Christmas Celebrations Around the World
THUNDER BAY – Around the globe, the holidays are celebrated in many ways. Different customs and practices in countries around the world celebrate the holidays in their own unique ways. In the UK it is Father Christmas who visits on Christmas Eve. In North America, Santa Claus is the jolly old elf who brings toys at Christmas to all the good boys and girls.
Holiday traditions in other parts of the world differ from those in North America. Different can be good.
Christmas in Germany
Shoppers in Berlin trying to beat the holiday rush line up before dawn to buy traditional Christmas foods.
The first customers at Rogacki delicatessen pick up roast geese and seafood — among other festive treats.
Claus Deter says he can’t wait for the evening’s meal.
Claus Deter says, “l”Tonight we’re making salmon; my wife can do it in all kinds of different ways. I don’t exactly know how, but it will certainly taste good.”
Many other shops and restaurants in Germany are closed on Christmas Eve.
It’s traditionally the day when presents are exchanged…and the festive feasts begin.
Christmas in Beijing China
Thousands of Chinese Christians flocked to church to attend a Christmas Eve service in Beijing on Wednesday (December 24).
The Church of the Immaculate Conception, one of Beijing’s oldest Catholic churches, drew Catholic, Christian, and many non-religious attendees as it held a traditional service on Christmas Eve.
Although China remains an officially atheist state, its Christian population has experienced an upsurge in recent years.
The Catholic Church in China is divided into two communities – an official Church known as the Patriotic Association answerable to the Communist Party, and an underground Church that swears allegiance only to the pope in Rome.
China and the Vatican severed ties more than 50 years ago and only around 25 million people in the world’s most populous nation are Christians.
Christmas in the Holyland
Christmas in the Holy Land.
Here in Nazareth, revered as the birthplace of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, hundreds of local and visiting Christians celebrate.
Marlene, a tourist from Sweden says, “I have come to Nazareth today to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And since this is where it all started we thought we’d start at the beginning.”
The parade is followed by a mass.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, thousands of pilgrims gather in Bethlehem, where Christians believe Jesus was born.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was there to attend the traditional midnight mass.
“We hope from God that this holiday will come next year in peace and calmness and we will overcome the racism and violence that is taking place in some of our areas.”
More than ten thousands visitors are expected — many wishing to celebrate Christmas in the place they
Videos by Reuters