● Owing to its secularism and equality, the Christian holidays of Easter and Christmas both are national holidays and festivals in Egypt just like the Islamic holidays.
● Coptic Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January [as it is in Ethopia and some Orthodox Russia Seria].
● During Advent, the 43 days before Christmas [November 25 through January 6], Coptic Christians eat a vegan diet, no animal products. It is called "The Holy Nativity Fast".
● Baba Noel [Father Christmas] is expected to climb through a window, not come down a chimney. I'm not sure if he rides on a sleigh or a camel.
▼Image Source: egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com/12-2015 ▼ImageSource: theriskfactorblog.wordpress.com/egyptian
● Al Ghetass commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ which is also talked about in the holy Quran. Celebrated since ancient times in the region which is present-day Egypt. This is a festival celebrated by all of the community of Egypt. The celebration is a grand affair and includes traditional sweets.
“EidMiadl Majid!” [Egyptian Arabic for Glorious Birth Feast]
“Eid almilad” [Arabic]
● In China, it is called "Sheng Dan Jieh" which means Holy Birth Festival, but the event is celebrated as a generic holiday, not a religious one. Some describe it as more like Valentine’s Day.
● Most of the world's artificial Christmas trees and decorations are produced in China by people who do not know what the items are used for. When it comes to light displays, China beats nearly everyone, but New Year is when you see their very best.
● A popular Christmas Eve tradition is giving apples. Stores sells them wrapped in colored paper. In Chinese, Christmas eve is called "Ping'an Ye" which means peaceful or quiet evening which was translated from the carol "Silent Night".
● Santa is not depicted as riding in a sleigh pulled by reindeer [the Chinese do not find this believable]. In China Santa is always shown with a saxophone in his hand. The heritage of Santa playing the sax is unknown. Also, there Santa’s little helpers are his sisters.
“Sheng Dan Kuai Le!” [Mardarin]
“Sen Dan Fai Lok!” [Cantonese]
● Santas wear the traditional bright red fleecy suits, lined with white fur and big black boots to fight off the northern winter, but you’re likely to see them of surfboards or delivering presents on the beach.
● It is likely to see Santa’s sleigh being pulled by six white boomers rather than eight reindeer. Santa himself may even be a boomer.
● Aussies are lunch people and so Christmas Lunch (rather than dinner) is often a picnic on the beach – or at least outdoors -- but instead of turkey of ham, Aussies will be feasting on barbequed prawns (although can find ham and turkey, too). These are relaxed, mostly casual affairs which can include breaks for a spot of cricket or a splash in the backyard pool, a dip in the ocean. Christmas crackers are a must – as is the need to wear of colorful paper crowns and telling of bad-jokes from the goodies found within.
● When Australians talk about Christmas Crackers, they don’t mean biscuits – i.e. not Ritz, Saltines, or Cheese-it type crackers – but festive gifts that make a snapping sound when opened to reveal some goodie or present. Sometimes known as bon-bons, they are very popular for Christmas celebrations in the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
The Republic of South Africa has population of 55 million inhabitants of diverse cultures, religions, origins, and languages, of which Bantu-speaking people number 35 million. Only some are originally from that area; others have come from other regions. Some of the major ethnic South Africans include Zulu, Basotho, Venda, Xhosa.
This information isn’t very Christmasy but it explains, in part, why South Africans have traditions from everywhere, and many mixed together. For everyone, however, the Christmas season is nationwide. In some cases the ethnic South Africans have adopted European Christmas traditions of not. When I traveled there, I found that many have simply absorbed those part of the Christian tradition they desire into the traditions and stories of the own cultural and religious framework.
Beautifully decorated Christmas trees seem to be a universal symbol of the season, and presents go under the tree. Some children put their stockings out for Santa to fill. Caroling by candlelight events take place on December 24th, church services, and the like. But there are difference, big and small.
● Santa goes by a number of different names, including Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) and Kersvader (Father Christmas) for those who speak Afrikaans (offspring of Dutch dialects, not a combination of Dutch and native languages).
The most classic is the sleigh, sometimes pulled through the sky by reindeer, but also by giraffes. Some of the other means are less romantic. But he can always depend of his African helpers.
This unique local tree is perfect for outdoors, but the baobab finds its way into the home in many kinds of decorations.
Image Source: catholic.org/news/green/story
● Christmas Day is celebrated with opening presents, going to church, and then with outdoor picnics, similar to New Zealand and Australia. The Christmas feast is the highlight of the whole celebration. Many families gather for a traditional meal much must include braai (barbeque) of roasted meat (sometimes goat), roast turkey, duck or beef, or suckling pigs with yellow rice, raisins and vegetables, salads.
Enticing desserts such as the classic Christmas pudding, mince pies, or a traditional dish called Malva Pudding (or Lekker Pudding). There is plenty of food and people drop in unexpectedly on friends, and are always welcomed. Christmas Crackers are popular.
Image Source: face2faceafrica.com/christmas-africa
Famed as the ‘rainbow nation’, South Africa is home to dozens of different cultures and languages, including 11 official languages. That means there are many different ways to say Merry Christmas. Some of the most common ways include:
‘Geseënde Kersfees’ – Afrikaans
‘UKhisimusi omuhle’ – Zulu
‘Krismesi emnandi’ – Xhosa
‘Le be le keresemese e monate’ – Sotho
https://t.cafricawanderlusom/destinations/african-christmas/ - good site
Sources 2017 and 20918