This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
From November onwards, it is impossible to forget that Christmas is coming. Coloured lights decorate many town centres and shops, along with shiny decorations, and artificial snow painted on shop windows. In streets and shops, 'Christmas trees' (real or plastic evergreen 'conifer' trees) will also be decorated with lights and Christmas ornaments. Shopping centres become busier as December approaches and often stay open till late.Shopping centre speaker systems systems will play Christmas 'carols' - the traditional Christmas Christian songs, and groups of people will often sing carols on the streets to raise money for charity. Most places of work will hold a short Christmas party about a week before Christmas. Although traditional Christmas foods may be eaten, drink (and plenty of it) means that little work will be done after the party! By mid-December, most homes will also be decorated with Christmas trees, coloured lights and paper or plastic decorations around the rooms. These days, many more people also decorate garden trees or house walls with coloured electric lights, a habit which has long been popular in USA. In many countries, most people post Christmas greeting cards to their friends and family, and these cards will be hung on the walls of their homes. In UK this year, the British Post Office expects to handle over 100 million cards EACH DAY, in the three weeks before Christmas.
The custom of sending Christmas cards started in Britain in 1840 when the first 'Penny Post' public postal deliveries began. (Helped by the new railway system, the public postal service was the 19th century's communication revolution, just as email is for us today.) As printing methods improved, Christmas cards were produced in large numbers from about 1860. They became even more popular in Britain when a card could be posted in an unsealed envelope for one half-penny - half the price of an ordinary letter. Traditionally, Christmas cards showed religious pictures - Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, or other parts of the Christmas story. Today, pictures are often jokes, winter pictures, Father Christmas, or romantic scenes of life in past times. The old man with the sack 'Father Christmas' (or 'Santa Claus') has become the human face of Christmas. Pictures will be seen everywhere of the old man with long white beard, red coat, and bag of toys. Children are taught that he brings them presents the night before Christmas (or in some countries on December 6th - St. Nicholas' Day), and many children up to the age of 7 or 8 really believe this is true. In most countries, it is said that he lives near the North Pole, and
Boxing Day In English-speaking countries. The tradition continues today . In shops or at children's parties. someone will dress up as Father Christmas and give small presents to children. when life was simpler and made more sense. Nicholas was a Christian leader from Myra (in modern-day Turkey) in the 4th century AD. It is said that one day. We want to somehow return to a time in our childhood (or some other good time in the past). something more. Making sense of Christmas Today in the West. before the troubles of adult life arrived. he climbed the roof of a house and dropped a purse of money down the chimney. What do you want from Christmas? Many people do hope for more than presents at Christmas. He comes into houses down the chimney at midnight and places presents for the children in socks or bags by their beds or in front of the family Christmas tree. It landed in the stocking which a girl had put to dry by the fire! This may explain the belief that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and places gifts in children's stockings. Who was he? Father Christmas is based on a real person. St. some key to life. or ask them what gifts they want for Christmas. Christmas can be a time of magic and excitement for children. even at Christmas. Nicholas. which explains his other name 'Santa Claus' which comes from the Dutch 'Sinterklaas'. (Not much holiday for the poor shop workers!) A visitor from another world would think that Christmas was a festival to the gods of money and shopping. and wanted to give money to poor people without them knowing about it. This word comes from the custom which started in the Middle Ages around 800 years ago: churches would open their 'alms boxe' (boxes in which people had placed gifts of money) and distribute the contents to poor people in the neighbourhood on the day after Christmas. any message for our lives today? . We feel sure that behind all the fun and decorations.arrives through the sky on a sledge (snow-cart) pulled by reindeer. hope and happiness.small gifts are often given to delivery workers such as postal staff and children who deliver newspapers. In UK. and get ready for the Day. He was very shy. So can we look beyond the way Christmas is celebrated today. Most people in UK or Europe will not go to a religious church meeting. It has become a busy race to spend money on presents. the day following Christmas Day is called 'Boxing Day'. there must somehow be a message. our shops stay open till late Christmas Eve and often open again on Boxing Day with the cutprice 'sales'. not many people consider the religious meaning to Christmas. and find any real meaning.
People usually fast on Christmas Eve and only eat a spot of sauerkraut soup to keep them going during the fasting period. observance of fasting and/or special religious observances such as a midnight Mass or Vespers on Christmas Eve. traditionally children are encouraged to fast alongside the adults with the promise that the best amongst them will see the "golden piglet". and the Feast of the Epiphany. Father Christmas. That happens at the end of their Christmas dinner. usually just before or during dinner. Children have to wait for the ringing of a Christmas bell (one of the decorations on the Christmas tree) . New Year's. Nicholas Day. the hanging of wreaths. mostly for fun. . Czech Republic and Slovakia Old Town Square in Prague. which means "Generous Day".the sign that Ježíšek (little Jesus) has just passed by . Stephen's Day. which brings good luck. candy canes. Along with Easter. The sending of Christmas cards. Christmas carols may be sung and stories told about such figures as the Baby Jesus. St.Christmastime. and is often closely connected to other holidays at this time of year. Christmas time is one of the most important periods on the Christian calendar. Santa Claus. Christmas stockings.to run for the presents. Fish soup and breaded roasted carp with special homemade potato salad are a traditional dish for the dinner. the exchange of Christmastime greetings. varying by country and region. The 25th and 26 December are Public holidays in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. when the gifts are given in the evening. or "baby Jesus". St Nicholas. and the giving and receiving of presents. the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The gifts are secretly displayed under the Christmas tree (usually a spruce or pine) by one of the adults. such as Advent. According to tradition. St. Main article: Czech Christmas Mass Christmas Eve (24 December) is celebrated as Štědrý den. Czech Republic . Christkindl or Grandfather Frost. the burning of a Yule log. and/or the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. gifts are brought by Ježíšek.The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world. Elements common to many areas of the world include the lighting of Christmas trees. Many very old Christmas traditions are followed.
thus he is never seen by anyone. Apples are always cut crosswise: if a perfect star appears in the core. Girls throw shoes over their shoulders . a Krippenspiel (nativity play). consists most often of scriptural readings.m. as well as in other Catholic regions of Central Europe. South Tyrol and Liechtenstein. the next year will be successful. The Christkind is invisible. the Christmas Gospel from Luke 2. the girl will get married soon. Another tradition requires pouring some molten lead into water and guessing a message from its shapes. the tree is shown to the children and presents are exchanged. Many Catholic churches also have a first Mass of Christmas. distorted star means a bad year or illness. . On late Christmas Eve. In some German-speaking communities. Austria Knecht Ruprecht is a companion of St Nikolaus in many German speaking areas of Europe. It is a tradition to lavishly decorate a Christmas tree in the days directly before Christmas or on the morning of Christmas Eve. particularly in Catholic regions of western and southern Germany. on "Heiliger Abend" about 4 p. In some regions the tradition of Quempas singing is still popular. Austria. there is a service in the late afternoon intended to immediately precede the Christmas Eve meal and the exchanging of gifts. favourite Christmas carols and festive music for organ and choirs. The crib is a very important part of the celebrations in Catholic areas especially Bavaria. In Protestant churches. after the bell rings. called Christvesper. for the children and parents to attend before the families return home for their meal.Other Czech and Slovak Christmas traditions involve predictions for the future. he rings a bell just before he leaves in order to let children know that the Christmas tree and the presents are ready. However. while a cross may suggest death. called Christmette. the Christkind (literally "Christ child") brings the presents on the evening of December 24 (Holy Evening or Heiliger Abend).  German-speaking Europe Christmas market in front of the town hall in Vienna. Some Lutheran churches also celebrate a candlelight service at midnight besides the Christmas Vespers in the afternoon or early evening. This service.if the toe points to the door. Switzerland.
Albania Christmas (Krishtlindjet) on 25 December is a public holiday in Albania. The Christmas atmosphere is felt not only in the capital city. in Hungarian: Szenteste) the Angel or the Little (Baby) Jesus (Hungarian: Kisjézus or Jézuska) delivers the presents. featuring warmly lit Christmas tree and candles. The Albanian wish is "Gëzuar Krishtlindjet!". for example in: Korca. A Christmas crib and a church are used as the scene. and is celebrated by both Orthodox and Catholic Albanians. Tirana. The custom is called 'playing Bethlehem' (Hungarian: Betlehemezés). and they receive gifts for their performance. or during 25 December. . The actors go from house to house. Hungary In Hungary. celebrations begin with Christmas tree decoration and gift packaging during daytime on 24 December. a nation with significant Muslim and Christian populations. Lezha etc. a traditional supper called fish soup halászlé is served at Christmas Eve meal. the shepherds. In some parts of Hungary. Shkodra.Hungary Main article: Christmas in Hungary Christmas decorations in Budapest. family singing of Christmas or religious songs and gift pack openings. In the evening (Christmas Eve. and it is an acting performance. However. The rituals and traditions are very similar to those practiced by the other European Christian nations. then comes a family dinner with traditional Christmas meals. and telling stories about the three kings. but also in many other cities.even some non-Christian Albanians celebrate them. The day is otherwise a fast-day.There is also a popular folk custom during December and especially on Christmas Eve. Joseph and of course the birth of the Holy Child. People go to church at midnight on 24 December. where the 'actors' are wearing costumes. in which children or adults present the birth of Jesus. although it is also consumed at other times of the year. Mary. soft Christmas music. This is the most intimate moment of Christmas.
Bulgaria In Bulgaria. a valuable possession. Among the Bulgarian Christmas traditions is koleduvane. Rozhdestvo Hristovo. health and prosperity in the coming year. a Christmas tree is typically set up and the entire house is decorated. and thus only an odd number of lenten dishes are presented on that evening. Traditionally. "Grandfather Frost") being a similar Russian-imported character lacking the Christian connotations and thus popular during the Communist rule. Christmas (Bulgarian: Коледа. However. it has been largely forgotten after 1989. and a piece for God. meat dishes are already allowed and are typically served. when Dyado Koleda again returned as the more popular figure. "Grandfather Christmas").  Croatia and Slovenia . with Dyado Mraz (Дядо Мраз. wealth and happiness a. wishing health. Koleda or more formally Рождество Христово. however. A coin is hidden inside the pita and whoever gets the coin. The local name of Santa Claus is Dyado Koleda (Дядо Коледа. The pita is broken into pieces by the head of the family and a piece is given to each family member. he or she will have the luck. pita). Christmas Eve would be the climax of the Nativity Fast. As in other countries. koledari) visiting the neighbouring houses starting at midnight on Christmas Eve. Badni vecher). On that day. "Nativity of Jesus") is celebrated on 25 December and is preceded by Christmas Eve (Бъдни вечер. which involves boy carolers (коледари. On Christmas. Bulgaria TZUM department store at Christmastime. Another custom is the baking of a traditional round loaf (пита. Sofia. a Bulgarian budnik is set alight.
At the end of the meal. along with various desserts such as fritule. who bring presents in December: Saint Nicholas.  Greece and Cyprus . Slovenes are also visited by another one of their trije dobri možje (three good guys). the tree is decorated. The festivities begin on Saint Nicholas's Day on December 6 (in Slovenia) or St. Slovene: Sveti večer (holy eve)). and the Holy Spirit. which will grow several inches by Christmas and are then tied together with a red. Epiphany on January 6 marks the end of the Christmas season. (January 2011) In Croatia and Slovenia. which they will eat on January 1 to symbolize good fortune. Lucy's on December 13 depending on what region (in Croatia). In Croatia on St. a piece of the cesnica is cut and dipped in wine and used to sprinkle on the candles to estinguish them. another is made with honey. salad and fish is served. while in Slovenia is. Slovene: Božični kruh). and sometimes neighbours. In many villages. strudel. the home is decked with greenery and the women already beginning to prepare the Christmas meal. friends. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. turkey. blue and white ribbon called trobojnica'. On Christmas Eve (Croatian: Badnjak. many choosing to eat the Dalmatian specialty bakalar. Families mostly celebrate New Year's Eve at home with extended family members. Christmas (Croatian: Božić. Christmas is a day of celebrating with family. which they eat on New Year's Eve on toast with butter. while reciting the Trinitarian formula ("In the name of the Father. families will plant wheat seeds in a bowl of shallow water. At midnight. Nicholas brings children presents. Instead of meat in Croatia and with other food in Slovenia. Amen"). a large feast is prepared and traditional foods such as stuffed cabbage. Nicholas is said to be accompanied by Krampus who steals away the presents of bad children. used for Christmas candles This section does not cite any references or sources.Croatian wheat grass. St. In villages. potica (especially in Slovenia). Slovene: Božič) is celebrated mainly as a religious holiday. the Son. to suggest that the Angel or the Baby Jesus (Mali Isus) leaves them there while others are attending midnight mass. the glow symbolizes the soul of each person. They also bake special types of bread: one is round inscribed with a cross on top known as the cesnica. pot roast. On this day. Presents are opened after the mass. meat is not consumed in Croatia. Lucy's. pita and smoked meat are served. the badnjak is freshly cut that very morning by the father of the household while reciting traditional prayers. Santa Claus and Dedek Mraz ("Grandfather Frost"). Lucy or St. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. and cookies. nuts and dried fruit called the Christmas Eve Bread (Croatian: Badnji Kruh. As is customary with Catholic people. Women prepare cabbage sarma. people go outdoors to watch fireworks. and steak tartare. while Dedek Mraz leaves presents under the tree. dried cod fish. The family then sprinkle holy water on their Yule log (badnjak) which they light and watch. planted on St. and St. three candles representing the Trinity are lit and placed in the middle of the wheat. Lucy's. It is common for Christmas presents to be placed under the tree. straw (which symbolizes Christ's birth in the manger) is spread around the floors of the home for the Christmas Eve dinner. Many families will go to a midnight mass on Christmas Eve and often another on Christmas Day.
dates. unlike other European traditions. many carolers walk through the streets of the towns and villages. where this person is Saint Nicholas and comes every Christmas. In Moldova. the Macedonian Orthodox Church marks Christmas Day on January 7. in Romanian: Ajunul Crăciunului) Moş Crăciun (Father Christmas) delivers the presents. to leave some food for the holly spirits – a custom which probably comes from pagan pre-Christian times. the 7th of January is also recognized as an official holiday in Moldova. Presents are placed under the Christmas tree and are opened on New Year’s Day. sauerkraut. a coin is concealed in a bread loaf and the host breaks a piece of the loaf at the dinner table for each member of the household: it is believed that the one who gets the piece of bread with the coin will be fortunate in the forthcoming year. Athens. The dessert may consist of apples and dried fruits: plums. Greece The festive period lasts from 30 November to 6 January (Epiphany) on the Greek calendar.Christmas tree at Syntagma Square. baked beans. The Christmas meal usually includes lamb or pork and desserts such as kourabies (κοσραμπιές) and melomakarona (μελομακάρονα). as in many other Orthodox countries. singing carols and reciting poems . The dinner is according to the rules of fasting: fish. On Christmas Eve (January 6). In Greek tradition. The singing of carols is a very important part of Romanian Christmas festivities. Basil’s (of Caesarea) name was given to Father Christmas and is supposed to visit children and give presents on New Year’s Day (when Basil's memory is celebrated). Romanian tradition has the smallest children going from house to house.  Romania and Moldova Christmas (Romanian: Crăciun) in Romania falls on December 25 and is generally considered the second most important religious Romanian holiday after Easter. Carol singing is another tradition on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. walnuts and red wine are common. figs. Celebrations begin with the decoration of the Christmas tree during daytime on 24 December. holding a star made of cardboard and paper on which are depicted various scenes from the Bible. and in the evening (Christmas Eve. Most families set up Christmas trees and shops have decorations and lights.  Macedonia In the Macedonian calendar. On the first day of Christmas. The table is usually not cleared after the dinner and until the next morning. although Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December like in Romania.
and the third day of Christmas. love. but before tucking in they all rise and a man or boy among them says a prayer. and fat). An image of the Nativity is painted on the star's centre. and making performances. and censes the whole house. This is mainly a symbolic gesture for St.” which should be responded to with “Truly He is Born. this continues through the next three days. the badnjak is ceremoniously put on the domestic fire that burns on the house’s fireplace called ognjište. and then put walnuts on it. This holiday surpasses all the others celebrated by Serbs. The family members sit down at the table. and the following two are accordingly called the second.” The Serbian name for Christmas is Božić (Cyrillic: Божић. Before the table is served for the Christmas Eve dinner. luck. a group of whom may gather at the house of one of them. The head of household makes the Sign of the Cross. muscle. some of them having modern versions adapted to the contemporary way of living. The Serbian Orthodox Church and Montenegrin Orthodox Church use the traditional Julian calendar. which means the young or little God. per which Christmas Day (25 December) falls on 7 January.[clarification needed]  Serbia and Serb areas Main articles: Serbian Christmas traditions and Badnjak (Serbian) The Serbs celebrate Christmas for three consecutive days. These may vary from region to region. For the convenience of people who live in towns and cities. most of which consists of pork (organs. and this piece of handiwork is attached to the end of a broom or other long stick. one is to greet another person with “Christ is Born. and food. . straight oak tree is selected and felled by the head of the household. Romanian food served during the holidays is a hearty multi-coursed meal. they can be bought at marketplaces or received in churches. or they together sing the Troparion of the Nativity. while the elderly narrate stories from the olden times. riches. The dinner on this day is festive. The leader of the group carries with him a star made of wood. congratulating each other. Since most houses today have no ognjište on which to burn a badnjak. The ideal environment to carry them out fully is the traditional multi-generation country household. Ignaus. After the dinner young people visit their friends. Groups of young people go from house to house of their village or neighbourhood. copious and diverse in foods. beginning with Christmas Day. whose hearth is without a vertical surround.and legends during the whole Christmas season. In the evening. In the morning of Christmas Eve a young. it is strewn with a thin layer of straw and covered with a white cloth. A log is cut from it and is referred to as the badnjak. The burning of the badnjak is accompanied by prayers to God so that the coming year may bring much happiness. During this festive time. with respect to the diversity of applied folk customs and rituals. although it is prepared in accordance with the rules of fasting. The Serbs also take a bundle of straw into the house and spread it over the floor. it is symbolically represented by several leaved oak twigs. covered with metal foil and decorated with bells and coloured ribbons. This day is called the first day of Christmas. singing. lights a candle. Christmas and other songs are sung. pronounced [ˈboʒitɕ]).
connected with the celebrations. this visit is often pre-arranged. nevertheless. and the festivity. the ritual. Christmas decorations. The main course is roast pork of a pig which they cook whole by rotating it impaled on a wooden spit close to an open fire. The ritual includes Vespers. however. It is not a part of Serbian traditions to exchange gifts during Christmas.On Christmas Day. and an appropriate program with songs and recitals. In some parishes they build the fire on which to burn the badnjak not in the church yard but at some other suitable location in their town or village. taking it to the church yard. including the presepe. . People expect that it will summon prosperity and well-being for their household in the ensuing year. are the set gift-givers on these three days. A big importance is given to the first visit a family receives that day. Gift-giving is. Children. blessing or consecrating the badnjak. as well as the Christmas tree. respectively. has its own specificities which reflect traditions of the local community. being traditionally done on the three consecutive Sundays that immediately precede it. The course of these celebrations can be typically divided into three parts: the preparation. the celebration is announced at dawn by church bells and by shooting. Christmas dinner is the most celebratory meal a family has during a year. are put up on this day. festive loaf of bread is baked for this occasion. organized public celebrations on Christmas Eve. the Serbian Orthodox Church has. Italy. and preparing drink and food for the assembled parishioners. women. A special. and other local factors. placing the badnjak on the open fire built in the church yard. Italy Christmas decorations in Milan. together with local communities. Since the early 1990s. The festivity consists of getting together around the fire and socializing. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Italian: Festa dell'Immacolata Concezione) on December 8 is a national holiday in Italy. Each particular celebration. and men. The preparation consists of going and cutting down the tree to be used as the badnjak.
the sparks of which are said to predict the future of the new year. Italy holds fast to its tradition of native gift-givers. the death of the old year and the beginning of a new one. by Baby Jesus himself. followed by typical Italian Christmas sweets. according to older traditions. and the passing out of sweets. with the Feast of the Seven Fishes. she brought a flotilla of grain-bearing ships to starving Sicily. Thus.Saint Lucy's Day (Italian: Giorno di Santa Lucia) is celebrated as a Catholic holiday in Sicily and Northern regions of Italy on the Shortest day of the year which is December 13. Stephen's Day. in Italian Epifania) decorations are usually taken down. struffoli. and in some areas female puppets are burned on a pire (called "falò"). While gifts are now given at Christmas by an American style Santa Claus as well. also reinforced by the still widespread tradition of setting up the presepe. Lucy's Day. caggionetti. Presents for children are left underneath the Christmas tree either by Santa Claus (called Babbo Natale) or. is thought to ride the night skies on broomstick. Evening candlelight processions called the parade of light are conducted and are followed by the Feast of St. On the eve of the 6th. bringing good children gifts and sweets. in Italian Giorno di Santo Stefano). panforte. The ancient Christmas festival called Ndocciata is celebrated on Christmas Eve in Molise with a parade of torches leading up to the "Bonfire of Brotherhood". such as Treviso the day is celebrated with bonfires. At that time. to symbolize. such as pandoro. In some municipalities. the good Epiphany witch. Christmas on the 25th is celebrated with a family lunch. In other places. la Befana. Sicilians do not eat anything made with wheat flour. and chocolate symbolizing their kisses to good children. cheese and local sweets.  Portugal . It is quite common to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve and practice the custom not to eat any meat. Traditions regarding the exchanging of gifts vary from region to region. is also a public holiday in Italy. whose citizens cooked and ate the wheat without taking time to grind it into flour. and bad ones charcoal or bags of ashes. (St. Saint Lucy is the patron saint of the city of Syracuse better known as Santa Lucia as she is called in the traditional Neapolitan song. torrone. Lucy's Day) or later (on Epiphany). Sicilians pay tribute to a miracle performed by St Lucy during a famine in 1582. the custom of the "Corteo dei Re Magi" (Three Kings Procession) is elaboratedly celabrated with a parade welcoming the Wise Men. In other areas it is the Three Wise Men who bring gifts. depending on the regional cuisine. on St. Festivities extend to the end of the year and then to the Epiphany. most famously in Milan. December 26. especially oranges symbolizing gold. On the 6th of January (Epiphany. Christmas is celebrated in Italy in a similar fashion to other Western European countries. The dinner traditionally consists of seafood. as this might take place either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day. In some regions children receive gifts earlier (at St. with a strong emphasis given to the Christian meaning of the holiday and its celebration by the Catholic Church. panettone. Lucy. along with the end of the Christmas period. Monte Bianco or others. a tradition initiated by Saint Francis of Assisi. Instead they eat cooked wheat called cuccia. consisting of different types of meat dishes.
egg and almonds that is Arabic in origin. there is quite a spread of delicacies. to start the meal with a seafood dish such as prawns or salmon. the late supper held on Christmas Eve. A large family dinner is celebrated on Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) and can last until 6 o'clock in the morning. nevertheless. After the Missa do galo (Rooster's Mass) that celebrates the birth of Christ. however. Barcelona.Christmas. the bacalhau is often replaced by octopus. in northern Portugal. Another traditional cake is the king cake served on Epiphany. all deserts based on fried flour or fried bread. filhoses and sonhos (dreams). an official holiday in Portugal. the Tió de Nadal (a log with a cloth for hiding presents under) is part of the celebration. referred to as "Navidad". In most of Spain. called caganer is displayed in the scene.  Spain Calle Portal de l'Angel. or seafood. The Christmas dinner usually ends with fatias douradas (golden slices). Sant Esteve (Saint Stephen) is celebrated with a family gathering. The main meal will commonly consist of roast lamb. and each region has its own distinct specialities. People who have moved to the main cities. and polvorones (shortbread made of almonds. is widely celebrated and is associated with family gathering. There is a wide variety of typical foods one might find on plates across Spain on this particular night. such as cod or shellfish. among them are turrón. although. Even though there is still the traditional Misa del Gallo at midnight. . or even those who have emigrated to other countries. For dessert. Nowadays. few Spaniards continue to follow the old custom of attending. Pavo Trufado de Navidad (turkey with truffles). schools and stores. marzipan. homemade soup. Most homes and churches display a Nativity scene. Santa Claus or Pai Natal is most popular among children but. at Christmas time. On the 26th. people still believe that is the Menino Jesus (Baby Jesus) that brings presents to children. families gather around the Consoada. followed by a bowl of hot. still travel to their home towns and villages to spend Christmas Eve with their families. a dessert made of honey. In Catalonia. lasts from Christmas Eve on the 24th of December to Epiphany on the 6th of January. Spain Christmas and St Stephen's Day are officially recognized holidays in Spain. the Christmas period. like Lisbon or Oporto. flour and sugar). The traditional dish is bacalhau com todos (dried codfish boiled with vegetables). in some regions. The pesebre (nativity scene) is present in almost all homes. It is particularly common. Special dishes and desserts include Mariscos y Pescado (shellfish and fish). A particular and unique figure.
On 5 January a huge parade (La Cabalgata or cavalcade) welcomes the Three Kings to the city. escargots or foie gras. Children do not hang Christmas stockings but put their shoes by the fireplace so Père Noël (Father Christmas or Santa Claus) can give them gifts. which is a non-traditional imitation of the American Santa Claus. almost invariably including: pompe à l'huile (a flavoured bread). France Christmas decorations along the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The name of this dinner is based on the word réveil (meaning "waking"). In France and in other French-speaking areas (see French Canada).Children usually receive one or two presents on Christmas Day (December 25). decorations and carols. Appetizers may include lobster. Dessert may consist of a bûche de Noël. One traditional dish is turkey with chestnuts. is held on Christmas Eve. called a réveillon. often with champagne or similar sparkling wines as a conclusion. oysters. Réveillons in Quebec will often include some variety of tourtière. Children put their shoes in the window on 5 January in the hope that the Three Wise Men will deliver them presents. a long family dinner. etc. In Provence. when they have churros with chocolate for breakfast. though secular ways of celebrating the occasion also exist. a very big feast in bars and pubs and the drink and dance until 1 January morning. Some young people go out in "cotillón". France Christmas in France (Noël on the French calendar) is celebrated mainly in a religious manner. such as Christmas fairs. brought by "Papá Noel" (Father Noel). Families also attend midnight mass and decorate their homes with Nativity Scenes depicting the birth of Jesus. dates. the tradition of the 13 desserts is followed. On 31 December (Nochevieja) there is also a large family feast. Quality wine is usually consumed a such dinners. etc. because participation involves staying awake until midnight and beyond. Additional Santons (little saints) may be added in the nativity scenes. Réveillon is generally of an exceptional or luxurious nature. .
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.