Christmas is the most important celebration for Christians around the world, commemorating the birth of Christ. The colorful lights, the Christmas trees, and the gifts, without forgetting Santa Claus, make this period the most desired by everyone around the world. But as much as it is appreciated by all, everyone celebrates Christmas differently. Here are some memorable Christmas celebrations around the world.
1-Christmas in Bethlehem
Perhaps the most famous part of Christmas in Bethlehem is the church service of the Mass of the Nativity. It is held on Christmas Eve at midnight. There's a small door into the Church called the door of humility, and the holiest part of the church is the Grotto of the Nativity, which is under the main altar. A silver star marks the place where Jesus was meant to have been born. The Church is administered by three churches, the Roman Catholic, the Greek Orthodox, and the Armenian Apostolic Church.
2-Christmas in Australia
Almost all nations enjoy a white and snowy Christmas except Australia which is filled with bright sunshine and a warm climate. Due to hot weather, Santa Claus often wears clothes that are more summer-appropriate and sometimes might use kangaroos instead of Reindeer. In addition, Australians decorate their houses with Christmas Bush, a native Australian tree with small green leaves and cream-colored flowers, which turn into a deep shiny red over a period of weeks around Christmas time.
3-Christmas in India
Instead of having traditional Christmas trees, Indians use banana or mango trees. In Southern India, they often put small oil-burning clay lamps on the roofs of their homes. India's smallest state, Goa is where many of the Christians in India come from or have roots. They usually fast from the 1st to the 24th of December - until the midnight service. Every house will be decorated with a Christmas star. Father Christmas or Santa Claus delivers presents to children from a horse and cart. He's known as 'Christmas Baba'.
4- Christmas in Russia
In the days of the Soviet Union, Christmas was not celebrated. After the collapse of the wall in 1991, people were free to celebrate Christmas again. But it's still a quieter and smaller holiday in Russia after the big New Year celebrations. People start fasting for 39 days until January 6th, when the evening star appears in the sky. They start their festivities with a twelve-course meal, wearing a “babushka”, as a tribute to their grandmothers, which traditionally represents the Christmas figure who distributes gifts for children, instead of Santa Claus.
5-Christmas in Romania
Carols are a very important part of the Romanians’ Christmas, and they are not just simple songs, but a way to allow people to surpass all difficulties in life. In many parts of Romania, it's also traditional that someone dresses up as a goat, with multicolored masks, then walks around with the carol singers. The goat is known as the 'Capra' and it jumps and dances around getting up to lots of mischief!
6-Christmas in Japan
Japan has a 1% rate of people that celebrates Christmas and for them, the festivities are not about family and gifts, but more about helping the community and giving back to those in need.
Christmas is celebrated differently all around the world, but the message is the same everywhere. It’s about love, family, and giving back. Merry Christmas to all.