Christmas is a festival which is filled with religious emotions in Western countries. Since the Church of Rome proclaimed Dec, 25th to be the birthday of Jesus in 354 AD, Christmas has become the day for the popular secular celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in Western countries.
Nowadays, “the world is flat”, and the US-led social values are flourishing along with the popularity of Hollywood movies, Coca Cola and Windows XP. As a result, Christmas can be celebrated in a non-religious way, even in areas without popular Christianity. Christmas is actually a global festival, celebrated in different ways.
On Christmas Eve, an American young man may be enjoying turkey dinner with family, thinking about how to get the girl next door under the mistletoe (thereby “rightfully” able to kiss her). Alternatively, an Australian boy may be thinking what time he will get a reply in the mail from “Santa, the north pole,9999”. A German family may be holding “Glühwein”, looking at their neatly trimmed Christmas tree, a father in Bulgaria may be making a bonfire to chase away the evil spirits, and Filipino people may be enjoying their “noche buena” in their long “Simbang Gabi”. Meanwhile, young people in China, Japan and Singapore will be frantically shopping in the shopping centers which are open 24 hours only at Christmas.
It seems interesting that there are actually many young non-Christians who are crazy about Christmas celebrations; people may even be surprised to see that they celebrate Christmas Eve, which supposed to be peaceful and calm, as a “carnival”. But the fact is, for many people — for example, those young Asian people who are ignoring their traditional festivals but are worshipping Western festivals — Christmas is just a reason to relax, consume and pamper themselves. At the same time, there are many western families, sitting together around table, appreciating the holy time.
In the following weeks, we are going to upload several articles about Christmas in different countries. You can find the articles available here:
* United States: English
In case you feel like writing Christmas cards to your international friends, Check out these Common International Christmas Greetings. Please feel free to leave comments with Christmas greetings in more languages!