6 In England…. England was the first country to use Christmas cards. Cookies and other sweet treats like pudding are baked with special treats inside.Holly and ivy decorate the homes.Many of our Christmas carols come from EnglandFather Christmas fills stockings with treats. He looks like our Santa Clause.
8 In Germany ….For children in Germany who celebrate each year, advent wreaths and calendars mean Christmas time is near!The tannenbaum, or Christmas tree originated in Germany.For many years, the German people decorated their trees with candles and fresh fruit.They often decorate gingerbread houses.In some parts of Germany, a girl named Kristkind brings the gifts.
10 In France… In France, families enjoy two creches, or nativities. Holly and greens are used as decoration.The family gathers around and sings carols as Jesus is placed in the manger.Special cookies are baked with a bean inside. The person who finds the bean becomes King of the party.Shoes are left by the fire for Pere Noel to fill with candy and toys.Children go to bed early to dream about their Christmas miracle.
12 In Sweden… Saint Lucia Day is celebrated December 13th The oldest girl in the house dresses up in a white dress and candles on her head.She wakes up early and brings treats to her family.A small, elf-like figure, Juletomte, brings the gifts.Christmas Day is a quiet, religious day.
14 In Italy…. They celebrate Christmas on January 6th. They believe a good witch comes to give them presents, her name is La BefanaFamilies decorate with flowers instead of evergreen trees.The night before Christmas the gather around the Presepio, or nativity to light candles and say a prayer before going to church.They even have fireworks to celebrate.
16 In Mexico…Christmas is celebrated for nine days (December 16-24) it is called Las Posadas.They sing songs and have a parade.They eat tamales and cornThey stay up until midnight to open presents.On Christmas Eve there is a party with a pinata.They decorate with poinsettias.
18 In Israel…Hanukkah, or Chanukah is the most important winter festival of the Jewish religion.It is celebrated for 8 days, to celebrate the battle for religious freedom.The light a menorah in remembrance and thanksgiving to God.Games are played each night, including the Dreidel.They eat potato pancakes called latkes.
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20 In Africa…Originally Christmas was celebrated as only a religious holiday.Queen Victoria introduced many of the customs that are used in African countries today.You might see Santa Claus, gifts, cards, Christmas trees and stockings.Special music is played.Many families celebrate with a big dinner.
22 In the United States . . .Christmas in the United States brings together many customs from other countries.People buy or make gifts for each other.Decorate Christmas trees with ornaments and lights.Christmas music is played everywhere.Children have a two week vacation.Families hang stockings by the fireplace.Many families go to church on Christmas Eve for a religious service.
23 Christmas is celebrated differently all over the world.