How Christmas is celebrated around the world Blogmas#3

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In Australia, Christmas is all about the beach.

Christmas in Australia is different from Christmas in Australia because it's summertime in Australia, so Australians spend Christmas Day on the beaches. They used to have traditional Christmas dinners, but nowadays they enjoy family picnics in the garden, in the park or even on the beach. The Australian Christmas menu consists of cold chicken, duck or turkey, seafood, pasta, ham, cold cuts, salads and desserts. There is also a legend in Australia that Santa Claus was replaced by the "Swag Man", because of the likelihood that Santa would suffer a stroke due to the high temperatures. The "Swag Man" is dressed in a blue sleeveless shirt and long wide trousers, and only visits certain parts of Australia, most of which rely on the traditional Santa Claus. Children adjust their stockings before going to bed, in which Santa adjusts their presents.

Mexico is a land of pilgrims and piñatas.

In all major Mexican cities, people decorate stalls called "puesto" for weeks before Christmas, offering a variety of products, traditional Mexican food and flowers. The main Christmas celebration in Mexico is called "las posedas", which depicts Mary and Joseph's search for a place to stay and their night in Bethlehem's stable. The search for a place to stay begins nine days before Christmas, and all those gathered are divided into two groups, the pilgrims and the innkeepers. The pilgrims go from house to house asking for shelter, but are refused by their hosts. On the ninth day, however, they are welcomed with joy, where they pray the Christmas prayers. Then the party begins, with lots of food and drink and children taking it in turns to use sticks to open the piñatas, which contain hidden gifts and sweets.

The Czech Republic has an unusual tradition. 

There must be an unusual ritual on Christmas Eve in the Czech Republic. On 24 December, single women are supposed to step out of the house, take off their shoes and throw them over their shoulder. If the heel of the shoe was pointing towards the door, it meant that the girl would still be single in the coming year. If the heel was facing the street, it was a sign that she would be married in the coming year and could start preparing for her wedding.

In China, houses are decorated with lanterns.

In China, not many Christians celebrate Christmas, which is called Sheng Dan Jieh, meaning the Festival of the Holy Nativity. They decorate their houses with paper lanterns and decorate their Christmas tree with chains, flowers and lanterns. Children hang large stockings in a prominent place for Santa to put presents in. Their main festivities take place at the end of January, when they celebrate Chinese New Year.

Scandinavians are in awe on Christmas Eve.

Most of the Christmas traditions we know here come from Scandinavia. The winter solstice was a very important time of the year for the Scandinavians, people believed that this was the time when the dead returned to earth. On Christmas Eve, they were afraid to sleep alone and it was the only day of the year when the whole family and servants slept in the same bed made of straw. The Christmas tree was carefully selected and then moved on the fire until it was completely burnt. This was also the last act of the feast days.

In Russia, they have a meatless Christmas dinner. 

Russian tradition dictates that Christmas is celebrated with fasting, which ends after the first church service on Christmas Eve. Russia is dominated by the Eastern Orthodox religion, which uses the older, Julian calendar, so Christmas is not celebrated until 7 January. The Christmas dinner is meatless and its most important ingredient is porridge. On Christmas Eve, families are often visited by a priest and altar servers, who sprinkle blessed water on the premises and protect the house from natural disasters.

That's all for today we read tomorrow.