White Christmas is the kind of Christmas most people hope for in most countries of the northern hemisphere. It is also the one most popularised by society and the media. However, different countries, particularly those of the southern hemisphere where it is summer during Christmas time, honour traditions different to those of their northern neighbours. These are some of the traditions celebrated by three different countries around the world:
As Europeans, the Finnish honour the classic traditions of winter Christmases – Christmas trees, Christmas carols and gingerbread – but complement the festivities with traditions of their own. These include having a sauna before Christmas dinner, listening to a nationwide Christmas peace declaration on radio and TV, and eating an assortment of special Finnish food, including casserole-type dishes, a vegetable salad called rosolli and pickled fish. The Finnish also like to go to cemeteries on Christmas Eve and light candles for their loved ones buried there.
Brazilians also honour many of the customs found in the US or the UK. Although, instead of a three bird roast or Christmas gift hampers, Brazilians will have chicken or turkey, beer and a special Brazilian sweet called brigadeiro, which is made of condensed milk and chocolate. Both the rich and poor have Christmas trees, with the poor typically placing cotton over the branches of theirs to simulate snow. Brazilians generally open their presents on the night before Christmas instead of Christmas morning.
Most homes in Liberia have an oil palm for a Christmas tree, which is adorned with bells. Carol singers wake up most people on Christmas morning, whereupon presents such as soap, pencils, sweets, cotton cloth and books are typically exchanged and a church service is held in which the Nativity scene is re-enacted. Dinner is eaten outdoors, with everyone partaking in a standard Christmas meal of rice, beef and biscuits. Games are played in the late afternoon, and at night, fireworks light up the sky.
Written by Anni.
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