The smell of freshly baked cookies. The first snowflakes falling softly as feathers. The merry Christmas carols that remind us of carefree childhood days. Isn’t Advent lovely? Christmas and the contemplative weeks leading up to it are celebrated differently from country to country. Here’s a short look at those countries where Knirps umbrellas are highly regarded and widely used:
In Austria, families light a candle on the Advent wreath together every Sunday in Advent. They sing, read aloud, say the Lord’s Prayer and munch on cookies. An indispensable tradition is opening one of the 24 little doors on the Advent calendar each day to shorten the wait for the Christ Child.
In addition to the classic Christmas treats such as gingerbread and vanilla crescents, many German families bake a Christstollen. For centuries, it has symbolized the Christ Child wrapped in white swaddling clothes. Ingredients include marzipan, raisins, almonds and rum.
In Japan, fewer than two percent of the inhabitants are Christian. So Christmas isn’t a national holiday, but its popularity is growing. Many Japanese people go to Christmas parties in the weeks before Christmas, where they light firecrackers, wear carnival hats, and throw streamers.
A distinctive English Christmas tradition is “Boxing Day” on December 26th. Once an occasion for boxing up gifts for servants and tradesmen, it is now mainly associated with bargain shopping, sports, and eating Christmas leftovers.
Sweden has a tradition that is now widely celebrated in the rest of Scandinavia: the feast of St. Lucy (or Lucia), the early Christian martyr whose name means “light,” on December 13th. Everywhere you’ll see girls in white robes with a crown of candles on their heads to represent St. Lucy.
In China, Christmas is officially seen as a “foreign cultural product,” but in many towns there is a distinct Christmas spirit throughout Advent. Young Chinese people spray themselves with Christmas glitter from spray cans, children go to school wearing Santa hats, and Christians invite guests to their Christmas services.
In Italy, Christmas celebrations go on and on – until January 6th. On that day children receive yet another gift, from the witch Befana. She brings toys and fruit to nice children, and a lump of coal to naughty ones.
-Autor: Rostislav Sedlacek
-Autor: Yuriy Kovtun