Wednesday, December 24, 2014


STRANGE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world. But it's also among the most diverse and varies from country to country. In central Europe, many towns set up cozy Christmas villages. Many European towns and cities set up Christmas markets and small Christmas villages that attract visitors and locals alike. They're typically open from the beginning of December until Dec. 24. Some of them exhibit stages, merry-go-rounds and other attractions for children. But there's usually plenty to fascinate adults, too, such as mulled wine, beer and food specialties. 
Some Portuguese people open presents twice - This is a custom in Portugal and many people open presents twice: First, parents give their children a selection of gifts on Christmas Eve. But the excitement is far from over: The next morning, more gifts await, ready to be opened.

Russians, Greeks and Bulgarians prefer the cold and jump into rivers and lakes - This tradition is common in Orthodox Christian countries. Young men (and sometimes women) jump into cold rivers and lakes as soon as a priest throws a cross into the water. The aim is to be the first person to reach the cross. They believe that those who win the contest will be lucky in the new year. In Germany, children collect money for charity - In the more Catholic south of Germany, it is common that children (called Sternsingers) collect money for charity by knocking on people's doors to perform songs. They are usually dressed as the three wise men. 
In Argentina, lit paper decorations are sent into the sky on Christmas Eve - This colorful celebration lights the sky over Argentina on Christmas Eve. Many people in the South American country make their own paper decorations, sort of like balloons and equipped with lights. The so-called 'globos' are usually released into the sky shortly after midnight.

This article is about traditions which seem quite strange to the rest of the world. It was written by Rick Noack, from Washington, D.C. Buth there are many other examples: South Koreans like money as a present. It's true that money might not seem like a very elaborate Christmas gift, but many South Koreans prefer it over more creative presents. The South Korean version of Santa Claus (Santa Haraboji, which means Santa Grandfather), sometimes wears a blue suit instead of a red one. Winter in Finland is dominated by the cold temperatures and thick layers of snow that cover forests and houses. For this, many Finnish have a solution: They celebrate Christmas in saunas.  And in Nova Scotia, in the southeast of Canada, some locals dress up as Santa Claus, then they walk to their neighbors' houses and make them guess their real identities. As we all know, the celebration of Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus, and the Western Church celebrates it on December 25. Many countries around the world follow this tradition; however, no one is really sure of what day Jesus' birth was, and it is little that we know about His historical being; however, more important is the message that he came to deliver to all humankind. (Editor's note).

Jesus has shown the power of love, and He became immortal because He was such a great example. It is a pity that there are so few people following him. Many people repeat the name of Jesus, but they are not vegetarians; they even do not admit that the animals have a soul, and in reality not themselves also, because they do not live for the good of the soul. It is not easy to follow a pure devotee of God. ... Let’s hope that on the day of Jesus, more than one soul remember him and not give most attention to the ridiculous Father Christmas. It is a great sadness to see how this day, which should be so sacred for the Christians, has become more and more profane each year. Who will give a present to Jesus? Who will sing to him on his altar? Just a few people are doing it! But we shouldn’t be surprised, this is the effect of Kali yuga. Well the devotees of Krishna, they certainly do celebrate and sing your glories in your divine and wonderful eternal and progressive immortality.

Śrīla Atulananda Ācārya :
“Jesus and His Message of Universal Love”

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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