Christmas around the world.
As the Christmas season approaches the time of festivities and gift giving begins. Although Christmas is recognised as an observance of the christian faith, it is celebrated by many communities around the world. For some, it is a time of reflection and prayer and for others its an opportunity to connect with family and friends.
As our communities become a large melting pot of cultures and traditions we find ourselves assimilating aspects of each into our daily life. As such each country and culture have their own unique take on the importance of Christmas and how we honour it.
Inspired Spaces looks at Christmas in Australia (Home of Inspired Spaces)
In Australia the build gathers momentum once December is reached. We see this in the form of Christmas decorations in shops and streets, community displays, carols and homes decorated with Christmas lights. Australia unlike other countries in Europe, England and the US, find Christmas is in the height of summer season, with high temperatures and blue skies.
Despite the heat many families will still have the traditional hot Christmas lunch with plum pudding. However there is a distinctive move towards seafood and cold buffets as our community becomes more and more multicultural. Families will get together at someones home or even the beach or outdoors. Christmas day is the most important day for gift giving and catching up.The joy of Christmas in Australia is celebrating it with family and friends and having fun outside in the sun.
Inspired Spaces looks at Christmas in United Kingdom
In the UK the festivities and traditions are very similar to those in Australia but the main difference is the weather. England celebrates Christmas during their winter season contrary to popular belief it doesn’t often snow in the UK for them to have an official white Christmas.
Christmas trees are brought into homes, villages, towns and cities are decorated in decorations and Christmas lights. Nativity plays and carols services and Christmas mass services are also very popular in the UK.
Children also write letters to Santa / father Christmas in the hope of Santa leaving them Christmas present in their stockings for being good as opposed to a lump of coal for those that have been naughty. Traditionally Christmas is celebrated at lunch time with family.
Inspired Spaces looks at Christmas in China
In China only about 1% of it’s people celebrate Christmas but it’s becoming more and more popular. A Christmas Eve tradition is giving apples. People give apples on Christmas Eve because in Chinese Christmas Eve is called “Ping An Ye” (which means quiet or silent night) and the word for apple in Chinese is “Ping Guo”.
Those who are Christian attend midnight mass services.
Inspired Spaces looks at Christmas in Denmark
In Denmark children are given 24 small gifts , one for each day until Christmas Eve.
It’s also tradition to give animals a food treat on Christmas Eve, people often going for walks to feed the animals and birds in parks and gardens. Main meal is celebrated on Christmas Eve in the family home between 6pm-8pm. After the meal the lights are lit on the tree and people sing carols and dance around the tree.
Inspired Spaces looks at Christmas in Italy
In Italy the most important Christmas celebration is the Nativity crib scene and telling the story of Christmas. A lot of families have a nativity crib in their home.The cribs are traditional put out on the 8th December without baby Jesus until the the evening of Christmas Eve. Naples is well known for it’s nativity scene makers they called “Via San Gregorthe io Armeno”.
Another popular tradition is that the children dress up as shepherds, sing carols and playing Christmas songs. In different parts of Italy, gifts are given by Befana (old lady) or the three kings or by Babbo Natale (Santa Claus) on Christmas Day. The main day for gift giving is Epiphany (the feast of 3 kings) celebrated 12 days after Christmas.
Inspired Spaces looks at Christmas in France
In France, Christmas is called Noel which comes from the phrase “les bonnes nouvelles” which means “the good news”. In the southern parts of France the custom is to burn a log in the fire from Christmas Eve to the New Years day, this is a tradition the farmers did for good luck for the next years harvest.
On Christmas Eve children leave there shoes out to receive gifts from Pere Noel (Father Christmas) and in the morning they receive fruit, nuts and small gifts that have been hung in the tree. In the north of France children are given gifts on December 6th (St Nicholas Day) instead of Christmas day. Adults would get gifts on New Years Day.
Inspired Spaces looks at Christmas in Finland
In Finland the people believe that Santa Claus lives in the North part of Finland called Lapland North of the Arctic circle, there is a big theme park called Christmas Land located near here.
It’s now become tradition to go to cemeteries to visit loved ones, candles and lanterns are often left around the grave and the whole cemetery is alight with lanterns shining in the snow, a real winter wonderland.
So no matter where about’s you are in the world or what your background, culture, religion are, Christmas is a time to be surrounded by family and friends enjoying good food and even better company. We at Inspired Spaces would like to wish you all a very safe, joyous Christmas and looking forward to sharing many more to come.
Merry Christmas from Inspired Spaces and Happy New Year 2016