The December festivities are characterised by several holidays including Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year. Of the three, it is Christmas that steals the show due to the glamour and colour that comes with it. Below we take a look at how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world.
Christmas in South Africa
In South Africa, Christmas comes in the summer due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere thus is illuminated by lots of sun and blooming flowers.
Schools are usually closed for this period as families go for holidays in different parts of the country and visit their rural homes.
Christmas Eve is fun-filled as harmonised choral rent the air, mixed with sweet scent from various kitchens. Christmas meals are either beef, mince pies or suckling pig with yellow rice & raisings and vegetables followed by Christmas pudding or traditional South African dessert called Malva Pudding.
Christmas in Jamaica
Christmas in Jamaica is preceded by the usual decoration of houses, Carols, and Christmas-themed wall hangings.
Christmas day meal is usually prepared on Christmas Eve and include fresh fruits, sorrel and rum punch and meat. Breakfast may include ackee and salt fish, breadfruit, fried plantains, boiled bananas, freshly squeezed fruit juice and tea while dinner entails chicken, curry goat, stewed oxtail, rice and peas.
Christmas in the US
Because of its multi-cultural orientation, United States has different traditions and ways of celebrating Christmas with most practices appearing similar to those in Italy, France, Poland, Mexico and the UK.
The traditional Christmas meals for Western European families is turkey or ham with cranberry sauce while families from Eastern European prefer turkey with trimmings, keibasi (a Polish sausage), cabbage dishes and soups with Italian families opting for lasagne.
Christmas trees are a familiar decor during such times with some families using pop-corns to decorate the trees.
Most towns and cities will also decorate the streets with lights in celebration of Christmas with the most famous ones being the Rockefeller Centre in New York where there is a huge Christmas tree with a public ice skating rink in front of it over Christmas and New Year. The most popular foods in Southwest America are tamales.
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Christmas in the UK
In the UK, families prefer to celebrate Christmas together so they can watch each other open their presents. Most families have a Christmas tree in their house for Christmas which is always decorated by the entire family. Christmas trees were first popularised in the UK by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria who brought the idea from his native country Germany.
Most towns are also decorated with Christmas lights with the famous Christmas lights being in Oxford Street in London. Nativity plays and Carol services are also very popular during the Christmas time with most churches holding candlelit services.
In the UK, the main Christmas meal is usually eaten at lunchtime or early afternoon on Christmas Day and may include turkey, roast vegetables like carrots, peas, stuffing, bacon and sausages.
Christmas in Germany
Christmas trees are very important in Germany and were first used during the Middles ages. The trees are usually secretly decorated by the mother and brought into the house on Christmas Eve.
In the evening, the family would sit together, read the Bible and sing Christmas songs such as O Tannenbaum, Ihr Kinderlein Kommet and Stille Nacht.
Sometimes wooden frames, covered with coloured plastic sheets with electric candles inside are put in windows to make the house look nice from the outside. Some of the meals served during this period include Carp or goose and fruited yeast bread.
Christmas in Kenya
Christmas in Kenya is majorly attributed with lots of travelling with most urban residents visiting their relatives upcountry or going for holiday mostly at the Coast.
This time is majorly a moment off work and with family to catch up on what has transpired during the year. Christmas Eve will see most people visit Churches for prayer and thanksgiving where there will also be Christmas carols and skits to lead people into reflecting on the birth of Jesus.
On Christmas, most children get the delight of donning new clothes as they go to Church. Most people would prefer to hang out with their relatives in local joint for nyama choma and beer.
Some of the local delicacies prepared during Christmas include pilau, chicken, ugali, biriani, meat stew among others.