The Christmas holiday abounds in interesting customs and traditions. Many of these Christmas customs and traditions are wholeheartedly religious, while others are secular and relaxed. Some countries also provide a national flavor within their customs of Christmas. So evidently, the customs and traditions of Christmas are neither singular nor homogenous all around the world. These keep varying from region to region, and from country to country. Popular Christmas traditions such as the exchanging of gifts, decorating the Christmas tree, the Yule log, the holly bough, the kissing under mistletoe etc are just about common to any or all places.
In Christian countries, Christmas is just about the most important holiday of the year, economically speaking. Christmas is celebrated for a span of twelve days following December 25 in the United Kingdom. This twelve-day Christmas tradition is marked by huge celebration and feasting and ends on the Twelfth Night or the Feast of the Epiphany. This custom of elongating the Christmas celebrations is gaining popularity by the year. Christmas celebrations begin weeks before the particular day in the United States and the United Kingdom to lengthen the shopping season of Christmas and also allowing additional time for meetings and greetings.
The countries celebrating Christmas on December 25, call your day before ‘Christmas eve’ and your day after by varying names. Some like Germany, Poland call it the Second Christmas Day, some Commonwealth countries call your day after Christmas ‘Boxing Day’ whilst the Irish and Romanians call it St. Stephen’s Day. Some pagan Christmas customs and traditions have already been incorporated by some Christian missionaries to their celebration of Christmas, however the conservative Christians avoid any such celebration of Christmas. Christmas celebrations were banned in the Soviet Union for 75 years after the Russian revolution and the extremist Christian fundamentalists still consider Christmas a pagan holiday, unsanctioned by the Bible and hence strictly keep off from celebrating it.
But besides these religious and serious overtones in the Christmas customs and traditions, additionally, there are secular and more enjoyable observances of the Christmas holiday. As an example, the tradition of giving Christmas gifts is one of the commonest traditions of the vacation regardless of region or country. Friends and families exchange gifts and greetings, children hang stockings in the United States or keep empty toy-boxes for Santa Claus to fill it down with toys, candies and other gifts. In certain places, it’s a custom and tradition for kids to put on shoes on window sills on the Christmas night.
One of the very popular and inseparable customs and traditions of Christmas is the Christmas card. Be it your closest pal, or a distant relative, your teacher or your colleagues, mesaje si felicitari de sfantul andrei your family or your neighbor, every one gets a card on Christmas. Even when people are separated by miles, a ‘Miss You’ Christmas card will certainly reach more often than not.
Decorating homes and the Christmas tree are again well-known Christmas customs and traditions. It’s great joy getting everyone together decking up the halls and doorways with streamers, candles, stars or holly boughs or being with the whole couple of friends as you decorate the Christmas evergreen. Candy canes certainly are a very favorite Christmas candy, which may also be used as decorations. Traditionally people also decorate the exterior of the home as much as the insides. Sometimes Christmas decorations are sponsored by the municipalities.
Christmas parties form the fun area of the holiday and are more a celebration when compared to a custom and tradition of Christmas. Special Christmas meals having a unique Christmas menu are customarily served in lots of countries. Whilst in other places, especially in Eastern Europe, families fast for some days before the Christmas feast.
In several countries, Christmas dances and Christmas pageants (retelling of the story of Christ) are traditionally held every year. Going caroling in groups is yet another very popular custom and tradition of Christmas. In this, people go singing carols from door to door just to keep the spirit of the holiday season alive and fresh. Sometimes people visit a nearby houses for a great cause too, like for raising donations and funds for the downtrodden and destitute.
With the boisterous celebration of Christmas staying fine, Christmas remains observed as a chiefly religious holiday for many people over the globe. It is the full time for soul-searching, spiritual renewal, silent prayers, reading out quotes from the Bible, seeking religious blessings and wishing joys and good tidings to everyone for the times to come. The ceremonies are much toned down in a religious celebration of Christmas. Carols and hymns are sung in the churches and in homes, funds are raised for a great cause, volunteer works are conducted and people visit friends, neighbors and dear ones’ places for get-togethers and traditional Christmas meals. The air’s full of a sweet peacefulness and warmth. An expression of joy and well-being reverberates all around. People wish one another peace, prosperity, happiness and a very ‘Merry Christmas’ ;.
The religious customs and traditions of Christmas begin with Advent (the day when Jesus Christ’s birth was anticipated). This is just about early December. Customs and traditions of the religious celebration include Advent carols and calendars, sometimes also candies and other goodies for the children. Midnight mass or a Mass of the Nativity, featuring Christmas carols, prayers and hymns, are generally held on the Christmas Eve and on the Christmas Day.