The Christmas Spirit

Warm-up:

1. Write a few sentences about Christmas. Share and compare your thoughts with a

partner.
2. How is the Christmas Spirit celebrated in Romania? 3. What are the funniest gifts you have ever received?

Reading: Christmas Traditions Around the World

The Philippines: Christmas season begins in September with the feast of Saint Pio and ends in January, meaning nearly half the year is Christmas in the Philippines. The event closest to December 25th is a nine-day mass called Simbang Gabi, which includes hymns and Filipino foods. Christmas Eve is celebrated all night and then followed by a day of family talks and gift giving. Maligayang pasko (Merry Christmas)!

Mexico: In the nine days before Christmas, children and adults dress up as Mary and Joseph and visit different neighborhoods. These “pilgrims” sing songs at houses in request of shelter. The host replies in song and offers drink and food. Children try to break a star-shaped piñata and do not receive gifts until January 4th. Feliz Navidad!

Ethiopia: Christmas Eve is celebrated on January 6th in accordance with the local Ge’ez calendar. On that night, priests carry nicely decorated umbrellas and wear traditional clothing. They march through cities with large groups of people. In the morning, people feast, presents are exchanged, and some play sports. During the Timkat parade, held 12 days later, a stone replica of the 10 Commandments is wrapped in rich fabrics and carried by priests on their heads. Melkam Ganna!

Where do Vietnamese Catholics gather? 5. On Christmas Eve. What do priests carry on their heads during Timkat? 4. a person who travels on a journey to a holy place d. Citizens visit crowded city centers and later eat Christmas chicken soup. What is the most interesting celebration in your opinion? Match the words with their meaning as used in the article. feast (noun) 2. Santa is sometimes shown on a scooter instead of a sleigh and Vietnamese Catholics gather in churches that look like temples. hymn 4. Finns place candles around the graves of relatives. 1. a vehicle that slides over snow (sometimes pulled by horses) c. When do children receive gifts in Mexico? 3. pilgrim a.Finland: Finns believe that the Winter Solstice brings out the spirits of the dead. mass (noun) 3. celebrated at roughly the same time. a rule/law that limits what you can do b. Which is the country with the longest Christmas season? 2. It is mainly a Jesus-free event. Chúc Giáng Sinh Vui Vẻ! Follow-up Questions: 1. a large and special meal . Hyvää Joulua! Vietnam: Christmas was only recently reintroduced to largely Buddhist Vietnam after a relaxation of restrictions in the early 1980s.

grave (noun) 10. or attack a place in the ground where a dead person is buried a very good or exact copy of something a song about (the goodness of) God either of the two times a year when the sun reaches its highest/lowest point make something look more beautiful by putting things on it Discussion Questions: 1. solstice 9. g. 2. restriction 11.5. j. i. Think of proChristmas arguments and defend the holiday against their criticisms in 5 minutes. 3. . (noun) 6. You can use any incentives to make them change their mind or at least put them in a good mood. danger. 4. decorate (verb) 7. 5. h. a ceremony held in memory of the last meal Christ had with his f. shelter e. What does the Christmas Spirit mean to you? What is the best Christmas movie in your opinion? Were you naughty or good this year? Are we better persons only around Christmas time? What is your favorite Christmas food? Homework: Your neighbors are not celebrating Christmas and are very annoyed. k. sleigh (noun) disciples a place where you can be protected from the rain. replica 8.