Christmas Around the World
By Zoha Ali
It’s that time of year! Everyone looks forward to Christmas for various reasons, like spending time with family, friends, and loved ones, enjoying the good-spiritedness of the holiday season, and of course, opening those special presents. Although we all share the same spirit of Christmas, the occasion is celebrated in various different ways from countries all around the world.
As soon as Christmas comes around, we all look forward to decorating our door with a simple Christmas wreath, but in Germany, the wreaths are a bit different. The German tradition is to place wreaths inside the living room and decorate it with four candles. Not only that, but instead of hiding an elf around the house, Germans hide a pickle. Germany’s traditions may appear to be a little odd, but they are certainly a lot of fun!
Just like Germany, Spain is another country that has a few different traditions you may not be aware of. One of them is eating a rooster on Christmas Eve for their Christmas Eve dinner. This may not hold importance to a person unaware of this tradition, but it is very significant, since Spaniards believed that before Jesus was born, a rooster crowed. The night before Christmas, we usually rest and save up our energy for the fun and joyous day lying ahead, but in Spain, there are celebrations, parties, and music in the streets to mark the momentous occasion.
Another country that you might not have known had a special way of celebrating their Christmas is the United Kingdom. Britons are given one special Christmas tree by Norway every year to give thanks for the nation’s relentless support in the second World War. For Canadians, the Christmas tree is merely chosen on account of whether it is pretty, but it is of special significance for this great nation. This tree then stands in the middle of Trafalgar Square for everyone to see, as a symbol of how the Scandinavian nation repays the United Kingdom for its soldiers, its courage, and its safeguarding of human liberty.
This list proves the many unique and interesting ways in which countries celebrate Christmas, but the Czech Republic undoubtedly tops them all. First off, we all look forward to dig in on that special Christmas Eve dinner, although the Czechs believe they should fast during that time. The reason for this is to provoke the vision of the golden pig. It is believed that during this time, if one sees a golden pig, they are bound to have good luck. After fasting and afterwards having a dinner that consists of fish soup, they play a fun traditional game. This game involves throwing a shoe over one's head to the door. If the shoe points towards the door, it means that person is soon to be married!
As seen above, many of us come from places where Christmas is celebrated in strange but remarkable ways! So whether it’s a family tradition or country tradition, we’re each unique in our own way, yet connected by the spirit of Christmas. When Christmas comes around in a couple of weeks, don't forget to spend time as a family, remind yourself of the things that tie human beings from all corners of the world together, and have a holly jolly Christmas!