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 have a national flavor in 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 including the exchanging of gifts, decorating the Christmas tree, the Yule log, the holly bough, the kissing under mistletoe etc are more or less common to all or any places.
In Christian countries, Christmas is just about the most critical holiday of the season, 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 specific day in the United States and the United Kingdom to lengthen the shopping season of Christmas and also allowing more hours for meetings and greetings.
The countries celebrating Christmas on December 25, call the day before ‘Christmas eve’ and the day after by varying names. Some like Germany, Poland call it the Second Christmas Day, some Commonwealth countries call the day after Christmas ‘Boxing Day’ while the Irish and Romanians call it St. Stephen’s Day. Some pagan Christmas customs and traditions have been incorporated by some Christian missionaries within their celebration of Christmas, however the conservative Christians keep from 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 faraway from celebrating it.
But apart from these religious and serious overtones in the Christmas customs and traditions, there’s also secular and more enjoyable observances of the Christmas holiday. For instance, the tradition of giving Christmas gifts is one of many commonest traditions of the holiday irrespective 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 up with toys, candies and other gifts. In certain places, it’s a custom and tradition for children to put up 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 remote relative, your teacher or your colleagues, your loved ones or your neighbor, every one gets a card on Christmas. Even when folks are separated by miles, a ‘Miss You’ Christmas card will reach more often than not.
Decorating homes and the Christmas tree are again well-known Christmas customs and traditions. It’s great joy getting all the family together decking up the halls and doorways with streamers, candles, stars or holly boughs or being with the entire bunch of friends as you decorate the urari de sfantul andrei Christmas evergreen. Candy canes really are a very favorite Christmas candy, which will also be used as decorations. Traditionally people also decorate the outside of the house as much as the insides. Sometimes Christmas decorations are sponsored by the municipalities.
Christmas parties form the fun area of the holiday and are far more a celebration when compared to a custom and tradition of Christmas. Special Christmas meals having a special Christmas menu are customarily served in lots of countries. During other areas, especially in Eastern Europe, families fast for a few days before the Christmas feast.
In lots of countries, Christmas dances and Christmas pageants (retelling of the story of Christ) are traditionally held every year. Going caroling in groups is yet another popular custom and tradition of Christmas. In this, people go singing carols from door to door just to help keep the spirit of christmas alive and fresh. Sometimes people visit the neighborhood houses for a good 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 lots of people throughout the globe. It’s enough 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 good 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 special peacefulness and warmth. A feeling 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 start out with Advent (the day when Jesus Christ’s birth was anticipated). This is around early December. Customs and traditions with this religious celebration include Advent carols and calendars, sometimes also candies and other goodies for the children. Midnight mass or even a Mass of the Nativity, featuring Christmas carols, prayers and hymns, usually are held on the Christmas Eve and on the Christmas Day.