Christmas is the most important holiday for Christians and is celebrated annually on December 25th by millions of people around the world with great pomp and show. This festival is celebrated in the memory of the day on which Christ was born. Christ was the founder of Christianity. It is believed that he was sent to this world to save mankind.

Although Christmas is traditionally a Christian holiday but it is celebrated by many non-Christians all over the world. Now we  will explore the various ways that Christmas is celebrated all over the world.

Firstly, we go to America to know about how they celebrate Christmas. For many Americans, Christmas is one of the most joyous times of the year. It’s a time for families and friends to come together. People celebrate Christmas Day in many ways. In the days or even weeks before Christmas Day, many people decorate their homes and gardens with lights and Christmas trees with electric lights, tinsel, baubles, strings of popcorn and candy canes. The majority of Americans celebrate Christmas by exchanging gifts  with their friends and family. Children, in particular, often receive a lot of gifts from their parents, other relatives and the mythical figure Santa Claus. It is very common to  organize a special meal on Christmas Eve. On Christmas it snows in many states, so dinner is usually eaten indoors. Dinner usually is roast turkey, goose, duck or ham served with cranberry sauce, then plum pudding or pumpkin pie followed by nuts and fruit.

Secondly we go to Africa to enjoy the atmosphere of Christmas day in Ghana. People in Ghana celebrate Christmas from the 20th of December to first week in January with lots of different activities. On Christmas day the churches are very full. People come out dressed in their colorful traditional clothes. Christmas Eve night is the time when the celebrations really start with church services that have drumming and dancing. Children often put on a Nativity Play or other dramas. Then choirs come out to sing and people come out in front of the priests to dance. Other people celebrate Christmas Eve with fireworks and parties. In  these parties there are many traditional food like stew or okra soup, porridge , meats, rice and a yam paste called 'fufu'.  On Christmas morning after the church service, people quickly go back to their houses to start giving and receiving gifts.

How is Christmas day celebrated in Europe- the oldest continent? Let’s visit France to explore. In France, Christmas is a time for family and for generosity, marked by family reunions, gifts and candy for children and gifts for the poor. The celebration of Christmas in France varies by region. Most provinces celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December, which is a bank holiday. However, in eastern and northern France, the Christmas season begins on 6 December. On that day,  French children put their shoes in front of the fireplace because they hope that Père Noël (aka Papa Noël) will fill them with gifts. Candy, fruit, nuts, and small toys will also be hung on the tree overnight. Christmas is a time for the French enjoy a cozy atmosphere together through the meal. They eat  roast turkey with chestnuts or roast goose, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison and different types of cheese. For dessert, a chocolate sponge cake log called a bûche de Noël is normally eaten.

Now we come back to our country- Viet Nam. In Viet Nam, Christmas has only recently become popular in big cities. On Christmas Eve, people (especially young people) like to go into the city center, or  the church so  the streets are crowded with people on Christmas Eve . People celebrate by throwing confetti, taking pictures and enjoying the Christmas decorations and lights of big hotels and department stores. Lots of cafes and restaurants are open for people to enjoy a snack! They also exchange Christmas cards and gifts. Some people send the message HAPPY CHRISTMAS!  to their families, friends or relatives.

Finally, in Australia Christmas comes in the middle of the summer holiday. Children have their summer holiday from early to mid-December to early February, so some people might even be camping at Christmas. Australians hang wreaths on their front doors and sometimes go out Christmas carol singing on Christmas eve. People also decorate their houses and gardens with Christmas trees and Christmas lights. Most families try to be home together for Christmas and the main meal is eaten at lunch time. Most people now have a cold Christmas dinner, or a barbecue with seafood such as prawns and lobsters along with 'traditional English' food. On Christmas Eve, fish-markets are often full of people queuing up to buy their fresh seafood for Christmas day.

In conclusion, the citizens of each country in the world has its own way to celebrate this happy day with their families and their friends.

Huynh Trang_ 12TA

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