Christmas around the world......

 

Iceland Christmas

Christmas is often known as 'Yule' or 'Jól' in Iceland. This comes from the ancient winter solstice celebrations, that were taken over by the early Christians. Yule also include the New Year celebrations.

There are lots of customs and traditions about Yule in Iceland. The Yule season consists of the following days:

Þorláksmessa - St. Thorlakur's Day - December 23rd
Iceland's major Saint is 'heilagur Þorlákur Þórhallsson', or 'St. Thorlakur Thorhallsson', the Bishop of Skálholt. December 23rd, is the day on which he died. On St. Thorlakur's Day, the main custom is eating of a simple meal of skata or skate. The Yule (or Christmas) tree is usually decorated on this day. This is also a big shopping day for last minute gifts, with stores remaining open until midnight.

Aðfangadagur - Christmas Eve / Yule Eve
Celebrations start at Iceland at 6.00pm on Yule Eve. This may have come from old Icelandic tradition, when a new day started at 6.00pm not midnight. Icelandic children open their presents after the evening meal on Aðfangadagur. This is when the Yule celebrations really start! (TV used to stop at about 5.00pm and restarted at 10.00pm! But now TV is on all through the christmas period.)

Jóladagur - Christmas Day / Yule Day
Jóladagur is usually celebrated with the extended family. The main Yule meal is 'Hangikjöt', a leg of roast lamb. Sometimes 'Rjúpa' (Rock Ptarmigan a sea bird) is also eaten. Another Yule meal speciality is 'Laufabrauð' or leaf bread. This is made of thin sheets of dough cut into delicate patterns and fried. Each family often has their own patterns for the Laufabrauð.

Annar Jóladagur - Boxing Day
This is another day for visiting friends and family and eating lots more! Public entertainment is considered inappropriate on Yule Eve and Yule Day, and it is on Boxing Day that dancing is again allowed in public!

聖誕節通常在冰島被稱為“聖誕”或“Jól”。這是來自早期基督徒接管的古代冬至慶祝活動。尤爾還包括新年的慶祝活動。

關於冰島的尤爾有很多的習俗和傳統。聖誕季包括以下幾天:

Þorláksmessa - 聖托勒古爾日 - 12月23日
冰島的主要聖地是'heilagurÞorlákurÞórhallsson',或'St. Thorlakur Thorhallsson',Skálholt的主教。 12月23日是他去世的那一天。在聖索拉庫爾節,主要的習俗是吃一頓簡單的斯卡塔或滑冰餐。尤爾(或聖誕節)樹通常在這一天裝飾。這也是最後一分鐘禮品的購物日,商店一直營業至午夜。

Aðfangadagur - 平安夜/ Yule Eve
育樂夜,下午六點在冰島舉行慶祝活動。這可能來自於冰島的傳統,當一個新的一天開始於下午六點,而不是午夜。在Aðfangadagur晚餐後,冰島兒童打開禮物。尤爾慶祝活動真的開始了! (電視在下午五點左右停止使用,並在晚上十點重新開始!但是現在電視機已經過聖誕節了。)

Jóladagur - 聖誕節/尤爾節
Jóladagur通常與大家庭一起慶祝。主要的聖誕節餐是烤羊腿“Hangikjöt”。有時也會吃“Rjúpa”(岩石雷鳥海鳥)。另一個育樂餐專業是“Laufabrauð”或葉麵包。這是由薄薄的麵團切成精緻的圖案和油炸。每個家庭往往有自己的Laufabrauð模式。

AnnarJóladagur - 節禮日
這是另一天去拜訪朋友和家人,多吃點東西! “育樂前夜”和“育樂節”的公眾娛樂活動被認為是不合適的,在“節禮日”,公眾再次允許跳舞!

Iceland, an island about the size of Kentucky, lies in the north Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and just touches the Arctic Circle. It is one of the most volcanic regions in the world. More than 13% is covered by snowfields and glaciers, and most of the people live in the 7% of the island that is made up of fertile coastland. The Gulf Stream keeps Iceland's climate milder than one would expect from an island near the Arctic Circle.

冰島是一個關於肯塔基州大小的島嶼,位於格陵蘭以東的北大西洋,只是碰到北極圈。 它是世界上最火山的地區之一。 雪域和冰川覆蓋了超過13%,大多數人生活在由肥沃的海岸組成的島嶼的7%。 墨西哥灣流域保持冰島的氣候比預期從北極圈附近的一個島嶼的氣候溫和

LITHUANIA CHRISTMAS

At Christmas time in Lithuania it is very cold, normally with snow and ice on the ground.

Christmas Eve (Kūčios) is a more important day than Christmas Day. Kūčios is also the name of the big Christmas Eve meal which families have together during the evening of Christmas Eve. Kūčios is also the last day of Advent, so it is important and special.

But before the meal can be eaten, lots of preparations have to take place. The whole house is cleaned, the bedding is changed and everyone washes and puts on clean clothes ready for the meal. Many Lithuanians used to go to the bathhouse to be cleaned before the meal. Some people thought being clean helped to protect them from evil or diseases during the coming year. During Christmas Eve, working men would put away their tools and clean the cattle pens and farmyard, etc.

Many people fast (don't eat anything) during the day. The Kūčios meal also shouldn't contain any meat.

Straw is a traditional decoration. Is it normally spread on the table top and then covered with a clean, white tablecloth. The table is then decorated with candles and small branches or twigs from a fir tree. The straw reminds people of the baby Jesus lying in a manger. A superstition says that if you pull a piece of straw from under the tablecloth and it's long, you will have a long life; but if it's short you will have a short life; and a thick straw means a rich and happy life!

Often an extra place is set - for a family member who can't come to the meal or if a family member has died during the past year. Sometimes a candle is lit to remember family members who died. Some people believe that dead family members come and join the family round the table. People who are going to be alone on Christmas Eve are also invited to meal.

在聖誕節的時候,立陶宛非常寒冷,通常在地面上有冰雪。

平安夜(Kūčios)比聖誕節更重要。 Kūčios也是聖誕平安夜的家庭聚集在一起的平安夜大餐的名字。 Kūčios也是複臨的最後一天,所以這是重要的和特殊的。

但在吃飯之前,必須進行大量的準備工作。整個房子被打掃乾淨,​​床上用品被換掉,每個人都洗衣服,穿上乾淨的衣服準備就餐。許多立陶宛人在餐前習慣去洗澡間清洗。有些人認為乾淨有助於在未來一年保護他們免受邪惡或疾病的侵害。在平安夜,工作人員會收拾工具,清理牛圈和農場等。

許多人白天禁食(不吃東西)。 Kūčios餐也不應該包含任何肉。

稻草是一種傳統的裝飾。它通常鋪在桌面上,然後用乾淨的白色桌布覆蓋。桌子上裝飾著蠟燭和小樹枝或樹枝。稻草提醒人們耶穌躺在馬槽裡。一個迷信說,如果你從桌布下面扯下一根稻草,而且很長的話,你會有很長的壽命。但是如果時間短的話,你的生活會很短暫;厚厚的稻草意味著豐富而快樂的生活!

通常會有一個額外的地方 - 一個家庭成員不能來吃飯,或者一個家庭成員在過去的一年中去世。有時點燃一支蠟燭記住死亡的家屬。有些人認為,死者家屬圍坐在桌前,加入家庭。在聖誕節前夕獨自一人的人也會被邀請進餐。

LATVIA CHRISTMAS

Children in Latvia believe that Santa Claus (also known as Ziemassvētku vecītis - Christmas old man) brings their presents. The present are usually put under the Christmas tree. The presents are opened on during the Evening of Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.

Often the presents are secretly put under the tree when people are not around (such as when people are at Church). Sometimes to get a present you have to recite a short poem while standing next to the Christmas Tree! Before Christmas children learn to say poems by heart. You might also get a present by singing, playing a musical instrument or doing a dance.

Latvia also claims to be the home of the first Christmas Tree! The first documented use of a evergreen tree at Christmas and New Year celebrations is in town square of Riga, the capital of Latvia, in the year 1510.

拉脫維亞的孩子們認為,聖誕老人(也被稱為聖誕節老人)帶來了他們的禮物。 禮物通常放在聖誕樹下。 禮物在平安夜或聖誕節期間開放。

當人們不在身邊時(比如人們在教堂的時候),禮物往往被秘密地放在樹下。 有時候得到一份禮物,你必須背誦聖誕樹旁邊的一首短詩! 在聖誕節前,孩子們學會用心去表達詩歌。 你也可以通過唱歌,彈奏樂器或跳舞來獲得禮物。

拉脫維亞也聲稱是第一棵聖誕樹的故鄉! 在聖誕節和新年的慶祝活動中,第一次記載使用常青樹是在1510年在拉脫維亞首都裡加的城市廣場。

MONTENEGRO

In Montenegro, Christmas Eve is on 6th January and Christmas Day is on the 7th January because the main Orthodox Churches still use the old 'Julian' Calendar. In the Orthodox Church, Advent starts on 28th November and last for six weeks. During Advent, some people fast and they don't eat food that comes from animals (meat, milk, eggs, etc.).

The countries of Serbia and Montenegro share many of the same Christmas traditions.

Christmas Eve is called 'Badnji dan' during the day and 'Badnje veče' after sunset. It's a time where families prepare for Christmas. Many don't eat food that comes from animals on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve morning, it was traditional for men to go out into the woods and cut a type of Yule Log called a 'Badnjak' (Christmas Eve tree), normally from an oak tree. Now kore people live in towns and cities, they can just buy a Badnjak from the market!

The Badnjak is brought into the house on Christmas Eve evening and is meant to burnt through the evening and night.

Outside churches, there are often large bonfires where people gather in the early evening on Christmas Eve. There are sometimes nativity and Christmas plays put on either outside in inside the churches. People can bring special Badnjak to put on the bonfires.

There are two Orthodox Churches in Montenegro. The Serbian Orthodox Church and the Montenegrin Orthodox Church. They have different main Cathedrals and have two large bonfires outside them on Christmas Eve.

在黑山,聖誕節前夕是1月6日,聖誕節是在1月7日,因為主要的東正教教堂仍然使用舊的“朱利安”日曆。在東正教會,复臨會於十一月二十八日開始,持續六個星期。在復活期間,有些人禁食,而且不吃來自動物的食物(肉,牛奶,雞蛋等)。

塞爾維亞和黑山的國家有許多相同的聖誕傳統。

平安夜在白天被稱為'Badnji dan',在日落之後被稱為'Badnjeveče'。這是家庭準備聖誕節的時候。在聖誕節前夕,許多人不吃動物的食物。

在平安夜的早晨,傳統的男人出門進入樹林,通常從橡樹上砍下一種名為“聖誕平安夜”的聖誕樹。現在有很多人住在城鎮,他們只能從市場上買一個Badnjak!

Badnjak在平安夜的晚上被帶進房子,意味著傍晚和晚上燒毀。

在教堂外面,經常有大量的篝火在聖誕節前夜傍晚聚集。教堂內部有時會出現聖誕節和聖誕節戲。人們可以帶來特殊的Badnjak篝火。

黑山有兩座東正教教堂。塞爾維亞東正教教堂和黑山東正教教堂。他們有不同的主要大教堂,在聖誕節前夕有兩個大型的篝火。

MALTA CHRISTMAS

Christmas is very important to the people of Malta and its sister Island of Gozo. Most people on Malta are Catholics and go to a Midnight Mass Service. Usually the churches are full with people.

In Maltese Happy/Merry Christmas is 'Il-Milied it-Tajjeb'. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.

The Churches are decorated with lights and nativity cribs, 'Presepju', built by the church go-ers. The cribs are decorated with figurines, called 'pasturi' (representing figures like the shepherds and angels). Today some of the cribs are mechanical and the in them figures move! The figure of the baby Jesus is put on the main altar at midnight on Christmas night. At epiphany it is traditional to put the three figures of the Magi in the crib. There is a group on Malta called 'Friends of the Crib' who help to keep the Maltese crib tradition alive.

Cribs were first introduced into Malta from Italy by rich noblemen. They were not popular at first and most were burnt. The first true Maltese crib is believed to have been made in Malta in 1617 and was displayed in the Domenican Friars Church in Rabat. In St Peter's Monastery in Mdina, there is a crib dating back to 1670. This is treasured and looked after by the Benedictine Nuns who live in the monastery. At about the same time, another Maltese man made a crib with moving parts powered by water! As cribs became more popular they also became more 'Maltese' with people replacing the Italian looking buildings and trades people with local ones. (Flour windmills were and are still popular buildings to feature in a crib scene.) The first imported Italian 'pasturi' were very expensive and most people couldn't afford them. So people started making there own 'pasturi' from rough clay and plaster. Some of these figures still exist today. (Modern pasturi are now often made of plastic.)

By the early to mid 20th century, cribs were thought of as old fashioned and not very popular anymore. To stop the decline of Christmas, in 1907, a priest called George Preca founded a children's charity and society called 'MUSEUM'. In 1921 he started a tradition of having a Christmas Eve procession with a life size figure of the Baby Jesus being carried at the head of the procession.

At sunset on Christmas Eve in 1921, Fra Diegu Street in the town of Hamrun was crowded with children and adults ready to take part in the first procession. In those days, street lighting was very poor in Malta and so many people brought lanterns with them to help them see their way during the procession and to shed light on the statue of Baby Jesus carried shoulder-high by four boys. The different types of lamps included, gas powered bicycle headlamps, oil lamps used on farmers carts, colored paper lanterns, Venetian lights, palm fronds and olive branches. The idea became very popular with people of all ages and so the very special Maltese traditional started. These processions are still popular today and form part of the Christmas Eve celebrations.

In 1986 the 'Friends of the Crib' society was formed and now they have over 500 members. Every year, in the weeks running up to Christmas, the Friends put on a exhibition of about 100 cribs of all shapes and sizes.

Maltese houses are often also decorated with cribs with 'pasturi' (which are small plastic or clay figures representing figures like the shepherds and angels). Large figures of the baby Jesus are sometimes put behind windows or in balconies and lit at night. Houses are also decorated with Christmas wreaths, candles and all sorts of other decorations. Every household also has a Christmas Tree decorated with light bulbs, tinsel and Christmas decorations.

It is traditional to sow wheat, grain and canary seed, 'gulbiena', on cotton buds in flat pans five weeks before Christmas. These are left in dark corners in the house until the seeds produce white grass-like shoots. The pans with the fully-grown shoots are then used to decorate the crib or the statue of Baby Jesus.

One Maltese Christmas tradition is the 'Priedka tat-Tifel' which means 'the preaching of the child'. A boy or a girl, normally aged 7 to 10, does the preaching of the sermon at the midnight mass instead of the priest! The children learn the sermon by heart and start learning it four or five weeks before they preach on Christmas Eve. The parents are also very excited and nervous about the performance, as they would have helped the children to learn the sermon. The boy or girl tells the story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and is encouraged to give their sermon a personal delivery which will touch the hearts of the church-goers.

聖誕節對馬耳他人民及其姐妹戈佐島非常重要。大多數在馬耳他的人都是天主教徒,去午夜彌撒服務。通常教會充滿了人。

在馬耳他,快樂/聖誕節是'Il-Milied it-Tajjeb'。快樂/聖誕節在很多語言。

教堂裝飾著燈光和聖誕教堂,由教堂建造的​​“Presepju”。嬰兒床裝飾著小雕像,被稱為“pasturi”(代表像牧羊人和天使般的人物)。今天一些嬰兒床是機械的,在他們的數字移動!耶穌寶寶的身影在聖誕夜的午夜被放在主祭壇上。在突然顯現的時候,傳統上把麥琪的三個人物放在嬰兒床上。在馬耳他有一個叫“嬰兒床之友”的組織,幫助保持馬耳他嬰兒床的傳統。

最初由富貴貴族從意大利引進馬耳他的嬰兒床。起初他們不受歡迎,大部分都被燒毀了。第一個真正的馬耳他嬰兒床據信是在1617年在馬耳他製造的,並在拉巴特的多梅尼克修道士教堂展出。在姆迪納的聖彼得修道院,有一個可追溯到1670年的嬰兒床。這是由住在修道院的本篤會修女珍視和照顧。幾乎在同一時間,另一個馬耳他人用水動力零件做了一個嬰兒床!隨著嬰兒床變得越來越受歡迎,他們也變成了更多的“馬耳他人”,人們將意大利建築物替換成當地人。 (麵粉風車現在仍然是受歡迎的建築,在嬰兒床場景中也是如此。)意大利的第一個進口的“pasturi”非常昂貴,而且大多數人買不起。於是人們開始用粗糙的粘土和石膏製作自己的“pasturi”。其中一些數字今天仍然存在。 (現代的牛排現在通常由塑料製成。)

到20世紀中葉,嬰兒床被認為是老式的,不再流行。為了阻止聖誕節的衰落,1907年,一位名叫喬治·普雷卡(George Preca)的牧師創立了一個名為“博物館”(MUSEUM)的兒童慈善和社會。 1921年,他開始了一個聖誕前夜遊行的傳統,在遊行隊伍的頭上帶著一個真人大小的小耶穌。

1921年聖誕節前夕,日落時分,Hamrun鎮的Fra Diegu街擠滿了兒童和成年人,準備參加第一次遊行。那時候,馬耳他的路燈很差,所以很多人帶著燈籠來幫助他們在遊行中看到他們的方向,並揭開了由四個男孩肩負的寶貝耶穌雕像。包括不同類型的燈具,氣動自行車前大燈,農用車上使用的油燈,彩色紙燈,威尼斯燈,棕櫚葉和橄欖枝。這個想法變得非常受歡迎,所以非常特殊的馬耳他傳統開始。這些遊行今天仍然很受歡迎,是聖誕節前夕的一部分。

1986年,“小兒之友”組織成立,現在有500多人。每年聖誕節前夕,這些朋友都會展出大約100個各種形狀和大小的嬰兒床。

馬耳他的房子通常還裝飾著“pasturi”(小塑料或粘土人物,像牧羊人和天使)。耶穌寶寶的大人物有時被放在窗戶或陽台上,晚上點亮。房屋還裝飾著聖誕花環,蠟燭和各種其他裝飾品。每個家庭也有聖誕樹裝飾著燈泡,金屬絲和聖誕裝飾品。

在聖誕節前五個星期,在平底鍋上的棉花芽上播種小麥,穀物和金絲雀種子'gulbiena'是傳統的。這些都留在房子的黑暗角落,直到種子產生白色的草狀芽。然後用帶有全長筍的平底鍋來裝飾嬰兒耶穌的嬰兒床或雕像。

一個馬耳他聖誕節的傳統是“Priedka tat-Tifel”,意思是“傳播孩子”。一個7歲至10歲的男孩或女孩在午夜彌撒時講道,而不是祭司!孩子們在聖誕節前夕講道,然後開始學習四五個星期。父母也對錶演感到興奮和緊張,因為他們會幫助孩子學習佈道。這個男孩或女孩講述了伯利恆耶穌誕生的故事,並鼓勵他們的講道作個人交付,這將觸動教友的心。

喬治·薩皮亞諾(George Sapiano)於1883年在盧加的教區教堂舉行了一個祭壇男孩的第一個聖誕節前夕的佈道。當地的教會也常常組織一個裝扮成牧羊人的小孩,約瑟夫和瑪麗帶著一個娃娃(代表耶穌)扮演耶穌誕生的故事。這個重新制定從晚上11點開始,隨後