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Christmas is perhaps the biggest festival on earth. It is celebrated in different parts of the world and on a large scale and most people await the whole year to have a massive celebration each time. From decorations to special dishes and from carols to gifts, Christmas is a beautiful time and the festivities begin from the beginning of December itself even though Christmas falls on December 25 every year. While the traditions are pretty similar in most places, everywhere they differ slightly keeping in mind the local rituals of the community. Heres how people celebrate Christmas around the world. ALSO SEE Interesting things to do on Christmas in India Also Read - India-China Ladakh Standoff: 'Situation Stable And Controllable, All Channels Open For Talks,' Says Beijing
Australia which is the smallest continent, celebrates Christmas in the summer as December is the summer season in this island nation. So while others in the world are wrapping themselves in winter clothes, Australians wear their finest summer clothes for Christmas celebrations. They even prefer celebrating it out in the open where they can barbeque and enjoy the sunshine. After going to church, families gather to ring in the festival by singing carols and performing plays. Many even hit the beach, go surfing and go to Christmas parties that are organized throughout the country. Kids often hang stockings and expect to get gifts in return from Santa Claus and Father Christmas. Breakfast usually consists of ham and eggs while Christmas dinner is usually roasted turkey or barbequed meat. Not every family puts up a Christmas tree in Australia but the decorations are usually bright and colorful. The flowers that bloom in summer are part of the decorations and people too dress up in colorful attire for the festive occasion. Also Read - Style Tips to Wear Mom Jeans: How to Look Cool Wearing 'Unhip' Denim at Any Occasion
China too celebrates Christmas, however, here it is called Holy Birth Festival or Sheng Dan Jieh. Christmas in China is a fun affair with colorful paper decorations around. People often make paper lanterns, patterns and decorative items using colorful paper. These are hung outside the house and on the Christmas tree. Children hang muslin stockings to get presents from Old Man or Santa Claus. People often gift their loved ones something expensive while friends and relatives are given tokens. They call the Christmas tree, tree of light, and Santa Claus is considered a good luck charm in China. The Christmas feast consists of local cuisine and there are feasts organized in restaurants too. From fireworks to acrobats, Christmas is a fun time in China.
England Christmas celebrations are slightly different from other places and are more about decorating the house and the Christmas tree, stocking up on gifts, baking cookies and then having a lavish feast with the family. Because the weather is chilly and gloomy during this time, people spread Christmas cheer by singing carols and going from house to house. Usually, kids do this and in return, the owners give them cookies to eat. Christmas is also the time to meet friends and family and people make sure they spend it with their loved ones. Turkey and Yorkshire pudding is enjoyed during the midday feast and then, during high-tea, people eat Christmas cake. Children usually hand large stockings over the fireplace and write down their wish list on a piece of paper that is tossed into the fire so that it reaches the chimney as that is from where Santa arrives.
France too celebrates Christmas with a slight variation that starts by children leaving their shoes by the hearth on December 5 so that Father Christmas or Pere Noel can fill them up with gifts. This is called St Nicolas Eve. On Christmas Eve, children go around singing carols in French that are called noels. People fast during the day and then attend midnight mass. Cathedrals are decorated too to welcome people for Christmas prayers. The most important part of Christmas celebrations in France is the crèche that is decorated to create a scene of nativity. Even though Christmas trees are part of Christmas decorations, the crèche is of utmost importance. Plays and puppet shows are held throughout December for kids as well as adults. On Christmas Day, people go to church and then eat a feast which ends with a special treat which is a buttercream-filled cake.
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New York City is one of the best places to witness Christmas celebrations as the whole city lights up in a cheery vibe. The city is anyway buzzing with activities and events however during Christmas, the feel is just something else. NYC is covered in snow where you can experience a white Christmas with a tall Christmas tree near the Rockefeller Ice Skating Rink. The stores are lined with gifts and offers attracting people with fancy window displays. The people greet strangers too with a festive vibe as they go about their business. Hotels and restaurants have several offers for those who want to stay in the city and want to experience the feast of a Christmas in NYC. While other parts in the US too ring in this festival with much pomp, the celebration of this city is altogether a different experience especially if you are a tourist here.
Last but not the least, Christmas celebrations in India are also on a large scale. Even though the Christian population in India is in minority, the festive spirit is all over and even non-Christians take part in the festivities if not exactly in the traditional way. While not everyone would go to church for a midnight mass, they usually exchange gifts and enjoy a feast in a restaurant or by making some at home. There are certain places in India where Christmas celebrations are more than the others. These include metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, hill stations like Shimla, Manali and places where Christian population is higher like Goa, northeast India. Of course, the traditions vary slightly and people have regional delicacies as well in the feast including locally made wine. To get a real taste of Christmas in India, visit any of these places and enjoy a beautiful Christmas with the locals.
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