December is a very important month. Many people around the world celebrate holidays and traditions.
The most famous one is Christmas
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. They pray, they tell Xmas stories, they sing Xmas carols and they offer /receive gifts.
You can listen to some Christmas Carols
The 24th of December is called “Christmas Eve”, the 25th is “Christmas Day” and the 26th is “Boxing Day”. The 25th and the 26th are public holidays.
On the 25th of December, People give presents to their friends and family.
Children believe that Father Christmas brings the presents.
They have a traditional Christmas meal: They eat turkey and Christmas pudding. After the meal, they pull crackers and wear paper crowns. In each cracker, there is a riddle or a joke.
"Oiche Nodlaig Mhaith"
The youngest child lights the candle. The family leaves mince pies and a bottle of guiness for Santa. Santa Claus can see the house in the night, he delivers the presents to the children.
In the morning, children wake up early to open their presents. Then, the family goes to the church.
They have Christmas dinner when they come back .
On the 26th of December, St Stephen’s Day, boys go from house to house to sing carols and receive treats. It is the “Wren Boys’ Procession”.
Christmas is in the middle of the Summer !
You can send a Koala’s Christmas card here
In the United States of America ,
Father Christmas is also named ‘Santa Claus’.
African-American celebrate Kwanzaa . It was created in 1966 . Kwanzaa means in Swahili “ the first fruit of the harvest”.
The holiday starts on the 26th of December and lasts seven days.
Families decorate their houses and light a candle holder : a black candle in the middle stands for African skin, three red candles represent fight and three green candles symbolize prosperous future.
Each day they light on a new candle.
It is one of the two most important muslim celebrations.
In 2007, Eid al-Adha begins on the 20th of December.
Jews celebrate Hanukkah
It is the Festival of Lights . It comes from an old tradition . People celebrate the victory of the jews against Greek soldiers in 165 before Christ. Thanks to a miracle, they found an oil candle which burned for eight nights.
Today, people light candles in a menorah ( a candleholder with eight candles) for eight nights.
They eat potato pancakes cooked in oil to remember the miracle.
In 2007, Hanukkah begins on the 4th of December.
If you want to know other Xmas traditions around the world, you can go to Mr Poulter’s year 5 class website