Merry Christmas –or something

Posted by Grigoris Miliaresis 20.12.2013
society

tags: blogging / society

In Ukraine they hide a spider and its web in the Christmas tree, in Catalonia besides the tree people decorate a log making it look like an animal, in Norway they hide their brooms so the witches won’t find them, in some villages in Wales the season’s mascot is the skull of a horse and in some villages in Italy the gifts are given by a good witch called Befana. Oh, and In Japan the Christmas meal is for many Japanese KFC’s fried chicken served in a special lunch-pack including chocolate cake and champagne.  

It is amazing how many different things “Christmas” means to people all over the world. And it is more amazing that all these customs have nothing to do with the religious message of the holiday for Christians, i.e. with the birth of the basic entity of their faith. And it’s even more amazing that all these local customs coexist harmoniously with Christmas even in countries were Christianity has a very strong basis like Italy or Spain. 

Fanatic Christians abhor the idea that these, invariably pagan, customs still exist despite the intensity of their message for the last two thousand years. Not being a fanatic myself (Christian or otherwise) I can’t really understand that; from where I stand, the fact that most people in the world have chosen not to dismiss Christmas but integrated it with their traditions is more of a victory than a defeat. But I’m probably missing something…

tags: blogging / society