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VIA: www.msichicago.org/scrapbook/scrapbook_exhibits/catw2004/holiday_traditions.html

Most families have holiday traditions they celebrate, from putting the tree up after Thanksgiving dinner, to making special holiday treats, to watching favorite holiday movies with the family.

Countries celebrate the holidays with traditions that go back hundreds of years. Read below how countries celebrate this special time of year.

Bahamas

The holiday celebrations of the Bahamas, called Junkanoo, take place on December 26th and January 1st. Between 2 am and dawn, an enormous parade presents hundreds of people along with dancing, music, and vibrant costumes. Participants are organized into troupes that can have up to 1000 members, each with its own special theme and decorations competing for cash prizes. Costumes are prepared in absolute secrecy, and participants often spend all year arranging their big and colorful creations of feathers, crepe paper, fabric, wood and tissue. Music accompanies the groups as they dance through the streets in their carefully practiced formations.

India

Though India is not a Christian country, there are Christian communities throughout India. The main concentration is in the southern tip of the country. It is believed that St. Thomas the Apostle brought Christianity to India.

During the weeks before Christmas, children go caroling house to house. On Christmas Eve there is usually a dance for the teenagers held at the local high school or community center. Banana and Mango trees are decorated. In some areas, small clay lamps are placed are placed on the edges of flat roofs and on the top of walls.

Sweden

The Swedish people celebrate St. Lucia Day on December 13th. The Christmas season begins after St. Lucia’s Day and continues until the fifthteenth day after Christmas. From that day on there is baking of cookies, breads, cakes and preparation of the ham which is served at the Christmas buffet.

The Advent tradition is observed in Sweden. For the four Sundays before Christmas a new candle is lit in a special Advent candleholders.

Read more on other countries and their celebrations, then tell us your holiday tradition…

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