On the eve of Christmas, different countries perform different customs and traditions that aim to spread the message of union.

Christmas Customs and Traditions

The customs and traditions associated with a particular festival reflect historical connection and human emotion attached with it. Christmas festival is celebrated on December 25 all over the world. Different countries celebrate this ceremony through different customs. People mark the arrival of Jesus Christ on this day through decorating churches and houses where religious recitation takes place. Exchange of gifts, singing carols, organizing a special meal and praying for a peaceful life are some of the important rituals of this celebration.

Role of Christmas tree for Decoration during Christmas
Christmas tree plays a key role during decoration of church and house for such occasion. People believe in the divine connection of trees from time immemorial. According to historical estimation, the modern Christmas tree originated in the 8th century. German Prince Albert introduced Christmas tree to England in 1840. The Germans, who immigrated to Pennsylvania, introduced this tree to America. Generally trees like pine and fir serve as the Christmas tree. Earlier fruits such as nuts, dates and apples were used to decorate this tree. At present candles are used for the same purpose.

Mistletoe Needed for Decoration
Mistletoe which is needed for Christmas decoration has a religious connection with it. According to the Christian belief, Mistletoe symbolises a linkage between the Heaven and earth and God's connection with human beings.

Necessity of Holly for Decoration
Holly is one of the accessories required for the ornamentation of Christmas. It is an emblem for the crown of thorns that Jesus wore during his crucifixion. The red coloured berries of holly symbolise blood. Yule log has special significance in the rituals of Christmas.

Importance of Yule Log in Decoration
The word 'Yule' denotes 'infant' in the language of Chaldeans of Middle East. On the occasion of Christmas, Christians place several pieces of this log in fireplace and sprinkle oil, salt and wine to offer prayer in order to eliminate negative influence from their houses.

Requirement of Candy Canes during Christmas
A candy cane is a 'J' shaped element which also has usage for ornamental purpose during Christmas. The white colour of a candy cane denotes purity. The red stripe of the cane symbolises blood and the shape of the cane denotes Jesus Christ. Victorian England introduced the tradition of sending good wishes through cards on the eve of Christmas. During the year of 1843, Sir Henry Cole, a British businessman printed one thousand cards on the eve of this occasion. The credit of preparing first Christmas cards saying 'A Merry Christmas' goes to London printers Charles Goodall & Sons.

Christmas Tradition in India
Christians residing in India use banana or mango leaves to decorate their houses on such occasion. Oil-burning lamps made of clay also serve as decorating accessories for this event in Southern parts of India. These are usually placed on the edges of the roof of houses. The Christians of Bhil tribes who belong to Indian states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan sing their own Christian carols night after night for a week during Christmas. Goa reflects the true spirit of Christmas through the mode of its celebration. Christian Catholic community there take part in traditional midnight mass services which are popular there as Missa de Galo or Cock Crow.

Christmas Tradition in Africa
People in Nigeria prepare dishes of various types of meats in large portion and palm wine serves the purpose of beverage for this occasion. Organizing lavish parties where money is scattered in the air is a part of Christmas occasion there.

The different customs of Christmas celebration in different parts of the World signifies that this ceremony aims to celebrate the spirit of love and togetherness through creating a cheerful ambience all over the world.

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