Ahead of Christmas 2023, check out these Xmas traditions followed by the Christian community from around the world !
Apart from bringing home a Christmas tree and decorating it with ornaments, people sing carols, hang mistletoes to symbolise love, donate to the needy, attend midnight mass at the Church on Christmas eve, exchange gifts, bake cookies and spend the day with loved ones.
Another popular ritual involves children leaving warm milk and cookies for Santa at night in the hope of receiving gifts from him. For a long time, Christmas has been associated with the mythical figure of Santa Claus.
People love decorating their houses and offices with wreaths, candy canes, holly, mistletoe and stockings and of course, a Christmas tree — whether really tall or miniature — with colourful ornaments, is a must.
A common custom is that many individuals and churches set up a nativity scene, depicting the birth of Christ where a manger or barn is recreated, and there are figures representing Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.
Germans used to host a procession on Feast Day of Adam and Eve carrying “paradise trees” with apples representing the forbidden fruit. Santa’s reindeers were introduced in Clement Moore’s 1822 poem.
In the run-up to Christmas, people often go door-to-door in small groups singing carols to add to the festive cheer while decorations form an integral part of the charm of Christmas.
Fruit cake became a universal offering for Christmas when it was discovered that plums and cherries could be preserved for a long time by soaking it in large solutions of sugar, which was cheap at the time.
The custom of kissing underneath mistletoe reportedly began in the Victorian era when people believed it lead to marriage and promoted fertility.
Christmas trees symbolise eternal life and were introduced in England when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, who was a German.
The white stripes on the cherished candy canes represent the purity of Jesus Christ, the three red stripes stand for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and the red stripe represents Jesus Christ’s blood.