Fed up with being single? Try this custom of standing with your back to the door and tossing your shoe over your shoulders on Christmas Day. Your shoe must land with the toe pointing to the door, that’s a lucky sign that you will be married. However, there is no tradition to say that you will be married in the coming year. Good luck, if this is what you want. Remember fourteen countries have legalized same sex marriage -2013 and MORE to come! paula.
Philippines: Clean Socks and Polished Shoes
Christmas is a great tradition in the Philippines. Over 80% of the population are Christians. Celebrations last all the way to January. Children will leave their brightly polished shoes and freshly washed socks on the window sill for the Three Kings or Three Wise Men who come on January 8th This year the children and families have been devastated by the Typhoon 2013.
India: Where People Can Go Bananas!
India has a population of over a billion people. Christians are roughly 2.5% of the population, but that equals or amounts to 25 million people. Indians love to celebrate and so the Western Influence has become part of their culture in what is predominantly a Hindu and Muslim country. Like Christians world-wide, Catholics will go to Mass and Protestants will go to a church celebration. India goes not grow fir or pine green Christmas trees, so banana trees and mango trees are decorated instead. Streets have lit and well decorated banana or mango trees and families do the same often decorating their homes with banana leaves.
Christmas in Finland- Grave Visits
On Christmas Eve, it is a tradition for Finnish families to light candles at the grave of their deceased ancestors and friends. Even those who don’t have their kin’s graves nearby visit cemeteries to place candles in honor of their family members buried elsewhere. Finns expect a visit from the deceased. Food will also be left on tables and family members leave their beds to sleep on the floor to give the dead a nice meal and a place to rest.
The Christmas service is held early in the morning of Christmas Day. When you enter the Church it is illuminated with beautiful white candles. Most people will walk or drive to church but in the old days and in certain parts of Finland, the traditional way is by horse-drawn sleighs. In some parts of Finland (Lapland) reindeer pull the sleighs.
An old transition centred on a race from church to a certain designated spot. The fastest horse and rider would gain recognition and it was believed that he (she?) would have the best success with the next year’s harvest.
May this holiday season bring you peace, love, freedom, safety and good health. paula.