- What is the most unusual way to get to church on Christmas night?
- Who can bring Christmas presents instead of Santa?
- Why is the first guest on Christmas Day so important?
- What creature helped to decorate a Christmas tree?
- What transport does Santa use in warm countries?
- How do people celebrate Christmas in hot climate?
- Why is Christmas celebrated on another date in this country?
A. For people who live in the northern hemisphere, the thought of celebrating Christmas with great heat and bright sun seems strange and exotic. But in Australia, where the holiday falls in summer, it’s completely normal. Though most of the traditions of celebrating Christmas in Australia are the same as in European countries, there is still a little variation. On Christmas Day, most Australians have the holiday midday dinner outside. The dinner is often followed by some backyard cricket or a swim in the pool.
B. In Italy, children do not ask Santa Claus for presents. In their country an ugly, yet kind old witch named Befana performs Santa’s duties. The witch flies around the world on her broomstick and entersthe houses down the chimney. She delivers toys, clothing and candy to well-behaved children and puts coal — or dark candy — in bad kids’ socks.
C. A Ukrainian legend tells us about children from a poor family. Unfortunately, their parents could not afford any Christmas decorations and the kids were upset. However, on Christmas morning when the children woke up, they saw that spiders had spun webs of shiny silk around the tree’s branches. The sun turned each thread into silver and gold. Even nowadays the Ukrainians decorate their trees with spider webs to welcome good luck.
D. Different celebrations take place over Christmas in Scotland. One of the most important traditions is called First-Footing. Once midnight strikes, all eyes await the arrival of the year’s first visitor. The person who crosses the home’s threshold first is said to bring good fortune for the year ahead. Top of the lucky list: a male, dark-haired visitor. Women or blonde men are believed to be unlucky.
E. According to tradition, on Christmas Eve some Russian people don’t eat anything until the first star has appeared in the sky. In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January, not on the 25th of December like in most other countries. The different date of the holiday is because the Orthodox Church uses the old ‘Julian’ calendar for religious celebration days.
F. Like in most countries the locals of Venezuela, especially in their capital city, Caracas, go to church on Christmas Eve to celebrate the birth of Jesus. However, in Caracas, people of all ages don’t just walk to church, they usually roller skate to church. The streets of Caracas are closed to vehicles up to 8am on Christmas Day to make way for their citizens who use roller skates to travel to and from church.