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Christmas Traditions Around the World

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Stephanie Sparks

on 2 January 2015

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Transcript of Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas Traditions Around the World
Christmas Tree
Christmas Trees tradition brought
to America in 1851 by European immigrants
1895 Ralph Morris invented electric lights to light up trees instead of candles!
Sydney, Australia
Christmas trees were once hung upside down as a Holy reminder of the Trinity, and is a
trend that is coming back today!
Czech Republic


Christmas Ornaments
7th/8th Century
St. Boniface decorated a fir tree because he thought the triangle shape looked like the Holy Trinity.
First decorated with candles.
Then roses, paper decorations, food, and homemade items.
1880's Germany began creating glass decorations for sale.
Christmas Stockings

Read the story of St. Nick and the stockings
Today: Christmas stockings are filled with small gifts or treats when boys and girls behave for the year. If not... they just might get coal.
Christmas Bells
Bells were first made in Babylonia, Egypt, and in Greece and Rome. First casted bells date back to 4th and 5th century Europe!
Bells are used in church to announce times, events, and services.
Today bells are used to visually and musically represent the spirit of Christmas all over the world.
Can you think of any movies that uses the bell for those who believe?
Polar Express
St. Nicholas
Feast Day: December 6th
St. Nick's Day is celebrated across Europe.
European immigrants brought the traditions of St. Nick to America
Monaco, France
Czech Republic
How it is celebrated:
The story of St. Nick is shared.
Children fill shoes with bits of hay or carrots for St. Nick''s donkey. In turn, children receive small gifts or candy in their shoes.
Christmas Carols
Carol: To dance; sing a song of praise
Carols were sang to celebrate all seasons, but eventually Christians composed them just for Christmas.
Songs were originally composed in Latin, a language not all knew.
In 1223 St. Francis of Assis began writing nativity plays in Italy. Most music was written in common language and the music began to spread.
Songs were often fictional and sang in homes not churches. Ministerls, or traveling singers, changed the songs depending on where they were traveling.
"Waits" were groups of singers that sang Christmas Carols before singing in public became popular.
Christmas Carols Today
People of all ages sing at school, church, in public, and in homes.
Often students put on Christmas performances for families.
Organizations use caroling to bring holiday joy and cheer to those around them.
Caroling in Guatemala
Carolers walk the streets at night carrying candles and lamps, lighting off fireworks, and singing carols!
Gingerbread Cookies
Ginger was used as medicine. It was traded on the Silk Road, and made it's way back to Europe
First recipe: 2400 BC Greece
Queen Elizabeth I was the first to make gingerbread men. She wanted them to look like dignitaries (fancy, wealthy people)
Gingerbread houses were made in Germany in the 16th century. They were popularized when the Brothers Grimm wrote Hansel and Gretel
As cookies became popular, people shaped them like popular people and things of the time.
Texas: Measures 60 by 42 feet (20.11ft. at its highest peak), and consists of 3,000 pounds of brown sugar, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour, and 1,800 pounds of butter, totaling 36,000,000calories.
St. Lucy
Feast Day:
December 13
Patron Saint of the
Poor and Eyes
Lucy means 'light'
Christmas Parol
The Filipino Star of Bethlehem
It symbolizes the guiding light of the Three Wise Men to the Manger of Jesus
Kids celebrate by making stars of their own in school and having parades.
There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up.
'Pepita', he said "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy."

Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'
Brought from Mexico to America in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett.
The five leaves represent the Star of Bethlehem.
Las Posadas
Hispanic Catholic Parishes gather in the evening. They begin their gathering reciting the Rosary. Led by a small group carrying the manger scene, the procession will walk through the streets carrying lanterns. Houses are selected to take part in the procession. These houses are called Posadas. The group will stand outside of the first Posada and sing a song, asking to come in. At the first two houses, the group is denied. At the last selected house, they will sing and be invited inside for dinner.
Posadas (Dwelling or lodging) Celebrates Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem

The Nativity (Creche)
1223: St. Francis of Assisi held a midnight Christmas service in the town of Grecio. He recreated the Nativity to remind people the importance of Christmas is Jesus, not giving and receiving gifts.
He set up the Nativity with a manger, and ox, and a donkey.
He called Jesus the Babe of Bethlehem
The re-enactment of the Nativity became largely popular and were performed all over Europe in many languages.
Christmas Cards
1843 Sir Henry Cole: Teamed up with an artist to make Christmas Cards- Created 1000
1840 Public Post Offices began "Penny Post." Made available to the public as railway travel grew.
Became popular in 1860
First mass produced cards made in 1875 so more people could buy them.
In 1915, Hallmark Cards started producing cards.
Used in a number of traditions!
St. Lucy Festival
Yule Candle (Ireland)
Clay Lamps (India)
Advent Candles
Christmas Carol Services
In 1821, reindeer appeared in a publication. In 1823, "The Night Before Christmas," popularized the reindeer.
Rudolph was introduced in 1949
Santa Clause
The name comes from the Dutch nickname for Saint Nick, Sinter Klaas

Santa Claus
Kids have names for him around the world! Here are some of them.....
Pere Noel
Viejo Pascuero
Dun Che Lao Ren
Ded Moroz
Babbo Natale
La Befana
La Befana is celebrated in Italy
On January 5th, the day before the Feast of the Epiphany, La Befana brings gifts to boys and girls as she travels searching for the Christ Child.
Naughty kids get coal!
The Christmas Witch
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