with snacks for the wise-men and wake up to find them filled with toys and candies. The presents brought during these days differs depending on where you are. In the northern part of the country, children receive their bigger presents on Christmas and get their smaller ones on three kings day, this is flipped in the southern part.
France- Here, children place their shoes near the fireplace on christmas eve and and find them filled by “Pere Noel” or “le petit Jesus” with candies, fruits and other sweets the tree is also filled with small toys. Nativity scenes, known as a “crèche” are popular in france and are displayed in nearly every home. The french also make a yule log-shaped cake called a “buche de noel.” (christmas log) This cake is served at the feast, “le reveillon,” that is held after a midnight mass on Christmas eve. Here, there are plates of poultry, salads, cake, fruit and other foods.
Winter Wonderland- The holidays are just around the corner and that means gift buying, wrapping and giving to some and to others it means spending time by the fireplace and having christmas sweets. No matter what it is to you though, there are lots of lights, trees and other things to set the mood. “The best part of christmas is giving and being able to spend time with the family,” said Callie Duke, a BHS sophomore.
China- For Christmas, the christian chinese decorate trees, called “Trees of Light with colorful paper ornaments such as flowers, lamps or chains and also place muslin stockings in hopes that the “Dun Che Lao Ren,” old man christmas, will fill them with toys and other treats. Those who are not christians simply call this time the Spring Festival and do many things. These include paying their respects to their ancestors, watching firework displays and some children receive clothes or other gifts.
Great Britain- In Britain, the people make food, decorate buildings, send cards and do many other things to get in the spirit of the holidays. On Christmas eve, kids hang stockings on their beds or fireplaces in hopes that Father Christmas will fill them with presents. Before that, they write letters to Father Christmas and throw them into the fireplace so that they will fly up the chimney to the north pole, if the letter burns, they have to rewrite them. The next morning, they have a big feast just after noon, the table is set with shining china, silverware and glassware. The meal begins when they make a toast and pop their christmas crackers filled with small toys. Once the meal is over, they listen to a speech given by their reigning monarch.
For additional information on the holidays in these or other countries visit: http://www.santas.net/aroundtheworld.htm