10 Dec

Smash Special : Christmas around the globe!

According to a new survey, the average mother spends 13 days getting ready for Christmas. This includes an enormous 288 hours shopping, 4.19 hours of wrapping presents, and 3.03 hours decorating the house, not to mention nine hours preparing and cooking Christmas dinner.But is it all necessary?

Christmas is celebrated on 25th December in remembrance of the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary. The usual tradition requiresfamilies to distribute gifts that Santa Claus left under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Not only this, several individuals attend church on the Christmas Eve and gather for family dinner. The true meaning of Christmas is hence, the love of God that is cherished with celebrations marked with gifts, grandiose parties and extravagant food.

Christmas is incomplete without Santa Claus who appears to be the most humble person. The history and origin of Santa is more than just considering him being available to circumnavigate the globe in one night. Santa Claus originates from an ancient kind leader of Myra (present day Turkey) known as St. Nicholas. Nicholas was neither fat nor jolly but developed a reputation as a fiery, wiry, and defiant defender of church doctrine during the “Great Persecution,” when Bibles were put to the torch and priests were made to renounce Christianity or face execution.Nicholas defied these acts and as a result, spent several years in the prison. Finally, Constantine brought Christianity to prominence in his empire andNicholas rose to prominence among the saints. This was because he was the patron of so many groups, ranging from sailors to entire nations.He then began to be known as a patron of children and magical gift bringer after incidents of rescuing prostitutes by financially helping their parents, and by punishing the culprits of a robbery at that time. His popularity continued to grow until he was defamed by highlighting the duty of gift bringing attributed to parents. With time, the legend did not vanish and came out in terms of Santa Clause enveloping the same purpose of spreading love and gifts.

Christmas is therefore, celebrated in a number of different ways around the globe. Let us look at how various countries celebrate the occasion

  1. Serbia
    Tradition: Tying up mum and dad
    Serbia does not follow the traditional practice of giving presents on Christmas. Instead, two Sundays before 25th December, kids tend to tie up their mums to give presents at Christmas. She then has to pay a ransom in the form of gifts to be freed. The following Sunday the same happens with dad.
  2. Netherlands
    Tradition: Sinterklaas and Black Peter
    Santa Claus is called Sinterklaas in Holland who instead of living at the North Pole, stays in Spain and arrives via a steamboat along with his helper Black Peter.
  3. India
    Tradition:Decorating mango trees
    For Christians on the sub-continent fir trees aren’t common. Instead mango trees are decorated where mango leaves brighten up homes.
  4. Ukraine
    Tradition:Spider webs on the tree
    It may sound more like a Halloween tradition than a Christmas, but Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with spider webs. This is to cherish the legend that recalls a magic spider that visited a poor family at Christmas and turned the webs in their home into gold and silver.
  5. Greece
    Tradition: Basil and burning shoes
    Basil is wrapped around a cross and used to sprinkle holy water around the house to ward off mischief making goblins called killantzaroi. The country also practices the tradition of burning old shoes in order to bring good luck in the following year. Brazil
    Tradition: Presents in shoes
    Brazilians have faith in the legend that animals gain power of speech on Christmas night while children here get their presents in their shoes rather than stockings from Papa Noel.
  6. Mexico
    Tradition: Carving radishes
    In the run up to Christmas time the Festival Of The Radishes sees farming folk carve the vegetables into human figures, including those from nativity scenes.
« »