Christmas Around The World
Ok, Ok, I know we don't want to admit it, but we can’t deny it any longer…the festive period is soon to be upon us and what’s more it seems to be starting earlier every year (thanks to the major supermarkets and TV adverts). This leaves those of us that haven’t finished our Christmas shopping by mid-October feeling distinctly left behind and, somehow, inferior.
Although our Christmases are becoming increasingly more expensive and consumer driven they are so steeped in tradition that it’s rare to stumble across the quirks and idiosyncrasies of other countries.
Given that we’ve been tasked with ‘creating Christmas’ in a number of countries around the world we thought it would be interesting to share with you a few of the weird and wonderful folklores that we’ve stumbled across.
In India, where only about 2.3% of the population is Christian there is a total absence of fir trees meaning that banana trees and mango trees are decorated instead. How’s that for exotic?
Czech Republic or Slovakia
If you are single in the Czech republic or Slovakia on Christmas Day and frankly, would rather you weren’t, you can take off your shoe and throw it over your shoulder towards the door. If the toe points to the door, hey presto! Prince Charming is on his way and you’ll be married soon. However, there is no definitive guide to how long ‘soon’ is……….Can you imagine this happening here?
In Finland there’s a rather lovely tradition of visiting the graves of deceased friends and relatives on the night before Christmas and lighting candles; this ensures that all the cemeteries are beautifully lit and ancestors are remembered. Food will also be laid out for the dead so they too can enjoy a Christmas feast. This demonstrates that not all festivities have to be raucous. Sometimes a subtle and ambient vibe is far more alluring; a human statue or harpist can add another dimension to a dinner or drinks party.
In Caracas, capital of Venezuela, all the major roads are closed on Christmas Eve; this is to allow people to roller skate to Mass!
Believe it or not, the traditional Christmas dinner of choice n Japan is a KFC! The marketing has been so successful that you would need to make a reservation months in advance to eat at your local Kentucky on Christmas Day.
Out traditions in Great Britain tend to centre round the Christmas pudding. It should always be stirred clockwise when making and contain enough scrap metal (ok, charms………) to set your fillings on edge. To find a coin in your pud would indicate imminent wealth, a ring signifies marriage and a thimble equals good luck.
Of course these are just superstitions, if you’re the one in charge of organising this year’s festivities you may want to rely on something more than an age old, miniature thimble. How about a REAL snow toboggan run? Or, if a slightly more intimate event is needed, you might consider a festive bake off or Quizmas? Ice sculptures are a real talking point at any gathering and a set of professional carol singers would add a huge slice of Christmas cheer to your party (or at the very least lend a little sophistication to the obligatory festive sing-a-long! )
We are here to help put some ho, ho, ho into any seasonal offerings that, left to chance, may be more no, no, no.
Take a look at www.thechristmascreative.com if you’d like to know more.