Hello - December BIG
As we start counting down the days to Christmas, here at home, it’s a good time to look at what the rest of the world does at this time.
Nearly all countries that celebrate Christmas have Christmas trees, although not necessarily fir trees. Sometimes fig trees or palm trees are decorated and lit. Most countries display Nativity scenes and people gather to sing Christmas carols. Present-giving is fairly universal.
Santa Claus has different names abroad. In Britain he’s known as Father Christmas and in France he’s Père Noël. In the Netherlands he’s St Nicholas or Sinter Klaas (pictured left).
In Germany, children receive their gifts from Christkind, a sprite-like child (pictured right) considered to be an angelic messenger.
Swedish children get their gifts from Tomte, a gnome who lives in the forest and arrives by sleigh.
In Russia, the presents come from Babouschka, a kindly old grandmother in a headscarf whereas in Italy it’s a good witch called La Befana. Her name possibly comes from Epiphany, which is celebrated on 6th January.
Surprisingly Christmas Day is a public holiday in non-Christian countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Pakistan, Lebanon, Indonesia, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Wherever you live, and I know we have puzzlers from every corner of the globe, we wish you a very Happy Christmas!
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