Monday, December 14, 2009



In the entire world, Christmas is probably celebrated the longest in the Philippines. Christmas carols are usually heard starting September first of every year. And as October and November shade their days, people start hanging their lanterns; advertisers are busy with their Christmas promotions; letter-writers are scouting bazaars and bookstores for attractive card, all these are signs of the coming Christmas. The first or second week of December usually is the beginning of the Christmas festivities. There is the simbang gabi (midnight mass), which usually starts on the 16th of December, and the melodious or otherwise noisy caroling.
In the provinces, a practice called Panunuluyan, where carolers went from house to house, either before or just after the midnight mass, relating in songs how Joseph and Mary tried to look for an inn to give birth to our Savior Jesus Christ, but instead found a stable. The carolers were offered food or money by the host.
There is the Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), in which families and friends partake of a sumptuous meal together, commencing a few seconds before midnight. Of course there is nothing more heartwarming than greeting your loved ones Maligayang Pasko.
n other parts of the world, there are age-old unique traditions that are being celebrated each year during the Yuletide season. Read on and let's celebrate different Christmas traditions around the world.

The Orthodox Church in Armenia still uses the old Julian calendar, so Christmas is celebrated on January 6th. The Yuletide season usually starts on December 21 in a more recent event called “Winterfest.” On December 31, while most of the world prepare for New Year’s Eve, Gaghant Baba, the Armenian Santa Claus traditionally comes to give gifts. December 25, on the other hand, is celebrated as St. Stephanos Day. Favorite and traditional holiday foods in Armenia include Anooshaboor (Armenian Christmas Pudding), Khozee bood (glazed ham) and dried fruits.
Merry or Happy Christmas is expressed differently in Armenia, Shnorhavor Sourp Dzenount, which literally translates to “Congatulation for the Holy Birth.”

After attending Christmas Eve mass, everyone goes back to their home. Celebration starts with Christmas dinner and family gathering together singing Aruban songs and dancing all night long. Everyone eats Ayaca (chopped chicken and pork with spices wrapped in milk dough and plantain or banana leaves), salted ham and salmon.
In Aruba they say Bon Pasco.

Geol logs or Yule logs are burned during the entire Christmas season in Australia to give warmth and a sort of bright aura. Yuletide (another word for Christmas) came from an old English rootword Geol meaning "Christmas." Christmas in Australia is celebrated with the eating of an especially-baked fruitcake called plums, in which coins are inserted. To get a coin means good luck.
As in many English-speaking countries, "Merry Christmas" is a simple holiday greeting in the "Down Under" but the native Maori will greet you with Kia orana rava i teia Kiritimeri.

Christmas celebration in this country begins on the 22th of November with the Feast of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians. The event precedes the arrival on December 6 of St. Nicholas. To Austrian children, St. Nicholas is a stern saint who rewards good children with sweets while Krampus, a rather evil spirit, supposedly whips the naughty ones.
In Austria, "Merry Christmas" similar to the Germans: Froehlicke Weichnachten.

On the eve of December 6, Belgian children start singing carols in honor of St. Nicholas. On this occasion, candies were supposedly thrown by the saint himself for the children to scramble on. It is also customary in Belgium to walk in a parade wearing your best attire. Everyone joins in and as the parade ends up in the church, the people kneel down to say a prayer of thanksgiving.
In Belgium the season's greeting is Zalig Kerstfeest.

In this South American country, preparations for Christmas begin on the first of December. Children gather flowers, particularly the pastora, which is similar to the poinsettia, from the mountain valleys to decorate the nativity scenes in homes and churches. Midnight mass is heard on the eve of Christmas.
Like the Spanish, Bolivian greets with Felicitas Pascuas.

In Brazil, Christmas arrives at the beginning of summer. This is the season when Brazilians enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking, sailing and frolicking in the beach. In Rio de Janeiro and other cities along the coast, office workers may take a stroll on their launch hour, while crowds of Christmas shoppers wearing shorts and t-shirts throng the streets, and beaches are loaded with topless sunbathers. Two Christmas customs are universally practiced on Christmas Eve. The first is Missa do Galo (Mass of the Rooster), the midnight mass where the churches are lit with hundreds of candles and decorated with flowers and wreaths. The second is Ceia de Natal (Christmas dinner) where family members from grandparents to grandchildren converge together in a single house to enjoy and celebrate a feast. Christmas Eve is also the time when Papai Noel, the Brazilian Santa Claus, visits the children.
To all Brazilians, Bon Natal!

Special dinner consisting of 12 dishes is prepared on Christmas Eve, all of them without meat. Each dish represents a separate month of the year. Ingredients for the dishes include beans, different kinds of nuts, dried plums and the traditional Banitza (a concoction of fillo leaves and feta cheese) and Rakia (grape wine). On this day the whole family gathers together, eat on straws and get off the table simultaneously.
Bulgarians greet with Vasel Coleda.

Canadians celebrate Christmas very much like other western countries do. Visiting tourists, however, trek to Canada because of the country's yearly Winterlude celebration. Probably the country's largest annual attraction, which takes place right in the heart of Ottawa, Canada's capital, the Winterlude is a ten-day winter extravaganza featuring over 200 lively activities and amusements for young and adults alike.
Canadians may greet you an English "Merry Christmas," or a French Joyeux Noel.

Christmas is celebrated by Chinese Christians, converts and well-wishers by exploding firecrackers and creating noises. They believe it drives away bad luck and evil spirits. People walk around towns and cities carrying beautiful Chinese paper lanterns. Children hang muslin stockings as they wait for Dun Tze Lao Ren (Christmas Old Man), the Chinese version of Santa Claus. Evergreen, holly and a great variety of paper decorations adorn churches and homes. Paper chains in green, red, yellow and blue are suspended in interlocking festoons overhead. On the white walls are posted large elaborate characters meaning "peace" and "joy." It is an essential character of Chinese to be very generous during Christmas time, especially to the poor and needy ones. They believe that giving to the indigents during the season will bring them prosperity throughout the year.
In Mandarin Chinese you say Sheng Dtan kuai Le.

In Chile, people decorate their homes with dazzling Christmas light, ornament, balloons, with a lavish Christmas tree as a center piece on the auspicious Christmas Eve. Exchanging gifts is a very important aspect of the celebration. Christmas tradition is always a religious affair and Jesus Christ is always at the focal point of the celebrations. The church services are part of the daily activities during the season. Carols are sung while bible passages related to the nativity are also read throughout the period.
Like in many South American countries, you greet with Feliz Navidad.

Although Croatia was once a part of Yugoslavia, the Croats have there own unique customs and traditions. Peculiar to the Croatian Christmas is a dish called Kolach, a ring-shaped coffee cake. Three candles are placed within its hollow. The first is lighted on Christmas Eve; the father of the family makes the sign of the cross with it, saying "Christ is born," the others responding, "He is born indeed." The second candle is lighted at noon on Christmas day; after a prayer it is blown out. Where the head of the family is a farmer, he hastens to his granary and sticks the still warm candle into the grain. From the amount of grain adhering to the candle, he can estimate his crop for the following year. The third candle is not lighted until New Year's Day and the cake is not cut until January 6th, the Three Kings' Day, when each member of the family gets a slice to symbolize his share in the good fortune of the coming year.
Sretan Bochzic to the Croatians.

Although Czechoslovakia split into two separate states – the Czech Republic and Slovakia – on January 1, 1993, both the Czechs and the Slovaks celebrate the same Christmas traditions like observing fasting a day before Christmas. Children are urged to abstain from food until evening so that they may see the "golden pig." The evening meal is served meatless, and baked carp with a dark sauce is the chief dish. Supper is not complete without the braided bread called Vanocka, a special strudel made of apple, almonds, raisins, and a variety of preserved fruits, nuts and candies. There is also fish soup; for which the housewife is careful to select a fish with roe as she thereby secure good fortune for the family for the coming year. The leftovers from the table are not kept but rather they are fed to farm and household animals so that every creature will prosper and grow.
Czechs greet with Vecele Vanoce while Slovaks say it slightly different, Vesele Vianoce.

Christmas lasts only two days in Denmark. It begins with the Christmas Eve meal where the Danish family eats goose and red cabbage. There is also rice cooked in milk called Risengrod, where a solitary almond nut is stirred into the cooking vessel, and the lucky finder is awarded a prize of some sort. Many Danish children believe that a lively elf called Julinissen brings them gifts on Christmas Eve and helps them with the daily houseworks. In return they reserve some candies and rice puddings for the elf to eat. There is no midnight mass in Denmark but Juledag (Christmas Day) opens with an early morning church service.
In Denmark you say Glaedelig Jul.

The Coptic church in Egypt celebrates Christmas on the 7th of December. On Christmas Eve, Egyptian Christians goes to church wearing a completely new outfit. The Christmas service ends at midnight with the ringing of church bells; then they go home to eat a special Christmas meal known as Fatta, which consists of bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat.
The greetings in Egypt is either Mboni Chrismen or Colo sana Wintom tiebeen.

Christmas in Estonia is a mixture of old tradition and modern celebration. Like in other Baltic nations, Christmas in Estonia is associated with the Winter solstice, which was celebrated even before the Christian aspect of the holiday prevailed in importance. Some old traditions of covering floors with straw or hay and living food like blood sausages for visiting spirits are still practice in the suburbs. In Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn, modern celebration starts during the month of December at the Tallinn Christmas Market, where Santas like to regularly hang out.
To give Christmas greeting in Estonia, you say Rôômsaid Jôule.

The Finnish Christmas meal, preceded by a family prayer and sermon, has many native snack dishes like the Lipeakala (fish), Joulukinkku (baked ham) and Tortuja (plum), served with a casserole of stewed prunes and mashed turnips, and a very strong black coffee, with a rice porridge for dessert. Christmas trees in Finland are decorated with ginger bread, cookies and walnuts. The tree is kept for some weeks, usually till January 13, Canute's Day, when the neighborhood children are invited to "plunder" it. To an average Finnish youngster, it is a great pride to have attended a large number of such "plundering."
In Finland, people greet you with Hauskaa Joulua.

The creche is of great importance in the French home at Christmas. On December 4th, St. Barbara's Day, lentils are soaked and planted in a bowl so that they will be well grown by Christmas Eve. The bowl of growing green blades called soucope is placed next to the creche as a symbol of an offering of a living thing. Candles are lighted before the creche on Christmas Eve and are kept burning until Epiphany (January 6th). Children put their shoes infront of the fireplace on Christmas Eve so Le Petit Noel (the Christ Child) or Pere Noel (Father Christmas) can fill them with gifts French families after returning from the midnight mass enjoy le reveillon, a late meal. The course includes a popular dessert called Buche de Noel, a rolled chocolate cake in the shape of a Yule log.
The French will greet you with an expressive Joyeux Noel.

Practically every German home lights a tree on Christmas Eve where the family gathers about it singing different carols. Roast goose or duck is the traditional dish with green kale or sprouts. Germans are famous for baking different Christmas cakes and biscuits, such as the Stollen (a long cake filled with raisins, almonds and cherries), the Lebkuchen (a spicy heart-shaped cookie) and the Bremerkloeben and Spekulatus (biscuits of diffrent shapes). Christmas gifts and presents are sent to a fellow who impersonates Knecht Rupert (Robert the Knight). On Christmas Eve, Knecht Rupert dressed in white robe and wearing a mask goes from house to house looking for the children, saying he is God's servant and that he was sent to give good children their intended gifts or recommend parents to punish children who have been bad.
Froehlicke Weichnachten!

The world owes the Greeks the heritage of gift-giving. They started it all by offering gifts to Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom. Since then, it has been a part of the Christmas tradition. In the same token that many people today use or write "Xmas" instead of "Christmas." This form is believed to have originated in the early Christian church in Greece, since in the Greek Alphabet,"X (chi)" is the first letter of Christ's name. Children receive their gifts on January 1, which is both New Year's Day and St. Basil's Day. Goblins called Kallikantzaroi, which are "spirits of the dead," are said to be active between Christmas and the Epiphany. The Greeks burn Yule logs to keep the spirits away. They end their Christmas season at Epiphany with the "Blessing of the Water." In coastal communities, the priest blesses the water of the harbor and then throws a crucufix into the water. Divers from the parish compete to retrieve it.
The Greeks will greet you Kala Christougenia.

Near Thule in Greenland, the Polar Eskimos do much visiting of families, drinking coffee and eating cakes, and giving brightly warpped parcels that may contain a model sledge, a pair of polished walrus tusks or sealskin mitts. Everyone receives gift and the children go from hut to hut singing songs. Christmas Eve is the one night in Greenland when men look after the women, serving them coffee and stirring it for them. Festive delicacies like Mattak (whaleskin with a strip of blubber inside) and Kiviak (little auks allowed to decompose for several months and then cooked) are served.
Greenlandic greetings is a tongue twister: Juulllimi Ukiortaassamilu Pilluarit.

Throughout Christmas several religious statues are taken for an elaborate procession by Guatemala's Catholic inhabitants. Marimbas and chirimias accompany the procession. The festivities end on the midnight of Christmas Eve with a Misa de Gallo.
Like other Spanish-speaking country, people in Guatemala greet with Felices Pascuas.

On December 22, people in Haiti would go to the market and get fresh cut trees brought from the mountains and decorate them with bright ornaments. The following day, they place their shoes, filled with straws, on the porch. On Christmas Day, they would eat and sing all day long. The joyous atmosphere would be carried throughout the week.
In Haiti, you say Jwaye Nwet.

Modern Hawaii like other U.S. States has a rather westernized Christmas with its streets displaying colorful decors. In some street corners, a dummy Santa Claus is seen firmly standing as if greeting every passerby. Foreigners like the Filipinos, which comprise the largest group in the islands, celebrate Christmas as they would traditionally in their country with a blending of western motifs.
The native Hawaiians, however, will greet you Male Kaliki Maga.

Christmas in Hungary lasts only two days. During this period church bells ring almost continuously. Christmas Eve is an occasion of great festivity. When the first star appears, the family assembles around the Christmas tree and after a short prayer gifts are distributed. Then the evening meal is served and the traditional dishes include cabbage soup, strudel, and cakes shaped like horseshoes and filled with walnuts. A specialty is the Bobajka, a small dumpling sprinkled with poppy seeds and sugar. There is also the Szalon cukor, a home-made candy.
The Hungarian Christmas greeting is Boldog Karaczonyi Unnepeket.

When Christmas time approaches, people in Iceland make decorative trees from loads of shrubs with foliage. Prune cake and a thin bread patterned like a leaf and fried in mutton tallow are the season's delicacies. Since the population of the country is largely Lutheran, the religious observance of the season is much like that in the Scandinavian countries.
In Icelandic yoy say Gleoileg Jol.

In India, Christmas is not a holiday and has no significance. However, for the people who do observed Christmas (mostly in mission compounds), they get up very early in the morning, around two o'clock, for their great party preparation. The Indians call this a Tamasha, where the guests have the time of their lives. A unique part of this celebration is the Christmas tree, which for more often than not is a banana tree with the great bunches of bananas still growing upon it.
In Hindi you greet one and all Shub Nava Baras.

Christmas for Indonesian is a time not only for jubilation but also for repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and for patching up differences and for forgetting offenses among family members. The usual Christmas trappings are on display especially in the city of Djakarta. Christmas trees in the Christian homes are uniquely made of banana stalks or bamboos.
The Indonesian Christmas greeting is Salamat Heri Natal.

Christmas in Ireland is synonymous with St. Stephen's Day. Young men dress in extravagant costumes, and occasionally masks, solicit money and then parade up and down the streets in what is known as the Wren Boy's Procession. A wreath or holly bush with a captured wren inside is place upon a long pole and this is carried during the procession.
To the Irish Nodlig Mhaith Chugnat.

Christmas in the Holy Land, where Christ is believed to have been borned, is often full of travellers coming to celebrate the most glorious of all events. The birthplace inside a grotto's floor is marked by a 14-pointed star. Different religious groups visit the site to perform their own celebration.
In Hebrew they say Mo'adim Lesimkha.

Christmas in Italy starts with a Novena and a one-day fast, from sunset of December 23 to sunset of December 24. On Christmas Eve called La Vigilia, the family holds a ceremony around the Presepio, a miniature Bethlehem manger scene. The family prays while the mother places a figure of the Bambino Gesu (Infant Jesus) in the manger. The climax of Christmas celebration is reached on the night of January 5th, when the good witch Befana sweeps into the children's bedrooms from the chimneys on her broomstick to fill their stockings and pockets. If they have been bad, they will find bits of charcoal and pebbles instead of toys and sweets.
To the Italians, Bono Natale!

Christmas was introduced in Japan by the Christian missionaries, and for many years the only people who celebrated it were those who had turned to the Christian faith. But now the Christmas season in Japan is full of meaning, almost universally observed, and has blended well with local tradition and commerce. The Hoteiosho, a priest pictured as a kind old man carrying a huge pack (perhaps the Japanese version of Santa Claus), bestows good children with gifts. He is thought to have eyes in the back of his head, and it is beneficial for children to be good.
Japanese greet you Tanoshii Kurisumasu with a respectful bow.

More than a third of the population of Lebanon follows a form of Maronite Catholic tradition, which builds manger scenes in their homes similar to the Nativity crib. This symbol is more popular than the Christmas tree. It's traditional for the scene to be based around a cave rather than a stable. It's often decorated with sprouted seeds such as chickpeas, broad-beans, lentils, oats and wheat that have been grown on damp cotton wools in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The crib scene then becomes a focus for the prayer of people in the house.
In Lebanon, you greet with Milad Majeed.

The traditional Christmas Day is usually spent quietly with the family, but Lithuanians have a second and a third Christmas days, St. Stephen's Day (December 26) and St. John the Baptist's Day (December 27), which are occasions for much gaiety. On Holy Innocent's Day (December 28), certain areas in the country hold puppet presentations showing King Herod passing sentence on the children of Bethlehem.
The Lithuanian Christmas greeting is Linksmu Kaledu.

Maltese Christmas is traditionally centered around the crib called Preserju. The child version of the church crib is called Grolta. The crib figures are called Pasturi. Midnight mass on Christmas Eve is the climax of all religious activities. Another Maltese tradition is the Priedka tattifel, which literally means "the preaching of the child." A boy or a girl does the preaching at the midnight mass. Traditional Christmas sweets like Qaghaq ta'l-Ghasel (treacle rings) and Imbuljutka (chestnuts cooked in chocolate sauce) are given to the children to enjoy.
In Malta, you say Il-Milied It-Tajjeb.

The Christmas season lasts from December 16 to January 6 in Mexico. A Mexican family celebrates La Posada (literally means "the inn") on each of the nine nights before Christmas Day. The members of the family re-enact Mary and Joseph's search for rooms on the first Christmas Eve. The family forms a procession from room to room, led by two children who carry figures of Mary and Joseph. At the door of each room, they beg to enter, but are refused. When they reach the room containing the Nacimiento (miniature stable scene, the "wanderers" are admitted. They put the figures of Mary and Joseph beside the empty manger. They do not put the figure of the Infant Jesus in the manger until Christmas Eve, last night of the Posada. At the Christmas celebration, children gather around in circle and, while blindfolded, take turns in attempting to break the Piñata, a jar filled with candies, sweet nuts and fruits. When the jar is broken, they scramble at its contents, and each child can keep whatever he finds.
To the Mexicans, Feliz Navidad.

It was the Dutch who brought the idea of Sinter Klaes (Santa Claus) to the world. Today, in some part of Holland, children still believe that Sinter Klaes comes flying through the sky on a white horse with his assistant, Swarte Piet (Black Peter). As the belief goes, he supposedly checks the behavior of children giving gifts to the good ones. Before going to bed, the children pray and make sure to stuff their shoes and socks with hays and carrots for Santa's horse. Pranks and jokes of a light nature characterize the gift-giving day. Huge wrappings, layers and layers of tissue, yards of ribbons and sticker after sticker of seals are used to dress up simple gifts.
"Merry Christmas" in Dutch is Hartelijke Kerstgoeten.

In Norway, the Yuletide season starts on St. Thomas' Day (December 21). One Norwegian custom is ringe in Julen (ringing in Christmas), where church bells throughout the country are ring at four o'clock in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. Norwegians bake a Christmas pudding which contains a solitary almond, but with a different perspective. Whosoever gets the almond will be the next one to be married.
To all Norwegians, Glaedelig Jul!

Polish housewives prepare Christmas Eve with much care. They put straws under the tablecloth. After the meal, the girls in the family tell fortunes by means of the straws. Anyone fortunate enough to find an unthreshed ear of grain, will soon have a prosperous marriage. Christmas Eve also brings feasting to the farm animals, to commemorate the fact that animals were present at the birth of the Christ child. At midnight, the Pasterka (shepherds' mass) is celebrated. In each church there is a Christmas crib, which is not dismantled until January 6. On Three Kings' Day, the parish priest goes to the village to bless each home with "holy water." Above the entrance of each house, he writes the initials of the Three Kings, a ceremony, which carries a blessing for the New Year. This celebration is known in Polish as the Kolenda.
The Polish equivalent of "Merry Christmas" is Weselych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia.

People in Portugal attend Vespera de Natal (midnight mass), and look forward to the Nativity plays held each Christmas Eve. During the night, carolers walk along the narrow streets singing joyfully about the Christ Child. On Christmas Day the Portuguese try to gather together as many members of the family as possible. Each family burns a Christmas log called Cepo de Natal. Then the charred wood of this oak log is put in a safe place and is burned at a later time to protect the house from any danger or harm, or when there is a storm or violent thunder.
To the Portuguese, Boas Festas!

In Rumania they sing greeting songs called Colinde starting on the evening of December 24 and children go from house to house carrying the Steaua, a wooden star, symbolizing the star of Bethlehem. They do this up to the end of the month. The custom is said to be a remnant of an old Roman festival, the Atelanae.
The Rumanians greet with Sarbatori Vesele.

The Russian Christmas is closely associated with its different churches. To the Russian Orthodox, it is preceded by a forty-day fast which is observes strictly. On the day before Christmas even children must not eat anything until the first star appears in the sky. Traditional Christmas gifts are red boots for children and gold slippers for young girls. In certain parts of the country, Baboushka, the grandmother, is the legendary dispenser of gifts. According to one story, she repented of unkindness and has ever since tried to make amend by distributing gifts to children on Christmas night.
In Russia, "Merry Christmas" is Srozjdestvom Xristovym.

The Serbians like the Croatians plant wheat grass on a plate on December 10th. By Christmas Day there is a miniature field of wheat which serves as decoration; it is usually set on the windows sill. Before sunrise on Christmas morning, the men of the family go to a nearby forest to gather logs. They bring them back home, and lighted candles are held on each side of the door through which it is carried into the fireplace. As soon as the log starts burning brightly, a neighbor, chosen beforehand for the ceremony, strikes the log sharply with a rod of wood or iron and, as the sparks fly from it, he chants his wishes for the prosperity of the family.
The Serbian Christmas greeting is Hristos Se Rodi.

December 6th, St. Nicholas Day, as in most central European countries, is the day for gifts in Slovenia. Slovenian housewives prepare assiduously for Christmas, cleaning for several weeks beforehand. They bake a large loaf of poppyseed bread. It is consecrated with certain traditional rites. It is then kept carefully throughout the year and is cut and serve on different festival occasions. The actual Christmas meal, on the other hand, is meatless; on the menu are fish, stuffed cabbage and Potitza, a cake made of honey, nuts and flour.
Slovenians greet you with Vesele boziczno praznike.

In South Korea, where western influence is strong, people celebrate Christmas much the same way most people in the western world do: Buy gifts and enjoy hearty meals. Department stores are decorated with Christmas symbols but rarely in the homes.
The Christmas greetings in South Korea is Sungtan Chukha.

The Spaniards enjoy dancing at Christmastime. The words and music for the Christmas dance, known as the Jota, have been handed down for hundreds of years. They called their miniature Nativity scene the Nacimiento. Another important ingredient of Spanish Christmas is the grapefruit. It is tradition in some districts in Spain that for every sound of the church bell, a Castillian throws a grape into his or another's mouth like shooting a ball in a basket. The grape may land on the face but is not and should not be taken as a malice or lack of skill.
Felices Pascuas señores y señoritas!

In Sweden, Christmas season opens with the feast of Santa Lucia on December 13, when a young girl on the household, dressed in white and wearing a crown of candles, carries a tray bearing coffee and biscuits to her parents. The latter are often baked in the form of a swastika, the pagan sun symbol, or to the Swedes, Lucia's "cat." Another Swedish superstition is that for the Christmas spirit not to leave the house, every visitor including strangers, must be offered a tidbit to eat. No one must refuse or he will break the spell and carry the Christmas spirit away with him.
Glad Jul to the Swedes.

In Switzerland, young people visit nine fountains on their way to midnight church services on Christmas Eve. They take three sips of water from each fountain. A legend says that if they do this, they will find their future husband or wife at the door of the church. As in many other European countries, there is a belief that at midnight, cattle are able to speak in honor of their presence at Christ's birth.
The Swiss greets you Frohe Weihnachten.

Traditional Thais greet you Suksan Wan Christmas. Not many, however, celebrates Christmas in this part of the world. Only Christian residents and tourists celebrate Christmas on this day while the natives go on with their usual daily chores. But the signs and spirit of Christmas can be felt all over.
Sewadee Pe-e Mai is how you really say it Siamese.

Most of the people in Turkey are Mohammedans and, of course, do not celebrate Christmas. But among the Christian Turks the feast lasts for three days as a rule. The Turks are famous coffee drinkers and doubly so in Christmas week. They are exceptionally hospitable and everyone who comes to the house is given coffee, sweetmeats, fruits and and their favorite sour milk called Lebban. There is one tradition: The head of the church throws a wooden cross into the Bosporus and three boys swim out after it. The boy who gets the cross is blessed by the priest and given a present.
To the Christian Turks, Noeliniz ve yeni Yiliniz.

In England, carollers sing for money, gifts or a drink from the wassail bowl, which contains a mixture of ale, roasted apples, eggs, sugar, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Children hang their stockings by the fireplace, hoping that "Father Christmas" will fill them with Christmas treats. Father Christmas is the English version of Santa Claus. In some areas, an indoor game called Snapdragon, which requires both courage and quickness is played. In the game, a quantity of raisins is deposited in a large shallow bowl, into which brandy is poured and then ignited. Participants of the game take turns in snatching a raisin through the flame. Giving more risk is the fact that all the lights in the room are extinguished while the game is being played.
Englishmen say "Merry Christmas" with the usual slangish style.

The main streets of most American towns and cities are more gaily decorated during the Yuletide season than any time of the year. TV and radio programs often feature Christmas plays and other classic that are appropriate for the winter festival. Store windows are filled with the many Christmas motifs and decorations. Almost every home is adorned with the Christmas tree, which together with the other Christmas motifs usually remained in place until the twelfth night - January sixth. Roast turkey with cranberry sauce and plum pudding are favorites for the American Christmas dinner, which is a family affair. Americans remember their relatives, friends and business associates with Christmas cards, which express the spirit of the season.
Merry Christmas to one and all.