There has been a suggestion that "Swag Man" take over Santa's franchise Down Under!!! "Swag Man" wears a brown Akubra, a blue singlet and long baggy shorts. He spends all winter under Uluru with his merry dingoes and then at Christmas time, he gets in his huge four-wheel drive and sets off through the red dust to deliver his presents.
Christians in China celebrate by lighting their houses with beautiful paper lanterns and decorating their Christmas trees, which they call "Trees of Light," with paper chains, paper flowers, and paper lanterns. Santa Claus, is called Dun Che Lao Ren (dwyn-chuh-lau-oh-run) which means "Christmas Old Man.".
Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
On the Eve of Christmas everyone goes to church wearing a completely new outfit. The Christmas service ends at midnight with the ringing of church bells, then people go home to eat a special Christmas meal known as fata, which consists of bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat.
On Christmas morning people in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East, visit friends and neighbors. They take with them kaik which is a type of shortbread, which they take with them to give to the people they visit and eaten with a drink known as short bat. Christmas Day is a public holiday for Christians.
Colo sana wintom tiebeen
Nearly every French home at Christmastime displays a Nativity scene or creche.
French children receive gifts from Pere Noel who travels with his stern disciplinarian companion Pere Fouettard. Pere Fouettard reminds Pere Noel of just how each child has behaved during the past year. In some parts of France Pere Noel brings small gifts on St. Nicholas Eve (December 6) and visits again on Christmas. Generally adults wait until New Year's Day to exchange gifts.
The main exchange of gifts takes place on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany, the celebration in remembrance of the Magi's visit to the Christ Child. Children anxiously await a visit from La Befana who brings gifts for the good and punishment for the bad. According to legend, the three wise men stopped during their journey and asked an old woman for food and shelter. She refused them and they continued on their way. Within a few hours the woman had a change of heart but the Magi were long gone.
In Japan there is a god or priest known as Hoteiosho, who closely resembles our Santa Claus. He is always pictured as a kind old man carrying a huge pack. He is thought to have eyes in the back of his head. It is well for the children to be good when this all-seeing gentleman is abroad.
In KENYA, the churches are decorated with balloons, ribbons, flowers and green plants.
Christmas dinner is often a barbecue with family members traveling from far away to be together again.
Often a group will go singing house to house, usually on Christmas eve in urban areas. The occupants of each house will give a gift of some kind (often money) to the singers, then on Christmas Day, the singers will present whatever was given to the church they attend.
The main Christmas celebration in Mexico is called las posadas, which refers to processions reenacting Joseph and Mary's search for a place to stay in Bethlehem. The processions begin nine days before Christmas because the original journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem took nine days. The pilgrims travel from house to house asking for a shelter and are refused at each until they finally reach the house where an alter and Nativity scene have been set up. Here the pilgrims are admitted with great rejoicing, a traditional prayer is spoken, and the party begins. Food and drink are served and then children take turns trying to break open the pinata.
St. Nicholas is especially popular in Russia. The legend is that the 11th-century Prince Vladimir traveled to Constantinople to be baptized, and returned with stories of miracles performed by St. Nicholas of Myra. Since then many Eastern Orthodox Churches have been named for the saint, and to this day, Nicholas is one of the most common names for Russian boys. The feast of St. Nicholas (December 6) was observed for many centuries.
Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
The Scots celebrate Christmas rather somberly and reserve their merriment for New Year's Eve which is called Hogmanay. This word may derive from a kind of oat cake that was traditionally given to children on New Year's Eve. The first person to set foot in a residence in a New Year is thought to profoundly affect the fortunes of the inhabitants. Depending on the area, it may be better to have a dark-haired or fair-haired stranger set foot in the house. This tradition is widely known as "first footing."
Nollaig chridheil huibh
Venezuelans attend a daily early morning church service between December 16th and 24th called Misa de Aguinaldo ("Early Morning Mass.") In Caracas, the capital city, it is customary to roller-skate to this service and many neighborhoods close the streets to cars until 8 a.m. Before bedtime children tie one end of a piece of string to their big toe and hang the other out the window. The next morning, roller skaters give a tug to any string they see hanging. After Mass everyone enjoys tostados and coffee.
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