bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 28.07.2017 | Name days: Cecīlija, Cilda

Christmas traditions in countries around the world

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUChristmas evening has always been wrapped in traditions, beliefs and fables. No matter where you go in the world, you will be surprised how much in common different cultures have when it comes to this particular celebration.

«A look over our country’s borders reveals that people are not so different from one another when it comes to Christmas. Our well-known log-pulling tradition is also present in Scandinavian countries. It has been, in fact, since Middle Ages. Even now this tradition is found in many places around the world. Differences are found only in minor nuisances. In France in Belgium, for example, the Christmas log is made edible,» – says Director of Latvia Tours Ieva Keisa.

France

Like Latvia, France also has a Christmas log tradition. Unlike Latvia’s oak log, however, the French make their log edible. The ‘log’ is essentially a roulette or roll-biscuit covered with chocolate icing and decorated with marzipan gnome and mushroom figures. This sweet log tradition can be explained with another French tradition involving sweets. Similar to Latvian belief that there should be nine dishes on the table on Christmas, in some parts of France the tradition demands there to be 13 different desserts. All of them are made using fruits, nuts and pastries.

Czech Republic

There is a certain tradition in the Czech Republic that is somewhat reminiscent of Latvia’s tradition of tossing a wreath tossing during the summer solstice. Single Czech women toss one of their shoes over their shoulder in the yard of their home to see if the next year brings marriage. If the shoe lands with its tip facing the door, it means the woman can expect marriage soon.

In addition, on Christmas Eve, the Christmas tree is put in a room separate from the one the family has their meal. Once the meal is done, the bells are rung. This signals children to come to the tree and see what presents little Jesus left them.

Greece

On Christmas Eve, Greek children, especially boys, go from house to house and sing kalandas (songs). In addition to singing, children play special drums and triangles. Also, they always have a model ship with gold elements – an ancient Greek symbol. For their singing, children can receive money, sweets, nuts or dried figs.

Although decorating the Christmas tree is also popular in Greece, a much more ancient tradition in this country is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire that is suspended across the rim; from that hangs a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross. Some holy water is poured into the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh. Once a day a member of the family, most often the mother, sprinkles rooms of the house with holy water using the basil to clear the house of evil spirits.

Mexico

Mexican children have to work for their Christmas presents. In order to get their presents, children have to strike a brightly coloured figure (piñata) with a long stick and with closed eyes. The figure is filled with gifts and sweets.

Another tradition is Mexico is eating the ‘Three Kings Bread’. It is a special cake with a small figurine of Jesus in it or under it. The one who gets the piece containing the figurine is given special privileges and obligations.

England

English children believe Santa Claus leave presents in stockings or pillowcases. Stockings are usually hung on the fireplace or above of the children’s beds. Children also leave milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. Children believe Santa arrives on a flying sleigh pulled by flying reindeer.

Finland

Finnish people believe Santa Claus lives in Finland’s northern parts – Korvatunturi. People from all over the world send letters to Santa Claus and come visit his homeland in Finland.

Similar to other countries, the main Christmas tradition involves a special meal. A traditional Finnish Christmas dessert is rice pudding with plum jam containing a single almond. The one who finds the almond will be happy and lucky in the next year.

Switzerland

Switzerland shares similarities with traditions of its neighbouring countries – Germany and Austria. One of the most interesting differences is that Christmas presents can be brought by Santa Claus or little Jesus and the Three Kings.

It is especially popular in Switzerland to buy or make special cookies. Every family in Switzerland has its own special cookie recipe. The culinary cheese wonder known as fondue is also quite popular in this country.

Ref: 102.109.109.3453


Leave a reply

Eurozone’s economic confidence index experiences unexpected surge up

Eurozone’s economic confidence index unexpectedly surged to 111.2 points this July, according to data from the European Commission.

Saeima approves next year’s tax reform – what will change?

The Saeima has approved a total of 12 laws associated with the reform after reviewing more than 300 proposals. Review of proposals that had nothing to do with the reform has been put off until the budget approval period, when they will be discussed in more detail.

Bookmakers: the new party has good chances of entering the Saeima

The new liberal party «Par!», whose leaders include former Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts and Saeima deputy Ilze Vinkele will likely pass the 5% barrier in the next Saeima elections, according to Betsafe bookmakers.

Latvia’s retail trade turnover increased 3.1% in June

Compared to June 2016, total retail trade turnover rose by 3.1 % in June 2017. Turnover of retail trade for food products increased by 1.0 % and turnover of non-food products grew by 4.7 %.

Association: alcohol market will decline and people will lose jobs in the industry

The planned introduction of increased excise tax rates within the context of Finance Ministry’s tax reform could cause the alcohol market in Latvia to decline by approximately 7% next year, says CEO of Latvian Alcohol Industry Association Davis Vitols.

Survey: Latvian residents prefer to perform home repairs on their own

According to results of a recent survey, 63% of Latvian respondents have spent this year’s summer season performing home repairs. 59% of respondents always pick summer to perform repairs.

Martins Bondars confident he should «step aside»

Martins Bondars has decided to step down as chairman of Latvian Association of Regions. According him, recent decisions made by members of LAR have not been ones he would personally support.

Unity: electing Sudraba to the committee causes trust in politicians to go down more

Inguna Sudraba’s approval for the oligarch talks parliamentary investigative committee’s board would the equivalent of the parliament deciding not to permit searches in Slesers’ home, Unity members say.

Kalnmeiers still has no time; ‘Send a letter to prosecutor general!’ campaign begins

«Progresīvie» political party has launched a special campaign called «Send a letter to prosecutor general!», in which the party asks Latvian prosecutor general Eriks Kalnmeiers to step down.

End of July and beginning of August promise warm but rainy weather

The last days of July will be largely sunny. Some rain will be present here and there, however. Air temperature will remain within a range of +20° C… +25° C, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Juncker to held stop food discrimination of EU's eastern members

Reacting to criticism from Slovakia, Bulgaria and other European Union member states on differences in food product quality in Eastern Europe, the head of the EU's executive body, Jean-Claude Juncker, has pledged to help end the «totally unacceptable» practice.

Property purchase and rent trends are similar among Baltic States

Currently the proportion of standard apartments in Riga in comparison with new projects is rather significant – while the number of standard apartments in the capital is 3,200, new projects are limited to only 300 buildings, according to information compiled DNB Bank and Ober-Haus on apartment demand in Latvia and Baltics.

Construction costs in Latvia up 0.2%

Compared to May, the level of construction costs in Latvia increased by 0.2 % in June 2017.

Beer brewers: many will lose jobs because of increased excise tax on beer

If the Saeima supports the initiative on increasing excise tax on beer by 50% this Thursday, 27 July, the number of people employed in the beer industry will decrease 30%, which will especially impact residents of Latvia’s regions, according to Latvian Breweries Union.

Helsinki-Riga route to be tested by Tallink

Estonian ferry and cruise company Tallink is testing this week the interest of passengers to take a cruise trip from Helsinki to Riga.

Where is the piece of land Duklavs’ associates wanted 15 million for?

Ir magazine has surveyed several hectares of land on Daugava River’s left bank, specifically within the territory of Riga Freeport, to find the piece of land that was mentioned by Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs during his conversation with other politicians in Ridzene hotel.

Opinion: candidates of the last presidency have all been intellectually weak

One of this summer’s hottest and most discussed piece of news was the proposal to allow residents to elect the country’s president. Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis’ 22 June speech to the parliament, in which he proposed allowing the people to elect the president in 2019, caused even more discussions.

Flat rental fraud increases in Estonia

Police in Estonia have observed a increase in fraud complaints in the area of rental flats as fraudsters typically ask for prepayments and deposits for listed flats they do not own.

Latvian troops to participate in Northern Strike exercises in USA

Throughout 27 July – 14 August, more than 70 troops of Latvian Armed Forces will be taking part in Northern Strike 2017 joint land and air exercises organized by Michigan National Guard in USA.

Delna: if the prime minister chooses to stifle emotions, the president should step up

On Wednesday, 26 July, Delna received a response letter from Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis to Delna’s previous letter, in which the organization requested the dismissal of Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs.

Saeima supports tax reform laws in final reading

Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee has concluded work on tax reform laws, supporting them in the final reading. Part of the proposals on additional benefits and multiple other matters will be put off for a later date.

Latvian Shipping Company sells its office building on Elizabetes Street 1

On Tuesday, 25 July, Latvian Shipping Company signed an agreement on the sale of its current office building. The buyer and the next owner of the house will be the United Arab Emirates, who purchased the six-story building on Elizabetes Street 1 in Riga for the needs of the embassy, as confirmed by the company.

Farmers Saeima: beef industry in Latvia is not sufficiently developed

Farmers Saeima believes Latvia’s beef industry is not sufficiently developed, and existing farms have not sufficiently stabilized – many farms have major debt. Because of that any kind of support for the industry is welcome.

Puce: Latvia should ratify Istanbul Convention without reservations

For Latvia’s Development political party has turned to Welfare Ministry with a request to ratify Istanbul Convention without any corrections as soon as possible, BNN was informed by the party’s representatives.

More than half of Latvian businessmen work on weekend; study shows

Businessmen normally spend eight hours and five minutes on work every day. More than 58% of Latvian businessmen also work on weekends, according to data from the latest Citadele Index study.