Celebrating the Holidays Around the World

Holiday traditions are as unique as the countries they are from.  Some rituals date back centuries, while other celebrations are only decades old.  To celebrate this time of coming together, here are a few holiday traditions from around the world:

Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th, and  Naples Italy is famous for it’s nativity scenes.  During this time, it is not uncommon to find the Christ Child’s crib in many Christian homes.

Rovaniemi, Finland is the “official home town” of Santa Claus.  Jolly old Saint Nick in his red suit, can be visited 365 days a year.  Children from around the world come to deliver their wish lists in person.

Jewish families around the world light candles on the eight nights of Hanukkah.  The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, called a Hanukkah Menorah.   Hanukkah festivities include praying, playing dreidel and eating latkes.

In Croatia, s few days before the holiday, residents release thousands of paper lanterns carrying their Christmas hopes and wishes into the sky.

Christmastime in Russia swaps Santa Claus with a gift-giving character from Slavic folklore, Father Frost.  He’s rarely seen without his daughter, Snow Maiden, by his side.

Kwanza is a celebration that honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift giving.   Each day of Kwanza, marked by lighting a candle on the Kinara holder, represents one of the founding principles of the holiday, including unity, faith and purpose.

On January 6th, the Christian holiday of the Epiphany, children in Spain sometimes receive presents.  A parade celebrates the Three Kings and their visit to the Baby Jesus.

No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, ENJOY!!

Source:   www.businessinsider.com