With the beginning of December of each winter, we feel swept by inner joy and the enthusiasm specific to the winter holidays. This month is a month of gratitude, love and time spent with our loved ones; all children are “rewarded” with special gifts, boundless love and attention. Among the favourite gifts are the toys, the gadgets in tune with the latest technology, the cheerful children’s clothes, the interesting books, and not necessarily the last on the list, the sweets.
The climax of holiday season is the Christmas, also called Nativity in Christianity. Celebrated annually on the 25th of December (or January 7, according to the Julian calendar), Christmas has gradually become a major international festival, celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians. By and by Christmas customs and traditions sprung and adapted, and it replenished by interwining the contribution of different cultures – the custom of dressing the tree has Germanic origins, Santa Claus was initially wearing a green suit in England and Holland, and the melodious carols and the delicious dishes prepared during the holiday come from Christian countries.
Globally, the celebration of this day may take various unique forms – Did you know? In Mexico, children try to “slay” a pinata full of toys and sweets, and the locals stage the moment of Joseph and Mary seeking shelter; in Brazil, Christmas is a great summery vibrant festival so the family goes out for a picnic, enjoy the fireworks, and in the evening, accompany the solemn procession of priests who will celebrate the Christmas mass at midnight; India replaced the Christmas tree either with a mango or a bamboo, and all houses are decorated with mango leaves.
In some European cultures, Christmas is preceded by several other smaller celebrations; for example, St. Nicholas, the saint who brings candy, sweets, fruit to well-behaved children, or a rod for the restless naughty ones, infallibly arrives on December 6th each year. Tradition says that all children prepare and polish their bootees the night before so that St. Nicholas may place the gifts in a safe place.
Christmas is celebrated in families, near the Christmas tree, with overwhelming smiles and enticing flavours of the dishes spread/laid on the great celebration table. Starting Christmas Eve, the little ones are eagerly lurking the moment Santa Claus brings presents under their tree and, after much waiting, December 25 arrives. On this day in which they will happily unwrap many gifts, they choose to dress either comfortable children clothing in specific colours – red, green, white, silver, gold – or festive clothing to mark the occasion in a special manner.
Christmas is a very special celebration and perhaps this why the festive atmosphere and Christmas energy get a long way through on a spiritual level, away from the borders of any country.