Christmas, as known today, was invented by Victorians during the 1860s and is on the top of the list of the most celebrated holidays across the world. However, the modern-day festival has evolved from numerous traditions of both religious and secular aspects, followed worldwide centuries ago. Different traditions such as caroling, Yule log and others related to Christmas are discussed below.
God Jul in Sweden
In Scandinavian countries, St. Lucia is honored on the 1th of December every year, which began in Sweden and then spread to Finland and Denmark by the first half of the 19th century. This occasion is cited as ‘Little Yule’ sometimes and is considered as the commencement of the season of Christmas celebrations. According to the tradition, the oldest daughter from each family gets up early and awakens all other members, while wearing a long gown of white color and a red sash along with a crown of twigs having 9 lighted candles and is named as ‘Lussibruden’ or ‘Lussi’. Then, breakfast is consumed by the whole family in a room enlightened with the use of candles. The main theme of this day is light, which is linked to her name as per the Latin word for light, Lux. Lucia is also known as the blind people’s patron saint.
Hyvaa Joulua in Finland
On the eve of Christmas, people in Finland visit sauna and ‘Peace of Christmas’ is broadcast-ed on the national radio, which is listened by families gathered together. Also, according to the customs, people have to make a visit to the burial place of their deceased family members.
Gledelig Jul in Norway
Norway is known as the place where Yule log was born, where the day was celebrated as the sun’s return followed by the winter solstice. According to a belief, the sun was referred to as a huge wheel of fire that rolls away from and towards the Earth. The word Yule has been derived from hweol, a Norse word meaning wheel and the above discussed fact justify the consideration of the family fireplace as this event’s central part.
The scene of trough or feeder is considered to be a primary part of the nations of Southern Europe, South and Central America. In 1224, the earliest nativity was created by Assisi’s St. Francis to deliver the explanation of Jesus’ birth to his followers.
Most of the traditions practiced in Canada are quite similar to the ones followed by people in the US. Eskimos in the far north part of the country celebrate sink tuck, a winter festival, featuring the exchange of gifts and dance parties.
Joyeux Noel in France
Noel is the term used for Christmas in France, which originated from ‘les bonnes nouvelles’, a French phrase, referring to the gospel and meaning ‘the good news’. During ancient times, farmers ensured good luck for their harvest next year by using a part of their log. This gave rise to the tradition of burning log fire by people in their homes, starting from the day of Christmas till the New Year’s Eve.
Similarly, several other traditions are followed by people across other parts of the world like Italy, Mexico and others celebrate the Christmas festival.