Christmas, what is it? For me, it’s a time to spend with family and friends in celebration of the birth of Christ, and the season of giving. It’s also the best time to indulge in a great homecooked meal (For those who are living away from home) plus enough for a week after!
Since Brock is such a diverse community, I decided to ask some friends what Christmas is to them and this is what some of them said:
Some celebrate it with family, but more likely people spend the day with their gf/bf. Instead we spend New Year’s Eve with family. For New Years, many people watch the Bell Ringing Ceremony at night in Seoul. Celebrities ring the bell 33 times every year to announce the new year.
Typically, those who are Christian and celebrate the traditional Christmas, live in South Korea, where life is not as democratic is the North.
Interesting Fact about Christmas in Korea: Christians in North Korea need to meet in secret when they get together because they would be risking their life! If you were caught with a bible, you could easily be sent to prison or be killed!
Coming from a Chinese background, my family celebrates Christmas as nothing. There is no ‘Christmas’ or ‘New Year’, rather we celebrate with a Spring Festival which isn’t until February. It is typically a month-long celebration which includes fireworks and daily feasts!
Christmas is low-key family time; family dinner and watch movies, and as a family custom we open gifts on Christmas Eve.
I never really grew up celebrating Christmas. My customs have recently been surrounded by eating food and spending time with family and friends. I also try to find a way to donate my time to the needy as well.
My dad said that when he was a child, it was a custom in Seychelles to kill a pig at 5am of Christmas Eve, which then was made into a ‘blood soup’. On Christmas Day, the family would go to church and have dinner with the family.
In Mexico, for Christmas we have a piñata filled with candy and fruit (like candy canes, assorted candy, oranges, sugar cane and money). It’s a celebration in its own when the piñata is
broken open. On New Years Eve, we also have a piñata and champagne with 12 grapes as we count down to the new year. When the clock strikes 12:00 we party it up and drink the champagne. Immediately after, we make a wish and eat a grape (each grape symbolizes one wish or goal that we plan on doing for each month of the new year). These events are usually of 30-40 people but sometimes the party attendees goes beyond that! We do have big families haha.
My family and I have a family dinner and exchange gifts.
Some other Christmas customs include:
Jewish celebrate Hanukkah. It’s a time when Jewish families celebrate for eight days and nights, starting on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev (late November – December). The word “hannukah” means “dedication”, symbolizing the “rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E. (Pelaia, 2014).
Christmas in the UK means family get-togethers and presents! Christmas decorating usually means “team work” because the family works together to create a festive feel in the home, as
well as putting up a Christmas tree.
Christmas brings a spirit of togetherness, of warmth and joy. As you’ve read above, there are many ways to celebrate the holidays; some celebrate it more extravagantly than others, and
that’s totally fine. We all come form different backgrounds and cultures, and as a Canadian, it’s fantastic that we can celebrate in our own way.
My wish for you Badgers is to have a safe, fun, and exciting holiday season! Party it up and spend it with the ones you love!
I know only few customs were mentioned here, but I know there are many more customs and traditions that you Badgers celebrate! We’d love to learn about more traditions, so please
comment and share what you do for the holidays and what you look forward to every year.