Today is the age of globalization. Christmas and New Year’s Day have become rather secular holidays, marking the end of the old year, the coming of the new, and the beginning of winter. Even amongst the endless hours of holidays tunes and new items in stores ready to be gifted, each country, each individual has maintained their own identity.
Spain, the home country of Junior Leonor Jimenez and Sophomore Sergio Cervera, is well known for the long observance of Christmas based on Catholic traditions. “We do have twelve days of Christmas,” Jimenez said. “The winter break is full of feasting. On New Years Eve, we hold a big dinner then go down to the center of Madrid. In the twelve seconds before New Years, we eat one grape for each second and then party until the morning.”
“The presents are usually opened on El Día de los Reyes,” Cervera explained. “It is based on Three Wise Men who presented gifts to Jesus after he was born. They replace Santa Claus as the gift giver.”
Germany, the homes of Junior Till Hambörger, Junior Laura Brühl, and Sophomore Lena Ederer, often revolves around the family.
“A lot of the action takes place on the 24th,” Hambörger said. “We often open our presents a day early, and spend the next two days eating out and enjoying time with the family. In Sande, the houses themselves are not lighted up, but the streets and the town are decorated and glowing.”
“We buy a Christmas tree every year, and decorate it with real candles.” Brühl described. “We light them up every Sunday, and often we gather up with friends and family and bake tons of cookies.”
“Our celebration starts around 6 in the evening on Christmas Eve and last well into the 26th,” sophomore Lena Ederer said. “My mom has an old family bell that she rings every year.”
Junior Jonathan Lei, who lives in the city of Qingdao, China described the city’s celebrations of Christmas with a unique twist. “We have a brewery here that produces Tsingtao beer,” Lei said. “It was established by Germany, but eventually, it evolved to become a unique variety. A lot of celebrations surround our city’s brewery. Our city is also known as a port, so we have a lot of beautiful shells being sold as souvenirs.”
Christmas certainly comes in many varieties and traditions.
Merry Christmas 2014
Kenneth Tran, Staff Writer
Senior Kenneth Tran is a staff writer for the 2014-2015 Colonel. He is co-leader of the Amnesty International club and participates in the National Ocean Science Bowl.