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How Christmas Eve is Celebrated around the World

http://www.chinese.cn 17:15, December 20, 2010 Confucius Institute Online

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Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve

The British pay the most attention to food at Christmas and their food includes roast pigs, turkeys, Christmas puddings and minced Christmas meat pies. Every family member receives a gift and servants also have a share. All gifts are sent in the Christmas morning. Some Christmas carol singers sing songs and report good news door by door. They will be invited in by hosts and entertained with tea and refreshments or given small gifts.

America is a country composed of many nations and therefore Americans celebrate Christmas quite differently. Immigrants from different countries mostly observe customs of their motherlands. However, garlands and other chic arrangements hung outside their doors are the same in Christmastide.

Almost all adults in France attend midnight Mass in churches on Christmas Eve.

Afterwards, family members go to the oldest married elder brothers' or sisters' to eat together.

Important matters are discussed at the gathering. Contradictions if any are settled on this occasion and relative relations are as good as before. Therefore Christmas is a beneficent day in France.

Children in Spain will put shoes outside the gate or window to receive Christmas gifts. In many cities, there are gifts for the most beautiful kids. Cows are also treated well that day because a cow reportedly exhaled to Jesus to warm him when he was born.

There is a model scene about Jesus' birth in every household in Italy. At Christmas Eve, families get together to feast and go to Christmas Mass at midnight. Afterwards, they pay visits to relatives and friends and only children and the old get gifts.

At Christmas, Italians have a very good custom. Children write compositions or poems to thank their parents for their upbringing in the year. Their works are hidden in napkins or under dishes or table cloth before Christmas feasts are eaten and their parents pretend not to know this. After they eat the feasts, children take them out and read them loudly.

The Swedish are very hospitable. At Christmas, this is manifested better. Every family, whether poor or rich, welcome friends, and even strangers can join them. All kinds of food are placed on the table for comers to enjoy at will.

Santa Claus in Switzerland wears a white robe and a mask. It's entirely played by poor people. They beg for food and gifts in line. Afterwards they share what they received equally.

Denmark was the first country which introduced the Christmas stamp called the Christmas seal. The stamp was issued to raise funds for preventing tuberculosis. All Christmas letters sent by Danes at Christmas are affixed with such a stamp. Receivers of letters like those with more Christmas stamps better. There must be a cold drink named the "monkey's tail" in celebration of Christmas in Chile, which is made of coffee, milk, eggs, wine and fermented grapes together. But no one can explain why this drink is called the "monkey's tail".

Before Norwegians go to bed on Christmas Eve, family members put their shoes in a row ranging from big to small and everyone sings a Christmas carol or a hymn he likes best.

There is a candle or lamp in the window and door frame in every Irish household on Christmas Eve to welcome Advent of the Savior.

The Scotch search their homes for things borrowed from others and must return them to their owners before Christmas. The Scotch give presents mostly on the first Monday in New Year instead of in Christmastide and kids and servants will receive gifts.

The Dutch's way of presenting Christmas gifts is usually beyond most people's expectation and sometimes they are concealed in pudding casings.

In Russia, the Gregorian New Year's Day is the most important festival in a year and generally only religious followers celebrate Christmas. So it has a stronger religious atmosphere.

Every German household which believes in Protestantism has a Christmas tree. Christmas trees first appeared in Germany. Germans are very particular about making Christmas cakes. The cakes are in many styles and are presented mutually between relatives and friends.