Christmas is the festival celebrating the birth of Christ and is observed in most countries on December 25. Christmas is sometimes called Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon) or Noel (from the French). Christian churches throughout the world hold special services on Christmas Day to give thanks for the birth of Christ.
In addition to religious observances, Christmas is a time of merrymaking and feasting. North American customs are a combination of those of the various European countries from which the original settlers came. On Christmas Eve children hang stockings for Santa Claus to fill with gifts. The Christmas tree, usually an evergreen, was first used in Germany. Topped with a star or spire and decorated with colored lights and shiny ornaments, the tree plays an important part in the celebration.
Mistletoe was sacred to the Druids, priests of ancient Britain and Gaul. The Norse used holly and the Yule log to keep away evil spirits. Gifts were exchanged during the Roman celebration of the Saturnalia, a feast to the god Saturn. Gift-giving came to symbolize the gifts brought to the Christ Child by the Magi.
The most popular Christmas legend however, is that of Santa Claus, whose name came from Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. Many of the qualities that Santa Claus is known for came from Clement C. Moore’s poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas.”
Check out these facts about Christmas day.
South Australia does not have a Boxing Day holiday. Rather, the weekday following Christmas Day being the Proclamation_Day holiday
United Kingdom : Christmas decorations are traditionally left up until the evening of 5 January (the night before Epiphany) and it
is considered bad luck to have Christmas decorations up after this date.
In the Macedonian calendar, as in many other Orthodox countries, the Macedonian Orthodox Church marks Christmas Day on January 7.
Bulgaria: The local name of Santa Claus is Dyado Koleda (???? ??????, “Grandfather Christmas”), with Dyado Mraz (???? ????,
“Grandfather Frost”) being a similar Russian-imported character lacking the Christian connotations and thus popular during the
Serbia and Serb areas : The Serbs celebrate Christmas for three consecutive days, beginning with Christmas Day. The Serbian
Orthodox Church uses the traditional Julian calendar, per which Christmas Day (25 December) falls on 7 January.
Sweden: December 25 (juldagen) is a Swedish public holiday, December 24 is the day when Santa Clause Jultomte (or simply Tomte)
brings the presents. Although not a public holiday, Christmas Eve is a de facto holiday in the sense that most workplaces are
Estonia : Estonians celebrate Christmas on December 24.25 December or jõulupüha is a relaxed day for visiting relatives.
Ukraine : Sviata Vecheria or “Holy Supper” is the central tradition of the Christmas Eve celebrations in Ukrainian homes and takes
place in most parts of the country on 6 January.
Georgia : On calendars in Georgia, Christmas (Georgian: ????, shoba) is celebrated on 7 January (25 December on the Julian
Russia,Armenia : As in some other Eastern Orthodox countries, and due to the 13-day difference between the newer Gregorian, and
older Julian Calendars, Christmas is celebrated on January 7
Venezuela,Colombia : presents are brought by “El Niño Jesus” (Baby Jesus) instead of “Papá Noél” (Santa Claus), that still has an
important role during this season.
Japan : The birthday of the current emperor, Akihito, on December 23 is a national holiday.Christmas is not a national holiday.
Republic of China (Taiwan) : Christmas is not officially celebrated or legally recognized. However, coincidentally, 25 December is
the date of the signing of the Constitution of the Republic of China in 1947, officially the Constitution Day (zh:?????)