News / Arts & Entertainment

Christmas Celebrations Underway Around the World

Christmas Celebrations Underway Around the Worldi
X
December 24, 2012 9:00 PM
Wherever Christians live around the world, the routines of daily life are coming to a stop as people pause to celebrate Christmas, sometimes in unique ways. VOA's Jeff Seldin reports from Washington.

Christmas Celebrations Underway Around the World

Wherever Christians live around the world, the routines of daily life are coming to a stop as people pause to celebrate Christmas, sometimes in unique ways.

It is an annual tradition in Thailand -- elephants dressed as Santa Claus on parade, handing out toys to school children. And it is not just the children who get excited.

"Oh this is the best day of the year. This is the best day of the year when the elephants come,'' St. Clair said.

Halfway across the world in Mexico, Santa takes a human form, going for a swim with the fishes, delighting children at a zoo in Guadalajara.

Elsewhere in Mexico, for the 115th year they are celebrating "Noche de Rabanos" - Night of the Radish - with Christmas sculptures carved out of, what else, radishes.

"It is brilliant how the artisans transform this pieces into magic, they make you dream and make your thoughts shine and transport them somewhere else with their images," said tourist Enedina Corona.

In frozen Moscow it is cold ... but not too cold for Grandfather Frost to make an appearance by bus and even call on a bit of holiday magic.

In Germany, families warm up before heading into the forest to cut down their own Christmas trees ... and lug them back home.

Wherever you go there is plenty of shopping to do. American shoppers are packing into stores hoping to find last-minute gifts and deals.

In Lagos, Nigeria, decorations are up ... but many last-minute shoppers worry the celebrations will be dampened by frequent power outages.

"Nigeria is in a state where if you don't have, if you are not in some good estate that has their own power supply or their own generator or you don't have the money to run your own generator, you can't enjoy these simple things that make Christmas enjoyable,'' said Lagos resident Ugomma Ugochukwu.

There are also the more traditional celebrations - like this one in Bethlehem, where bands play in Manger Square as crowds gather to celebrate Midnight Mass.

Even in war-ravaged Syria, there are signs of Christmas, though onr Christian woman says this year the holiday is more about hope than joy.

"Our only hope is that our God will be with us and help us to do something to heal the wounds of those displaced and sad families, and to make them happy, even with symbolic things,'' said housewife Nimir.

A Syrian choir is finding reasons to sing as many in Syria and across the world pray for a safer and happier new year.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."