Best Gifts For 1 Year Old That Like To Sing Christmas – Unique Celebrations & Traditions in Alaska, Africa & Australia!

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Christmas – Unique Celebrations & Traditions in Alaska, Africa & Australia!

Christmas is an event celebrated in many countries around the world. Here are three countries, Alaska, Africa and Australia, all located in very different parts of the world and each with their own unique traditions and celebrations. Here are some of their fascinating traditions and celebrations.

Alaska – “Carrying the Star” is a traditional Christmas procession. Young and old carry wheels topped with richly decorated eight-pointed garlands, usually as large as umbrellas. They are highlighted with a central image of an angel or the nativity scene. They are transported for three nights from January 7 on snowy and icy roads. The stars represent the angels who announced the birth of Christ. Families maintain the stars with love. Some are over a hundred years old!

Africa – There are approximately 350 million Christians in Africa who celebrate Christmas. The emphasis is more on religious celebrations of the birth of Christ than on gifts. Although the most common gift (if nothing else) is new clothes that will be worn at the church service. People in many African countries such as the Central African Republic (CAR), Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo believe that going to church on Christmas Day is absolutely essential, even if they never go there the rest of the year. An annual Christmas pageant as well as groups of singers singing Christmas carols in the villages are now part of the festivities.

Churches in Africa begin intense preparations for Christmas several months in advance. No one escapes the feeling of Christmas as it has been said that the whole country is preparing for the birth of the baby Jesus with so much joyful and active community preparation going on! The streets are alive with music as well as radio, TV and just about everywhere you look! People happily visit friends and relatives in the spirit of communal celebration, regardless of religious denomination. It is common to see brightly decorated and decorated trucks, cars and buses as well as homes, schools, churches and neighborhoods often featuring creative festive displays made of colorful crepe papers. Colorful and lively with a joyful celebration, this is Africa! Ancient and spectacular masquerades locally called “Agugu” now play a major role in Christmas celebrations. Usually held after the Christmas Eve service, a joyous procession of dancing and music through the streets is led by local groups with masked dancers (usually young boys dressed in whimsical and colorful costumes) and Christmas revelers. People parade with large, intricate lanterns called “beacons” usually shaped like houses or boats.

In Ghana, Christmas dinner is not complete without fufu (a thick paste like food) and okra soup and in Liberia, rice, beef and biscuits are the order of the day. Zimbabweans make sure there is plenty of bread, jam and tea to eat with their precious goat meat which is their traditional Christmas roast. On the west coast of Africa, most houses have an oil palm as a Christmas tree.

Austria – St. Nicholas is widely honored and appears on his feast day, December 6. In Austria, it is a separate holiday from Christmas. He appears in his traditional attire of flowing robe and high bishop’s miter carrying a shepherd’s staff and a thick book. It is believed that the children’s good and bad deeds are recorded in his book! It was once a tradition to hold an elaborate Christmas Eve ceremony where St. Nicholas and the dreaded Ruprecht (a demonic creature, who wears skin, has glowing eyes and a long red tongue) both appear on Christmas Eve. Christmas. The children gather and sing a hymn to welcome the Saint. Then, one by one, the children join the Saint at a family table where he checks their course books and then asks them to repeat a prayer he says. It ends with the kids kissing his Bishops ring as he tells them to go put their shoes outside and then look at them when the clock strikes ten! Ruprecht stands over the door and watches the children’s every move! Before Saint Nicholas leaves, he blesses the children by sprinkling them with holy water and then leaves quietly and quickly. The children, very excited, then rush to deposit their shoes outside their home. At the stroke of ten children run outside to find their shoes filled with apple and nut treats!

Austria is a predominantly Catholic country recognized as the land of the sound of music and the homeland of Mozart, Strauss and Schubert. Christmas celebrations include the “Advent Concert Series” in Innsbruck. It features groups of family singers and instrumentalists similar to the famous “Trapp Family” from “The Sound of Music”. Another famous Christmas party is in Salzburg where the hottest ticket of the season is for the “Salburger Adventsingen”. It is a program of Advent music and folk traditions that began more than half a century ago. They receive over 100,000 requests each year for the prized 30,000 tickets available for admission. Fish carp is served for the traditional Christmas dinner.

Austria is famous for its miniature crib figurines. Almost every family has a nativity scene with miniature figures of the holy family and often a few animals are included. Many nativity scenes are hundreds of years old, precious heirlooms passed down from one generation to the next!

Epiphany celebrations in Austria – boys and girls on Epiphany Day (reminiscent of the Three Kings of the East who searched for the newborn Jesus) dress in oriental costumes and sing traditional carols. They move from house to house receiving small gifts, including cash gifts. They carry a lantern called “the lighted star of Bethlehem” to guide them on their way. It is common to see the initials of the wise men “CMB” (Casper, Melchior, Balthasar) in chalk on the transoms of their doors!

The fun Austrian tradition of Krampus Day – in Salzburg, December 5th is known as Krampus Day. Krampus is considered an evil spirit. He is usually dressed in creepy fur, wearing deer horns, a mask with a long red tongue and bulging red eyes, and carries a birch wood rod. He rushes down the street with a loud din using huge bells and clanking chains as he shouts menacingly at onlookers. Thousands of people, many of them children, fill the streets to witness the medieval event. With much laughter and rejoicing, every time children and adults see Krampus, they throw snowballs at this menacing figure. In the city every year a “Krampus Run” is held with fun and lots of teasing, kicking and laughing. It is said that the purpose of Krampus is to remind children to be good!

Lately, in some communities, Krampus actors have to wear a number so they can be identified under their masks in case they lose control. Some people have been known to get carried away after drinking too many schnapps or beers. A prominent Austrian child psychiatrist has argued for the banning of Krampus. He suggests he is “a cheerful old scare” for children. However, there have been few known cases of “Krampus trauma”!

Australia – Christmas falls in midsummer and the heat can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is common for people to have barbecues outside for the main Christmas holiday and often parks and beaches are bustling with family feasts. It’s not uncommon to see flip flops, shorts, a beer in hand and a Santa hat on the head chef (usually the father of a family) at the Christmas Day BBQ which is almost always attended. of Australia’s most popular desert “Pavlova”. It is as light and delicate as Anna Pavlova, the famous Russian ballerina whose name it bears.

Australian Carols by Candlelight – an Australian Christmas carol service started in 1937 by radio announcer Norman Banks. Famous artists come together every year to sing at “Carols by Candlelight” in Melbourne. An extremely popular annual event televised throughout the country. The chants are performed on a stage in front of a large audience where thousands of people attend outside holding lighted candles.

Beach visits on Christmas Day in Australia – up to 40,000 people visit Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Christmas Day! It’s mid-summer in Australia and with high heat levels BBQ lunches on the beach and swimming are popular while waiting for Santa to arrive on a boat on Christmas Day!

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