02 Dec 2016
December. Culture and Traditions
IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD, TRADITIONS ARE CELEBRATED DIFFERENTLY.
December. The last month of the year starts. A month in which we all spend some time taking stock and where we assess everything we are leaving behind to try, at least, to improve it the new year that is coming; an empty book ready to write on it exciting stories. The special guest of this month, but, are the holidays that await us just around the corner. Like fine nougat, with December, Christmas returns. Those special days in our diaries in which the so-called Christmas spirit takes us and floods our hearts with innocence and enthusiasm. For some, a visit from Santa Claus and gifts under the tree. For others, the Three Wise Men, the Christmas cribs and “Caga Tió” (a Catalan tradition). Snow and cold, or sun and heat. Heavy meals appear with force. On the scene, Christmas sweets such as cakes and the traditional twisted roll, or contrary to our habit of taking seafood and fish, those rich banquets and tasty roasts are imposed. But above all, what is coming are these days of meeting; emotional and special days in which we share moments enjoying of them.
These dates become a reference and only, depending on who is our partner and where we are, we understand Christmas in one way or another. In any corner of the world, even the smallest, millions of people celebrate these holidays marked by tradition and religious beliefs that have filled each country with their rituals, their music, their preparation and their own customs. A very open view over the meaning of these celebrations that allow us live magic moments full of happiness.
Thanks to the diversity of cultures, different traditions are enjoyed, with those we delight in each of these moments: lentils in Italy New Year’s Eve night, bathing in the warm beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana in Brazil, or auroras borealis awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, in his workshop in Finland. The main ingredients are common and a widespread feeling of love, brotherhood and solidarity pervades every being, but it is precisely that difference which makes Christmas celebrations, in which every one of us take part, unique.
Christian celebration more than a festivity, but what is currently perceived; Christmas is not a party to be held equally in all countries of the world, their differences are founded in the origin of their religion. Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists disagree on how to worship the prophet that gives rise to these celebrations. Judaism does not celebrate Christmas. Its typical celebration is Hanukkah or the so-called Festival of Lights, for eight days in December. Muslims, meanwhile, celebrate two holidays: “Eid al Fitr” feast, immediate fasting of Ramadan, and “Eid al-Adha”, the festival of sacrifice during the pilgrimage to Mecca, a city that every Muslim should visit at least once in life. Buddhism does not hold great celebrations this month, as their calendar sets the New Year in February. The celebrations of this religion are based primarily on aspects of religious practice and family harmony, rather than large banquets. Finally, meanwhile, Hindus celebrate “Diwali”, a kind of Christmas in November. During this festival, one of the main celebrations of the Hindu calendar, New Year begins with a party where friends and family are given candies, commemorating the triumph of the god Ram, over the demon Ravana.
Christmas, as we have seen, is celebrated throughout the world. Like all the stories about this time, Christmas stories happen without measuring the distance separating us from each other. Without going too far, in our own home there is no single way to celebrate it. Christmas Eve in Andalusia has nothing to do with the Catalan San Esteban, but even so, no matter how strange the ways to understand Christmas are, the most important thing of these days that are coming is the magical bond that unites us all.
Holiday season is starting and, despite the ways they are celebrated, there is nothing like live them and enjoy them because the magic they convey is simply inexplicable.