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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Web Page 2119a

A Very Happy Christmas to everyone and thanks for your support throughout the year. Looking forward to 2015 and lets hope that you have used the post boxes already or it will be far too late.


Pam & Peter

Hope to see some of you in the New Year, we must do another lunchtime meeting.

Below is a shortened version of my Christmas post for December 2008, have I really been writing for so long!!!!

 Christmas Traditions Around the World

On Christmas Eve in Belgium, it is legal for children to throw bananas at police cars but
on Christmas Day it is legal for police officers to throw bananas at children!

In 1643, the British Parliament abolished the celebration of Christmas and Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas carols between 1649 and 1660. Cromwell thought that Christmas should be a very solemn day so the only permitted celebration was a sermon and a prayer service.

Santa is not the only supernatural gift-giver at Christmas time. In Spain and South America, the three kings are the bringers of presents. In Italy, it's La Befana, a kindly old witch, who, if you were bad during the year would give you coal instead of sweets. In Russia, look out for Babouschka or Grandfather Frost. In Germany, Christkind an angelic messenger dispenses the gifts. She's a fair-haired girl with a shining crown of candles. In Scandinavia, there are a variety of Christmas gnomes.

Mistletoe is found on willow and apple trees and the practice of hanging it in the house goes back to the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers, that bring good luck to the household and ward off evil spirits. For Scandinavians, the goddess of love (Frigga) is strongly associated with mistletoe. This link to romance may be where our tradition of kissing under mistletoe comes from.

The Christmas tree is a German tradition, started as early as 700 AD. In the 1800s, the tradition of a Christmas tree was widespread in Germany, then moved to England when prince Albert brought the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle for the royal family in 1834.

Roast turkey is a newcomer to the British Christmas table and made its way to Europe from  America about 1650. Before then, swan, goose or peacock was considered traditional Christmas fare.

On December 24th, many Ukranian families sit down and embark on a large meal which consists of eating twelve separate courses, each one of which is dedicated to Christ's apostles.

In Japan it is reported that parents and children have been known to queue for hours outside the local Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise to buy a bucket of chicken for their Christmas dinner. This is due to the apparent facial similarity between Colonel Sanders and St.Nicholas.

In Germany, childen leave their newly cleaned shoes on the doorstep on December 6th. If they have been good, St.Nikolaus fills them with chocolate, nuts and fruit but if they have been bad….!!!!

Mexico celebrates Christmas with all the razzmatazz of a carnival. Midnight is met with fireworks, bell ringing, whistle-blowing. Families return home after mass to a huge dinner of traditional Mexican food including rice, chillis stuffed with cheese and a fiery corn wrap. 

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