Christmas Traditions Around the World – Socks, Bananas, Graves?

 

 15806515_s Czech Republic & Slovakia

Fed up with being single?  Try this custom of standing with your back to the door and tossing your shoe over your shoulders on Christmas Day.  Your shoe must land with the toe pointing to the door, that’s a lucky sign that you will be married.  However, there is no tradition to say that you will be married in the coming year.  Good luck, if this is what you want.  Remember fourteen countries have legalized same sex marriage -2013 and MORE to come!  paula.

 Philippines: Clean Socks and Polished Shoes

Children have a special tradition.  They leave their brightly polished shoes and freshly washed sock on the window sill.  They are hoping that the Three Kings or Three Wise Men will come on January 8th and leave them gifts.

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India: Where People Can Go Bananas!

Unknown-8Unknown-7India has a population of over a billion people.  Christians are roughly 2.5% of the population, but that equals or amounts to 25 million people.

The people of Indian love to celebrate, and so the Western Influence has become part of their culture. India is a Hindu country with Muslims and Christians.

India goes not grow fir or pine green Christmas trees, so banana trees and mango trees are decorated instead.  Streets have lit and well decorated banana or mango trees and families do the same often decorating their homes with banana leaves.

Christmas in Finland- Grave Visits

On Christmas Eve, Finnish families to cemeteries.  They visit the graves of family members who have died.  If a family lives somewhere where their dead family members are not near, they will visit any cemetery and light a candle

cemetery1On Christmas Eve, it is a tradition for Finnish families to light candles at the grave of their deceased ancestors and friends. Even those who don’t have their kin’s graves nearby visit cemeteries to place candles in honor of their family members buried elsewhere. Finns expect a visit from the deceased. Food will also be left on tables and family members leave their beds to sleep on the floor to give the dead a nice meal and a place to rest.

Christmas Day in Finlandsanta_claus_sleigh_ride_lapland_finland-628x600

Christmas  religious services are held early in the morning of Christmas Day. When you enter the Church it is illuminated with beautiful white candles.  Most people will walk or drive to church, but in the old days, and in certain parts of Finland, the traditional way is by horse-drawn sleighs.  In some parts of Finland (Lapland) reindeer pull the sleighs.

 

 

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit Plus Bonus Features by Pauline Gallagher

 

The snug home of Mr. & Mrs. Claus at the North Pole
The snug home of Mr. & Mrs. Claus at the North Pole

Mrs. Claus helps Santa during the busy toy making month of November.  Santa has handed her a sad letter from Oliver, a boy in New York City.  Rudolph leads her through the sky to save a little boy.

Mrs. Claus and the November Visit: This story won an award in the cross Canada Library Association’s yearly competition for writers. The story is published in their annual anthology of short stories –Winners Circle 6.

 

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Bonus Book: This is a Christmas story and so I thought I would include Christmas traditions from several countries: Ireland, Spain, Ethiopia, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Sweden and Australia. Some of them are unusual like Catalonia (Spain’s) “Pooping Yule Log.”  In Czechoslovakia, many young women toss shoes, India has banana Christmas trees and in Japan, Christmas dinner is often held at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) locations.

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All images are professionally formatted in all of my books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle and Apple iBooks.   All should be available by the end of August or before.