Some people throw away the Christmas tree only in March, or even later, and some start celebrating Christmas and New Year in November
Around the World tells about the famous Christmas festivals that take place in Europe, Africa and Latin America.
The Procession of St. Lucia
White dress & nbsp; – purity, lit candles & nbsp; – the light of Christianity, which Saint Lucia brings into the darkness of the world. Each school in Sweden chooses its own Lucia, and then from the regional winners – the national one. After the coronation of Lucia on December 13, a solemn procession begins. With candles and saffron buns.
Christmas Parade at Disneyland
The magic that brings all the Disney characters together lasts two months. This time & nbsp; – from November 11 to January 7. Platforms in fabulous scenery float along Main Street, Mickey and Minnie, Woody and Goofy, snow whites and sleeping beauties dance. The main character, of course, is Pere Noel.
Every year at 10 a.m. on January 6, fifty elderly men dressed as the witch Befana (who in her own way performs the functions of Santa Claus – puts gifts in socks for children) row a race along the Grand Canal of Venice to the Rialto Bridge, on which a giant symbolic stocking is hung .
The pagan holiday opens on December 30 in Edinburgh with a torchlight procession. A procession of several thousand people dressed in Viking battle armor, with huge torches and axes, starts in the city center and moves to Calton Hill. Anyone who wants to buy a torch for 12 pounds and join the grandiose flaming stream.
The descendants of the ancient Incas believe that the new year should be started from scratch, and all grievances and conflicts should be left in the past. Since ancient times, the inhabitants of the province of Chumbivilkas solve problems by fighting, that is, they beat each other for nothing on December 25.
The name of the costume festival Takanakuy from the Quechua language is translated —”to hit each other “. Women, like men, sort things out with their fists. At the end, everyone drinks and hugs.
In the middle of the 19th century, slaves in Cape Town were given a “New Year's” day off on January 2nd. This is how the tradition of minstrel carnivals was born. Now every year on this day, 13,000 musicians with painted faces and bright clothes march through the streets of the city and compete in choral singing.
Burning the Devil
The Christmas season in Guatemala begins on December 7: on the eve of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, the inhabitants of Antigua and other cities gather in the main square and burn a large effigy of the devil in red and black clothes on a wire frame.< /p>
At the same time, Guatemalans throw old newspapers and junk into the fires in their yards. Spiritually cleansed. The custom has been declared an intangible cultural heritage in the country.
Dutch Santa Claus, aka Sinterklas, according to folklore, lives in Spain, but in mid-November he arrives by ship in the Netherlands along with helpers – Black Petes. On December 5, a white-bearded old man in a red miter and mantle rides around the city and villages on a white horse. Black Petes deliver gifts to children through the chimney.
The Celtic festival is held on December 26, on St. Stephen's Day. Participants in masks and clothes made of bright fabric and straw are symbolically “hunting” for a small bird – a wren. Then, having planted a bird figurine on a decorated pole, “straw people” with songs pass through the streets of cities and villages.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES (X3), WENN/LEGION-MEDIA < em>, GETTY IMAGES (X2), DIOMEDIA,
ALAMY/LEGION-MEDIA , REUTERS
Material published in the magazine “Around the World” No. 1, January 2018, partially updated in December 2022