Christmas Around the World
The holidays are celebrated on every continent on Earth. It has many names and comes with unique traditions. Here are some of our favorites:
In France, Santa is called Père Noël. The children leave their shoes in front of the fireplace where he and Père Fouettard (Santa’s helper) leave chocolates and candy for the good little boys and girls and twigs for the bad ones.
Christkindle comes in the form of an angel dressed all in white. Some say that is was the mispronunciation of Christkindle that created the name of Kris Kringle.
Currently, he is known as Babbo Natale. Historically, however, the holiday visitor was a witch named Le Befana who rode a broomstick down the chimney. There is a legend that the Three Wise Men invited her to attend the birth of Jesus, but she refused because it was too cold outside. After changing her mind, she rushed to bestow her gifts upon him but by the time she got there, they were already gone. She spent Christmas Eve going house to house looking for Jesus and leaving presents for the good girls and boys.
A gnome called Jultomten rides a sleigh drawn by goats and delivers presents to the children.
Svaty Mikulas climbs down a golden rope from heaven with an angel and a devil. Good children get gifts and bad ones get switches. Even the farm animals receive gifts of their favorite food, carrots, and apples.
In Ireland, there are 13 holiday visitors called Yule Lads. They come in the form of troll- like creatures between December 12th and 23rd. Yule Lads were previously known as mischievous beings who stole things and caused mayhem. Parents would actually threaten their unruly children with a visit from them. Each one has a unique name such as Spoon-Licker, Door-Slammer, and Sniffer.
As you can see, everyone celebrates the holidays differently. Here are some of our favorites quotes for the Holiday Season!
“It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” (Agnes M. Pharo)
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness.” (Helen Keller)
“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.” (Donald E. Westlake)
From all of us at Gateway Physiotherapy Centre, have a safe and happy holidays!