Christmas Around The World
I don’t know about you but when it comes to foreign exchange students I like to ask a lot of questions about their countries, and around this time one question that might pop up is, Do you celebrate Christmas in your country and if you do what are some traditions and customs you have?
Everyone here knows how we celebrate Christmas in the United States, even one of you in your own country. I’m going to be explaining what the traditions and customs are in Turkey (which Saint Nick originated from), Russia, Germany, Australia and Jamaica during what we call the holiday season.
The country I will start of with is Turkey because this is where Saint Nick or Santa Claus originated from. Unlike the Santa Claus in the United States, Turkey’s St. Nicholas is a tall thin man, dressed up in a hooded robe. In Myra, a city in Turkey, there is a statue of him with a beard, holding a bag of toys and around him are children. For three days around the week of Dec. 6th ( which is saints official feast day) there is a festival celebrating Christmas. Christmas is a Christian tradition and even though there is a big amount of Jewish and Christian people in Turkey, most are Islam. Which means many people in Tu
After the tree is presented to the children, the family usually sings carols. After Christmas eve services in church, the people carry candles, torches and homemade lanterns around the outside of the church, just like their grandparents did back in their days. Jamaican Christmas carols are very familiar to us like Jingle Bells, Silent night, etc, but are sang in a Reggae version. These songs are sang through November and December. In Turkey, Christmas isn"tmt even a major holiday. In Russia, Christmas eve is January 6th. After they get done with that they go back inside the church to sing Christmas carols. Another tradition in Jamaica includes a parade and festival on Christmas day. The Christmas tree actually originated from Germany. Jamaica is a lot like the United States when it comes to Christmas time but in a way a little different. The signal for the children to know they can come in and see their tree is a bell that the mother rings. One thing that is kind of different in Germany is that they open their presents on Christmas eve and we open ours on Christmas day.