[ENG] How Paris Eternal celebrates Christmas !
Christmas means traditions. We’re used to our ways of celebrating Christmas in France, but how do things change from one country to the next ? In this article, we’ll go over the different festivities in France, England, Portugal and South Korea.
Even if our French readers probably know the French traditions, it’s always nice to have a quick reminders for our foreign audience.
In France, we’re accustomed to the traditional Christmas manger, or Nativity scene, but the South added their own twist : Santons. These correspond to the characters of the Nativity scene, but made from clay, and extremely colorful, adding a heartier spirit to the manger.
Another habit we have, like some other countries : Christmas markets. But what you might not know is that they originate from Alsce ! That might explain why Strasbourg’s market is so big and well-known.
The Christmas Eve celebration, on the 24th, is more celebrated than in most other countries. Why ? Well, we can only speculate, but we strongly believe the food plays a part !
After a great meal, kids put their slippers at the feet of the Christmas tree and scurry to sleep ! Present opening happens with excitement on the morning of the 25th, generally followed by another generous meal. And what kind of Christmas feast would it be without foie gras ? Our specialty, served on toast.
If in France we always eat foie gras for Christmas, in England, it’s a whole other story : Brussel sprouts. You read us correctly ! To quote an English friend: “It might not be good but you HAVE to have Brussel sprouts at the table. It’s tradition.” The other Christmas tradition everyone knows about is pudding, of course ! Don’t go look at the traditional recipe, it might cut your appetite…!
The famous Christmas stockings we hang from the chimney also come from England. That’s where presents were originally stored, with one big stocking per personne. Greeting cards also come from them. They’re displayed above the chimney throughout the holidays.
Before, children used to leave a snack for Father Christmas at the foot of their bed when they went to sleep on the 24th. Today, the treats are left close to the Christmas tree, like in France.
Another British touch : Queen Elizabeth the 2nd’s speech on the 25th of December at 5PM.
Boxing Day also originates from the British Empire : celebrated on the 26th of December, it’s a secular holiday in England. It doesn’t involve any fighting rest assured — the term originates from Christmas “boxes” of money that employees like servants, postmen or errand boys would receive from their employers, as they got the day after Christmas off to celebrate with their families.
In Portugal, the 24th of December, called “Consoada” is a national holiday. Worshippers head to the midnight mass, which has a special name : “Missa do Galo”, or Rooster Mass. The Portugese have good taste.
They open the presents on the evening of the 24th, rather than on the morning of the 25th. They kept the tradition of offering an orange to every person present at the Christmas feast. The meal usually consists in cod (we’re not really fans here at the Rooster Club, but hey, why not!) and thirteen traditional desserts, like bolo rei (king’s cake, shaped like a crown) or arroz doce (sweet milk rice).
Now, let’s head to Asia, and more specifically to South Korea. There, Christmas is more of a couple’s celebration, rather than a family one like in Europe. They do decorate Christmas trees however — there’s even a rather famous festival dedicated to them in Busan.
Koreans wait a bit longer for their presents. Indeed, they’re rather given at the New Year rather than on Christmas. During the holidays, donation boxes are installed in the streets, and passersby can give money as well as more material objects, like books.
(to be read “Meli keuliseumaseu” or Merry Christmas transcribed phonetically)
Did you like discovering Christmas traditions from the player’s different countries? Find the rest of our 12 days of Christmas and our articles by following us on Twitter, and don’t hesitate to join our Discord as well !
Original article by MiniBouh, Gaila and Kymilink, [wonderful] translation by Gaila