Christmas celebrations in Canada, Singapore, Sweden, Portugal, and Brazil
Christmas Day is one of the most celebrated festivals around the world. Although the message and storyline behind this festival of joy are pretty much the same everywhere, each country has a different way of celebrating this occasion. With that said, let's look at how the people in Canada, Singapore, Sweden, Portugal, and Brazil immerse themselves in the Xmas festivities.
People in Canada ornate their homes with lights, Christmas trees, and other themed decorations. They often hang Christmas stockings above their fireplace. The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is among the oldest and largest Santa parades in the world! It is over 100 years old and has more than 25 animated floats and 2,000 people taking part! It is also broadcast on TV worldwide.
Despite only a limited population of Christians, Christmas is a celebrated holiday in Singapore. St. Andrew's Cathedral organizes a life-size Nativity scene, post which people also attend the midnight church service. Locals and tourists flock to a Xmas theme park called "Christmas Wonderland." Christmas trees are decorated a little differently than in other countries, as people hang teddy bears, candies, and ribbons on them.
On Christmas Eve, people in Sweden enjoy a feast, which is called "julbord," meaning buffet. Cold fish, herring, gravlax, turkey, and smoked salmon are an important part of it. People visit church early in the morning, exchange gifts, and watch old Disney cartoons. Since 1959, channel TV1 has shown the 1958 Disney special From All of Us to All of You annually on Xmas.
In Portugal, Father Christmas is believed to bring gifts to kids on Christmas Eve. Some believe that they are brought by baby Jesus instead of the former. People feast on a Christmas meal called Consoada and their traditional Christmas cake Bolo Rei. During the "Mass of the Rooster" (midnight church service), they queue up to kiss the image of baby Jesus.
People in Brazil set up Nativity scenes at churches and homes throughout December. Children leave a sock near a window, and it is believed that if Papai Noel (Santa Clause) finds their sock, he exchanges it for a present. Additionally, it's pretty common in Brazil to get a "13th salary" at the end of the year, i.e., Brazilians get their salary twice in December!