INDIA: Christmas, an annual festival, is once again about to knock on our door with its magic to bring life to the streets with bright lights and make people giddy with delight.
The festival, which falls on December 25, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, who is revered as God’s son and the awaited Messiah.
However, not everyone celebrates it on December 25! Some churches in Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Jerusalem, and other nations follow the Julian calendar; hence, they celebrate Christmas on January 7.
The festival, undoubtedly the most enchanting time of the year, is wrapped in love, colour, and light, is joyfully filled with gifts of all kinds, and is flavorful with cookies and treats. The arrival of Santa Claus with his surprise presents always excites children and makes the festival more awaited.
The Christmas tree, decorated with lights and various decorations, enhances the beauty of the festival. The bushes and branches of the tree are seen as symbols of immortality and are said to represent Christ’s crown of thorns on the crucifixion.
The joyful festival is celebrated in full swing all over the world, with each nation having its own unique way of celebrating it. It is all about celebrating the truest essence of togetherness.
Hop on your favourite chair and take a trip across the world for a glimpse of different traditions, customs, and quirky celebrations.
Christmas celebration commences with full joy and enthusiasm around the world
Christmas is a favourite season for many all around the world, and India is no exception. Even though there is a small percentage of Christians in the nation, everyone enjoys the magical ambience of it and takes part in the joyous festival.
With dazzling lighting, traditional tree décor, and nonstop festival music playing, India gets transformed into an incredible Christmas wonderland.
Thousands of Roman Catholics live in the major cities of India, including the cosmopolitan cities of Mumbai, Goa, and Delhi, to name a few. Therefore, midnight mass is regarded as a crucial component of India’s spectacular Christmas celebration. To participate in the liturgy, the family members walk together as a group.
The attendees of the mass then gorge themselves on a massive Christmas feast full of tasty treats. Once the nicely wrapped presents are exchanged, the midnight mass ends. Churches are extravagantly decked for this day with the festival accents like poinsettia flowers, fragrant candles, and shimmering lights.
With its festive Georgian townhouses, bustling taverns, and a touch of Dickensian charm, Christmas in London has a timeless allure.
London at the festival time is just magical. Yes, it is cold and dark, but all the midwinter gloom vanishes as the city transforms into a wintry wonderland, glittering with lights and creatively decorated trees. Additionally, there are a tonne of winter pop-up shops, markets at every corner, and Christmas carols are playing everywhere.
New York City
New York City is a sparkling spectacle of delight during the Christmas Festival.
It’s a city where the festival cheer can be found at every turn, from its copious window displays at well-known department stores to its colossal Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and other holiday markets.
Even though New York City is always enchanting, the month of December makes it shine even more brightly (both literally and figuratively) and brings the year to a rousing close with its raucous New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.
Japan’s Christmas celebration is a joyful and festive period. There aren’t any religious implications linked with the festival in the country because there aren’t many Christians, and it isn’t a national holiday.
However, a lot of the customs connected with Christmas—such as LED lights, markets, and festive trees in malls—appear, along with a few special Japanese customs.
On this festive season, Japanese head out to their local fast food restaurant, or KFC, as per the tradition, which began in 1947 with a hugely successful marketing campaign known as “Kentucky for Christmas!” or “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!”
Since the tradition has continued, the Christmas season is the busiest for KFC and other fast food restaurants, with customers standing in two-hour lines or making advance bookings for their “finger-lickin’ good” meals.
China has been lit up by dazzling Christmas displays as the city gradually reopens to the outside world as pandemic control measures are relaxed.
But the fear of a fresh wave of coronavirus outbreaks globally amid a surge in COVID cases feels like a not-so-welcome deja vu. Beijing is once again gripped by the COVID virus, and people are going through a tough time.
The festival, which is not a public holiday on the Chinese mainland, has been steadily growing in popularity in recent years. Its “celebrations” outside of China’s Christian minority have no connection to religion at all, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming a significant annual event in China’s main cities.
For many young Chinese people, Christmas serves as their version of Valentine’s Day. In order to increase consumption, a variety of promotional events are held in stores and shopping centres. The festival Eve dinners are served in restaurants. Another intriguing tradition of Chinese Christmas is the gifting of apples as gifts to friends on the festival.
In Ukraine, Christmas Eve (Holy Eve) is celebrated with traditional evening family gatherings known as Sviata Vecheria (Holy Dinner). The festivities begin with the appearance of the first star. Christmas in Ukraine is relatively low-key this year due to the war.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the country has almost lost everything other than its unbreakable spirit and courage. The war-torn nation is struggling to return to “normal” during the Christmas season as thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.
A tweet from a Twitter user highlighted the stark contrast between this year’s Christmas celebrations and those in years past. In the image, a Christmas tree with decorations that resemble doves is decorated in Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, also known as Independence Square.
The lacklustre ornaments and the gloomy street where the tree is situated speak volumes about the nation’s helpless state.
Contrarily, images from past years show Independence Square decked out in vivid lights of various colours and a big Christmas tree decorated with sparkling ornaments. The images sparked a lot of emotions.