~ Christmas Around The Globe ~
Greece, Thailand, Austria, Mexico, Antarctica
Santa's done it and now it's GIRL's turn. GlRL is going around the world faster than the jolly man himself to show you how Christmas is celebrated in many different ways!Christmas in Thailand
Even though 95% of Thai people are Buddhist and only 1% are Christian, they are known to celebrate whatever holiday or festivities possible, regardless of beliefs. They celebrate Christmas, Halloween, Chinese New Year, Western New Year, Thanksgiving and the Thai New Year.
There are small churches is some of the large cities where there is a Christmas observance, but the Christians in Thailand don't put up outside decorations or splurge on shopping for gifts.
Thai people do not tend to have ovens in their homes as they mainly eat rice and noodles. Some people that desire to have a typical English meal have their turkey cooked at the local bakeries.Christmas in Greece
Compared to Easter, Christmas wasn't considered as much of a holiday. Over the years, however, Christmas has been revived and now they decorate main streets with lights and extravagant decorations.
In Greece, most of the traditions are similar but not quite the same as the Western ones.
For example, Christmas caroling in Greece does occur, but they sing special songs called 'kalanda', and bring with them small instruments. Listeners usually give food or money in gratitude.
Christmas trees weren't very popular in the past, but as western cultures influence Greece, they are appearing more often.
A symbol they use for Christmas is a shallow wooden bowl with a piece of wire suspended across the rim; from that hangs a sprig of basil wrapped around a wooden cross. A small amount of water is kept in the bowl to keep the basil alive and fresh.Christmas in Austria
On November 17th, Austria's capital, Vienna turns its lights on for Christmas. Strolling among the brightly decorated trees in the park, Viennese and visitors from all over the world can enjoy the wonderful Christmas atmosphere. Many attractions for the young and the young at heart include; waltz pavilion, traditional pony rides, a merry-go-round, a new ornate fountain and many more.Christmas In Mexico
In Mexico, Christmas is a big holiday with almost everybody taking the last two weeks of December off to relax and catch up with family and friends.
Christmas is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico and is celebrated in different ways.
However, there is always the re-enactment of Mary and Joseph searching for a "room at the inn." Accompanying them is a choir of small children who knock on doors asking for lodging for the weary couple. True to the story, there are no takers.
The party travels on for 12 days during the lead up to Christmas until it reaches the church, where a religious gathering is held. After the service, the children get to enjoy a festive piñata party.
On New Years' Eve, the capital, Mexico City, lights up with the sea of colorful lights adorning the main ancient square. The festival of lights goes on throughout the Christmas/New Year's period. And, of course, traditional services are held in the city's many churches.Christmas in Antarctica
If you ever had the crazy wish to go to Antarctica, then Christmas time is the time to be in Antarctica.
It is then, you see, that it is Antarctica's summer, and the whole day of Christmas is sunny.
During Christmas time, everybody observes the importance of the Catholic holiday in their own lonely way (their only companions, apart from a few on the base with them, are the animals).
There is a heavy feeling of loneliness looming in the air, in spite of the presence of dozen of friends from the station. It is easy to miss those that one becomes accustomed to seeing on Christmas day.
Forgetting the distance, thoughts are usually with family at home asking questions like what are they doing now? Do they still remember me? Are there any presents for me?
There is the opportunity to speak to loved ones over the net or by satellite for a moment.
In each conversation there is the same feeling, as all over the world: Wishes for a very Merry Christmas!- Kirsty Ridgway