Sunday, October 5, 2008

European Christmas Traditions

So I know this isn't Chinese, but I was talking to my European friends about their Christmas celebrations and learned some cool stuff.  

In Holland, they have St. Nikolaus day on Dec. 6th.  The three weekends before, children put their shoes out before the fireplace and get gifts in them (good deal) and on the night of the 5th, each family gets a big bag of gifts on their front porch.  This is the gift time, so they don't really give gifts at Christmas.  Also, by Dutch friend celebrates Chrismas for several days with different people.  1st Christmas (the 25th) with one side of the family, 2nd Christmas (the 26th) with the other, and 3rd (the 27th) doing more family things.  

The French eat foie gras for Christmas.  In Holland on New Years they eat fried battered fruit.

Also, both countries celebrate King's Day on Jan. 6th, which is when the Kings arrived at the nativity.  In France, they have a gallete du roi (King's cake) and there is a porcelain crown somewhere within it.  When it is cut, the smallest child goes under the table, and is asked to whom each piece should be allotted, so the slices are given out at random.  The person who gets the crown is the king for the day.  

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