Christmas around the world
18th December 2012
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For us here in Newmarket and the UK, Christmas means usually means turkey and sprouts, presents under the tree, stockings by the fireplace and the Great Escape on the telly. But if you fancied something a little different this year, why not look at some of the traditions from other countries around the world?

The idea of a huge feast for all the family is a running theme, and we’ve all heard the stories of the Aussies and their ‘Barbies on the Beach’ on Christmas Day. The Czechs, meanwhile serve theirs on Christmas Eve in many courses with appetisers, salads, meat and fish dishes one after another. In Ghana, Christmas forms part of the Afishapa festival and their Christmas Eve meal is a stew or soup made from chicken, goat and rice with the main feast including lamb, fish, chicken goat and fruits of all kinds.  They also decorate a tree, but it is usually a Mango or Guava tree, with bright paper decorations.

Different nations even have differing ideas about Santa. He’s not the jolly old fat man in the red cloak everywhere, and he doesn’t even have reindeer! In Belgium he rides a magic horse, and children leave hay outside the house for him on December 6th. The French ‘Pere Noel’ has an assistant Pere Fouettard who tells Noel who has been good and bad, and children leave shoes by the fire for the gifts. 

In Italy the giving and receiving of presents does not take place until January 6th, they day they believe the Wise Men arrived. La Befana brings the gifts for the good and punishment for the bad. An old woman riding a broomstick, she is said to have refused to give the Three Wise Men shelter on their journey. Russia has the same character, called Babouschka.

So if you fancy a more international Christmas in Newmarket this year, put the Turkey on hold, stick a prawn on the Barbie, decorate your Mango tree and keep hold of the presents until early January!

About the Author

Ian C

Member since: 15th June 2012

I live locally. Loves travel, my springer spaniel 'Lilly' life,real ale,good food,fast bikes/cars. I run thebestofcambridge & newmarket,VELC business networking.

Love meeting new people and helping...

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