Our diverse world is fascinating and there are so many rich cultures to learn about… especially around the holidays. Each country has some different and unique ways of celebrating Christmas in addition to the traditional going to church, having family meals, exchanging gifts, enjoying holiday music, and decorating the home inside and outside. Here are a few examples:
CHRISTMAS DAY MORNING CONCERT IN QUEENS PARK This traditional event begins at 7:00 a.m. and has free admission. Music is provided by a Tuk Band, the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, and numerous gospel performers. Many attendees go to see the fashion parade by the visitors as they strut around in their latest trendy outfits or ones from yesteryear, a real highlight
NEW YEAR’S EVE in Barbados is called “OLD YEAR’S NIGHT”. Celebrations are varied and filled with a festive atmosphere after Bajans normally attend church first for Midnight Mass and then move on to a party or two or out for a romantic dinner at a favorite restaurant before watching the colorful fireworks. You may even spot some celebrities or other rich and famous people who especially enjoy the island at this time of year.
The Finnish people believe that Santa Claus, known as Father Christmas, lives in the northern part of the country north of the Arctic Circle. Children from all parts of the world send letters to Santa Claus in Finland. A large tourist theme park, ‘Christmas Land’, is close to where they say Father Christmas lives.
Main presents are given out at midnight on Christmas Eve and are brought by St. Nicholas and Baby Jesus. It is also traditional for residents to paint their houses several weeks before Christmas to make them fresh and new and ready for holiday decorations.
Yule Logs are made of cherry wood, are carried into the home on Christmas Eve, and sprinkled with red wine to make them smell good when burning. The log and candles are left to burn all night along with some food and drinks in case Mary and the baby Jesus decide to visit during the night. Another celebration in some parts of France is consuming 13 different desserts made from different fruits, nuts and pastries.