Edited by- Jai Kalra
Santa Claus, Christmas trees, stockings, and family dinners are things universally associated with Christmas. But due to the diversity in the people that celebrate it, different traditions and norms have emerged that the regular person is unaware of. By knowing these differences, we can enjoy and appreciate these holidays with a little more appreciation and fraternity.
For a great many people in Zimbabwe, Christmas begins with a Church service. Afterwards, everybody hosts a get-together in their homes and individuals go from house to house, visiting their friends . This often takes all day. At each house you have a snack, exchange gifts and celebrate. Many get a big stereo and play music in front of the house. It isn't just Christmas music that is played, most recent pop tunes and old African top choices are also included. Children in Zimbabwe believe that Santa Claus brings them there presents early on Christmas Day, ready to show their friends at Church and at the parties.
Unlike most countries, where Christmas is commercialized, Lebanon doesn’t stray from tradition during the holidays. Most Christians in Lebanon are Catholic, who set up nativity cribs in their homes, usually based around caves. These cribs are more popular than Christmas trees and act as a focus for prayers. Midnight mass services are another popular Catholic tradition celebrated in Lebanon. In the capital city of Beirut, Christmas trees are gaining popularity, although some believe they are too commercial.
Ever since the Kim dynasty started stomping over religion in North Korea, Christmas has never been openly celebrated. Last year, Kim Jong-un banned Christmas, demanding the 24th of December be a day of celebrating his grandmother’s birthday. According to Sunday Express, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said: “North Korea has devised a system whereby party organs report people’s economic hardships on a daily basis, and it has banned any gatherings related to drinking, singing and other entertainment, and is strengthening control of outside information.”
These unorthodox celebrations can help us enhance our own experiences by teaching us to embrace unity in diversity. Furhtermore, it is important to remember that while we have the freedom to celebrate Christmas with our loved ones, in some parts of the world, people have to choose between not celebrating Christmas or worrying for their lives.