Christmas in my country

Anika: "Schöne Weihnachten!"

Anika: “Schöne Weihnachten!”

“In Germany Christmas begins quite early in the supermarkets. 🙂 For me, though, it begins in December. It’s getting cold, it’s getting dark early, sometimes there’s snow, slowly there is some cuddly Christmas atmosphere lying in the air, candle lights, the scent of pines, instrumental and vocal music… I begin looking forward to my parents’ place where I usually spend Christmas. On the 24th we have a cozy dinner together, after which we exchange little gifts. The main part is being together. The 25th and the 26th we usually visit relatives or they come to our place, so these days are also about spending time together. Often I meet some old friends, who also spend Christmas with their families.”

Anika from Germany (HHL student)

 

“In Bulgaria, Christmas is one of the favorite holidays for young and old alike. It is celebrated on 25th December, as a continuation of the Christmas Eve, which finds place on 24th of December. The Christmas day is usually regarded as a private holiday, when families gather together and have a large traditional meal. The parents prepare the gifts for their children and decorate Christmas trees.”

Deyan from Bulgaria (HHL student)

Deyan: “Желаем Ви весела Коледа!”

 

Daniel Ritchie: "Merry Christmas!"

Daniel Ritchie: “Merry Christmas!”

“In the United States, the Christmas season begins right after Thanksgiving. However, the best days are December 24th and 25th. The 24th is known as Christmas Eve, and families typically eat a traditional meal together while waiting with great anticipation for the following morning. On the morning of the 25th, the mountain of gifts bulging from under the tree are (finally) opened. In my family, this is followed by a large brunch.”

Daniel Ritchie from United States (HHL staff)

 

Stefan: "We wensen je fijne kerstdagen!"

Stefan: “We wensen je fijne kerstdagen!”

“In The Netherlands, the anticipation for Christmas only rightfully starts after St. Nicholas has left the country with his steam-powered boat, on December 6th. The evening of December 24th is normally spent in an easy going way with your direct family and it is the customary evening to visit church for the religious part of the population. The 25th and 26th are spent with the extended family, friends, in-laws with large Christmas dinners. The gifts giving part traditionally takes place during St. Nicholas or “Sinterklaas” – Santaclaus is an Americanized version of this tradition and has for long struggled to gain foothold in NL, but slowly people start seeing the advantage of having two gift-giving traditions in one month.”

Stefan from the Netherlands (HHL student)

 

Christine: 圣诞快乐

Christine: 圣诞快乐

“In China we celebrate Christmas in big cities where western culture is adored.  We do not necessarily connect Christmas with religion but rather cause for shopping, harvest for present and occasion for showing love and affection.  Hence there is nothing to hold back the party spirit on Christmas Eve.  Likewise, “silent night” means nothing more than just a beautiful song, something similar to “jingle bells” or “last Christmas”, songs of which will be played throughout the opening hours at shopping malls and supermarkets during the whole December.”

Christine from China (HHL alumna)

 

“In Russia the Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on 7th January (The Rusian Orthodox church hasn’t changed the date after the change of calendar in Russia).  Many people are going to church. Christmas is normally celebrated with family members. ”

Oleg from Russia (HHL student)

Oleg: “С Рождеством Христовым!”

 

Raluca Modoiu: "Crăciun Fericit și la mulți ani!"

Raluca Modoiu: “Crăciun Fericit și la mulți ani!”

“In Romania, we start celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve, December 24; during the day we decorate the Christmas tree and we fasten, and in the evening, the family gathers together and eats traditional food – basically all kind of pork specialties and cozonac, a traditional Romanian cake. After dinner, we exchange gifts and listen Christmas carols. In the following two Christmas days, everybody greets each other with “La multi ani” instead of “Hello”.”

Raluca Modoiu from Romania (HHL staff)

 

 

Thomas: "Me toivotamme teille hyvää joulua"

Thomas: “Me toivotamme teille hyvää joulua”

“In Finland, Christmas is the biggest festival of the year. People gather together with their families on the 24th of December to relax and spend quality time after a long, hard year. The Christmas evening is usually culminated by the visit of Santa Claus – but only if you have been nice!”

Thomas from Finland (HHL student)

 

“In Poland we celebrate Christmas within the circle of family and close friends. On Christmas Eve we meet with the family for a festive supper that consists of twelve tasty dishes and concludes with exchanging gifts and singing traditional carols. The first and second Christmas days are usually spent on visiting friends and relatives.”

Dr. Lukasz Swiatczak from Poland (HHL Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Management )

Lukasz Swiatczak: “Zdrowych i pogodnych świąt Bożego Narodzenia!”