Christmas Traditions, Page 2!
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The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world,
varying by country and region.

Boxing Day: Boxing Day is a bank holiday or a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population. In South Africa this public holiday is now known as the Day of Goodwill.
Etymology - The name derives from the English tradition giving seasonal gifts (in the form of a "Christmas box") to less wealthy people. In the United Kingdom this was later extended to various workpeople such as labourers, servants, tradespeople and postal workers.
Public holiday - Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas Day. Unlike St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is a secular holiday and is not always on 26 December: the public holiday is generally moved to the following Monday if 26 December is a Saturday."

Christmas Card: "A Christmas card is a greeting card sent as part of the traditional celebration of Christmas in order to convey between people a range of sentiments related to the Christmas season. Christmas cards are usually exchanged during the weeks preceding Christmas Day on December 25 by many people (including non-Christians) in Western society and in Asia. The traditional greeting reads "wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". There are innumerable variations on this greeting, many cards expressing more religious sentiment, or containing a poem, prayer or Biblical verse; others stay away from religion with an all-inclusive "Season's greetings"."

Carol Service: "In Britain, a Carol Service is the name for a Christmas church service, usually for a school. This type of service is usually mandatory for students to attend, in most of the schools. These events usually take place on the last week of the winter term, more often during the night on a mid-week day rather than the last day, and are often held in a local church or cathedral with parents attending. A Nativity Play is often performed at carol services for primary schools, however some schools have stopped doing this. The birth of Jesus is usually told through readings from the Bible in schools for older children. Christmas carols are sung by the students, who practice for the event during classes in December."

Cavalcade of Magi: "The Cavalcade of Magi is a typical parade of coaches practically in all the Spanish cities and also some cities and towns in Mexico. The Magi (of which tradition holds there are three: Melchior, Gaspar, and Baltasar) ride through the streets, as their page boys throw candies to children."

"It is celebrated every January 5 (the day preceding the feast of Epiphany) in the evening. When the night comes the children must go to bed early after cleaning their shoes and the following morning they have the gifts of the Magi that they have requested before in a letter. According to this tradition, the children who have behaved badly during the last year receive coal rather than candy, though (as in the case of Santa Claus) this is not a frequent occurrence. They might get coal candy, though."

The cavalcade of Madrid is retransmitted live on TVE (the popular public Spanish broadcaster). The cavalcade of Alcoy is the oldest in the world and is a major draw of international tourism for Spain."

Christmas Kettle: "Christmas kettle is The Salvation Army's most famous street campaign. It is most recognized during the Christmas season through its volunteers who stand outside of businesses and play or sing Christmas carols, or ring bells to inspire passersby to place donations of cash and checks inside the trademark red kettles."

Christmas Crackers: "Christmas crackers or bon-bons are an integral part of Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, other Commonwealth countries, Ireland and countries of the former Soviet Union (where it is called "хлопушка"). A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversized sweet-wrapper. The cracker is pulled by two people, and, much in the manner of a wishbone, the cracker splits unevenly. The split is accompanied by a small bang produced by the effect of friction on a chemically impregnated card strip (similar to that used in a cap gun)." R

Jingle Bells: "Jingle bells are commonly used on Christmas decorations or as Christmas ornaments of themselves, or hung around the neck like a necklace. They can also be strung onto a heavy wire and bent into a wreath shape, usually with a metal bow. Rather than the cross-shaped opening in the bottom, other designs may by cut into the bell, such as a snowflake. Small designs like stars may also be cut into the upper part of the bell. "Jingle Bells" is possibly the best-known Christmas song. Like many Christmas decorations, jingle bells are also made in versions for other holidays, such as a jack-o-lantern for Halloween."

Julotta: "The Julotta is a Swedish service that is held early on Christmas morning, at 7 a.m in most churches, but in some churches it is celebrated at 10 a.m, or as early as 4 a.m. Earlier most julottas were held at 4 a.m. Julotta means Christmas morn, otta is the time which is slightly before dawn.

It was the most popular service earlier but now the Midnight Mass has become more popular. People who hardly visited the church regularly in the rest of the year often visited the julotta but they tend to go to the Midnight Mass or the service of Advent Sunday."

Kissing Bough: "A Kissing Bough is a traditional Christmas decoration in England. Also called a Christmas-bough or mistletoe-bough , it has the shape of a sphere or globe with a frame made of wire. The whole frame is covered with greenery. Red apples or oranges may be hung from ribbons in the centre and mistletoe is tied below. Additionally candles may be clipped to the frame and bright streamers are attached to the top. Another form that the Kissing Bough can take is that of a crown with a structure composed of only the top half of the globe."

Luminaria: "A luminaria or farolito is a light or little lantern, usually a candle inside a paper lamp shade, which is of significance among New World Hispanics at Christmas time.

A farolito is carried by the leader of a Posada procession. Las Posadas is a nine-day holiday beginning December 16 and ending December 24.

In the U.S. states of New Mexico, Arizona and west Texas luminarias are made from brown paper bags weighted down with sand and illuminated from within by a lit candle and traditionally displayed on Christmas Eve. These are typically arranged in rows to create large and elaborate displays. Artificial luminarias, which are made of plastic and use light bulbs instead of candles, are also available. The hope among Christian believers is that the lights will guide the spirit of the Christ child to one's home. In recent times they are seen more as a secular decoration, akin to holiday lights, and have gained popularity in other parts of the country."

Christmas Traditions  -  Page 2  -  Page 3  -  Page 4

Resources:  This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article christmastraditions / and other related pages. Top photo: homestead stock

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