Tourists visiting Hungary for Christmas celebrations are usually amazed by how the country has been able to keep most of its Hungarian Christmas traditions like the observation of advent; this tradition has been known to be in existence since the pre-Christian years. It usually symbolizes the awaiting of Jesus Christ.
The celebrations usually begin during the evening of Christmas Eve which is known as ‘Scent-Este’ that means ‘The Holy Evening’ by decorating a Christmas pine tree and spending time with family and friends.
Santa Claus is replaced by St. Nicholas in the Hungarian Christmas traditions; he usually travels from the North Pole and arrives on December 6th to give gifts like fruits and candy to the children who were well behaved while leaving twigs as presents to the naughty children. As per the Hungarian Christmas traditions, the children as allowed to write down wishes that are pasted on the walls for St. Nicholas to see.
But some of the folk Hungarian Christmas traditions have vanished in the past few decades; one of them included the day of Luca that was predicted as the day of love, the Bethlehem play which included a wonderful script of the birth of Jesus; and the visiting form one household to another by small boys in costumes carrying an artificial figure of the Holy Family.
Christmas is a time for celebrations. People in different countries celebrate this holy event in different fashion; however, the inherent essence is same for every one. Christmas celebrations truly imply bondage between individuals as well as a promise to come closer. It is indeed a special holiday. Let us look upon various ingredients of Christmas celebrations and how it is celebrated in different countries.
Saint Nicholas was born on 6th December. It is the day which is celebrated in Belgium. It is the day when children are expecting gift from Santa Clause who is known as de Kerstman or le Père Noël. However, the gifts are also presented during Christmas days. The gifts are kept within stockings near fire-place. With full excitement and enthusiasm, the children explore the stocking full with gifts early in the morning. In Belgium, a special type of sweet bread is taken. This is known as cougnou. Apart from that, some of the Belgium families may also have another big meal.
In Brazil, Father Christmas refers to as Papai Noel. Brazilians celebrate their Christmas almost in similar fashion like Americans or British people. People belonging to higher income group may include rich foods like chicken, turkey, ham, pork, salad, rice, beer, fresh and dried fruits as part of their Christmas celebration, whereas people belonging to lower income group may have only rice and chicken. But truly, this is a time of celebration for every one.
Korvatunturi is the place which is believed to be the birth place of Father Christmas (Santa Clause). People around the world send letters to Santa addressing Finland. There is a place called ‘Christmas Land’ in the north of Finland.
Finnish people clean and prepare their houses for three days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. These three days are celebrated with full of fun and excitement. The time is for enjoying with family members and friends with a great of meal with thrilling recipes, exchanging gifts and spending time with each other. The gifts are given to the children on Christmas Eve. Typically, a family member dresses like Santa Clause. When children become mature, they gradually come to understand that Santa Clause is actually an elder family member.
Christmas is known as ‘Noël’ in France. Every French family celebrates the occasion with a Christmas tree with an extensively decorated either following old style or a new trend. The naturally grown fir trees in the garden area are also decorated with light throughout the night. Best meal and good wine are the essential dishes served during family gatherings. It is not mandatory that everyone sends greetings card.
Germans are adored due to their special knack and ability to decorate their houses during Christmas time. They typically decorate their houses with electric candles attached with wooden frames and photos hanging on the wall. Most commonly, many German families prefer to use Adventskranz which is a garland of leaves in combination with four candles. It symbolizes the advent of Christmas prior to Christmas. On each Sunday prior to Christmas, one of the candles is lit.