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Around the world in 11 festive days

GlobaLexicon Christmas

The festive season at GlobaLexicon is in full swing so we spoke to some of the team to find out how they will be celebrating this year. With almost 20 nationalities represented at GlobaLexicon, the team’s traditions are rich and diverse.

Ana from the United States is celebrating her Croatian heritage with an age-old Balkan tradition:

“We will celebrate this year with česnica, a traditional round bread eaten at our Christmas time which is in January based on the Julian calendar. A coin is baked into the loaf and each family member breaks off a piece in the hope of being the one to find it, bringing them luck in the year ahead.”

Francielle from Brazil is having an English/Brazilian Christmas this year:

“Much like in Europe, we eat turkey and panettone on Christmas Eve as this is the most important family day of the year in Brazil. This year, I’ll be keeping up these traditions but celebrating here in London with my significant other in an English/Brazilian Christmas.”

Over in Ireland, Ciara’s family will follow an old Christian tradition:

“On Christmas Eve, a candle is often put in the window of many houses in Ireland as a symbolic guide for the Virgin Mary who is on her way to Bethlehem to give birth to the Baby Jesus. This also ties in with the tradition of setting up a crib and adding the figures to it on different days of the festive period. For example, we add the figurine of the Baby Jesus on 25th December while the Three Wise Men are added on 6th January.”

For Cristina from Spain, her favourite tradition comes on New Year’s Eve:

Nochevieja is an evening of great celebration and expectation. Families gather together to welcome in the New Year and to do so they prepare a plateful of 12 grapes for each person. The aim is to eat one grape with each chime of the bells in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid; this is harder than it sounds as you have to eat them quickly. Eating all of them in time will bring luck for the year ahead!”

Victoria from the Republic of Moldova will also be celebrating a “fusion Christmas” this year:

“I’ll be celebrating a traditional English Christmas this year with some Moldovan flavours! In Moldova, some people celebrate Christmas on 25th December while others follow the new orthodox calendar and celebrate it on 7th January. I think our most interesting tradition is the feast of St Basil on 15th January; children go from house to house sprinkling neighbours with wheat seeds to predict a plentiful harvest in the year to come. 

Nien-Chen from Taiwan is excited about her first British Christmas:

“Christmas in Taiwan isn’t a traditional holiday for us but as it coincides with Constitution Day, which is a national holiday, we have adopted many Western traditions. For example, we exchange presents and Christmas cards and when I was young Santa Claus paid me a visit and left treats in a stocking. Chinese New Year is a family time so Christmas Day is often spent with friends having a meal together or going shopping. This year I’ll be spending the festive season in London and looking forward to experiencing an English Christmas first hand.”

Rita and Sonia, both from Portugal, are already working up their appetite for the mouth-watering food this year:

Rita: “In Portugal, we spread the Christmas celebrations over two days and have dinner and presents on 24th December and then lunch with the family on 25th December. We traditionally eat bacalhau (salted cod), plus potatoes and eggs. I can never get enough of it.”

Sonia: “Meals at Christmas can last for hours and hours so as well as the delicious food, we chat with our family members and play card games.”

Bethan from England can’t wait to open her Christmas stocking:

Bethan: “Santa stockings are still a popular tradition in my home for my sisters and me. On Christmas morning, we gather together and open our presents. We kick off the day with prosecco and croissants for breakfast before starting to prepare the Christmas lunch”

Ewa from Poland is fasting in preparation for her Christmas Eve meal:

“We celebrate with supper on 24th December which is called Wigilia and involves 12 courses of meat, fish, vegetables and plenty of cakes! Throughout the day we observe little traditions such as placing hay underneath the table cloth to represent the manger that the Baby Jesus was born in.”

Zhuofan and Yi from China will be celebrating Chinese New Year in January:

Zhuofan: “Chinese New Year, which is sometimes called the Spring Festival, is the biggest and most important holiday in our country. It is so important that we will try to celebrate with as many of our family and friends as possible. We’ll eat regional food together; in my hometown we eat fish as it symbolises a good harvest in Chinese.”

Yi: “Christmas is a popular retail holiday and some people will go shopping, but when I was young I was usually at school that day preparing for the dreaded exams.”

Berengere from France has been twisting her dad’s arm about the Christmas decorations:

“Putting up the Christmas tree together is my favourite activity to do with my dad as it’s the one thing we do just the two of us. We will be having Christmas dinner with some friends this year and huitres (oysters) will feature as the starter; they are a popular starter for a lot of French people at this time of year”.

From the whole team here at GlobaLexicon, we hope your traditions and festive period will be a joyous time and we look forward to seeing you in 2017.

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