For those who have visited Disneyland, I bet your visit wasn’t complete without a ride through “It’s a Small World”, huh? Maybe because the line at the Matterhorn was too long or because it was ten degrees cooler in there, but most folks take at least one ride in the little boats that glide passed the children of the world singing “…it’s a world of laughter, a world of tears…”
Well, consider this your virtual ride but without the big ticket fees or long lines. Here’s a few fun Christmas facts from around the world (found at this thorough site).
In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas makes an appearance on December 5th, sailing from Spain and leaving gifts and treats in children’s shoes (after removing the hay and sugar that they leave for his horses). In Portugal, it is Pai Natal who brings the presents and fills the shoes left by the fireplace by the hopeful kids.
In Wales, singing songs from house to house is called “eisteddfodde”. The carolers travel around at dawn on Christmas morning, waking people with their music and joining families in their homes for refreshments. Making taffy and eating a Christmas goose dinner are also part of the Welsh traditions.
Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated on January 7th and children usually receive small gifts, such as clothing. In Brazil, fresh flowers and fireworks are among the decorations and the celebrating goes on until January 6th, which is Three Kings Day. In Greece, be on the look out for mischievous goblins that appear on earth during the twelve days of Christmas.
So whether you say Gledileg Jol, Meri Kirihimete, Sawadee Pee Mai or Tchestita Koleda*, you better watch out because You Know Who is coming to town.
(Merry Christmas in Icelanding, Maori, Thai, and Bulgarian)