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At the end of the year, everyone starts looking for their old Christmas decorations or buying the ones that are fashionable, to decorate their homes, waiting for the long-awaited night where we exchange gifts and meet as a family to celebrate Christmas. However have you ever wondered where each of the customs we practice year after year on the night of December 24 comes from?
According to various experts in other cultures, the celebration of Christmas as we know it today, with Christmas trees full of lights, the stars, the stockings hanging in the chimneys or the turkey of our tables are customs that correspond to cultures around the world.
On this occasion we will name some, and we will surprise you by pointing out the country and the time in which they originated, so that you have an idea of how the Christmas celebration has been nourished by all cultures around the world, to be the cluster of customs that we practice year after year, even identifying them as their own.
Here are some of the most practiced Christmas traditions in the world, as well as a brief history of where and how they originated:
The Christmas boots and Santa Claus
Although we do not create it these two Christmas customs have a common origin, which can be located in present-day Turkey, but in the remote 4th century, during which time a Christian bishop named Nicholas lived, who is highly revered as a saint in Italy, a country where is even the Basilica of St. Nicholas.
According to legend, this bishop used to give gifts to children most in need. In fact, a specific story quotes this bishop – today Saint – in front of a family of three daughters, who did not have the resources to give each one a dote so that they could marry. As the story continues, St. Nicholas decided to sneak into the girls’ house, to put gold coins in his socks.
Since then the custom originated to place gifts in the media of the children in the name of this saint, thus originating the shape of the Christmas boot, as well as the character of St. Nicholas, who in other regions is also called Santa Claus or Santa Noel, who initially wore green, until in the last decade the Coca-Cola brand decided to wear it in red and, making it the quintessential Christmas symbol.
The Christmas Eve Turkey
In almost every country in America, dinner is styled with a stuffed turkey on Christmas night, but where this tradition originated from. Apparently, according to some studies, the authors of this custom of consuming this bird were the Aztecs, who knew it as guajolote they taught it to the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés, who was fascinated with the taste of his flesh, taking it with him Spain. It has since been known as turkey, and several countries use it as a special dish for important occasions, such as Christmas night.
Also in various parts of the world, especially in Europe and America, it is customary to eat a sweet bread, stuffed with dried fruits and raisins, known as Panettone, which has lately varied towards modern chocolate-based forms.
According to the story, this bread emerged in Europe, specifically in the city of Milan, Italy, where Duke Sforza ordered his chefs to prepare a special bread for The Christmas Night, giving rise to this rich dessert that adorns and sweetens the tables n avideans from these continents.
Protagonist of the Christmas season, the Christmas tree has evolved in its ornaments, however a constant are its lights, which are part of the original tradition, which was practiced in Germany, even before the arrival of Christianity at those latitudes .
In the Germanic country, the trees were stylated to decorate the winter solstice night with their lights. However, it was not until the early 19th century that this custom moved to Pennsylvania along with the first German immigrants in that region. It is believed that the first illuminated trees used for Christmas night took place in the 17th century.
Another that sometimes competes in prominence on christmas eve is the manger, which consists of a model or representation of the people of Bethlehem, the night of the birth of Jesus, arranged according to what the different cultures have interpreted from the biblical scriptures. In several countries it is even considered more authentic than the custom of the Christmas tree.
Around birth they become novenas, living births, competences of which is the most beautiful and there are even those who ask for wishes. However very much this tradition can be felt, it was apparently created by St. Francis of Assisi in 1224, who sought to represent the moment of Jesus’ birth.
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August 28, 2019