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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
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.
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.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

New Orleans-based Water Seed joins Shawna Renee inside the "Soul Lounge" where they introduce listeners to their latest album, a wonderful fusion of jazz, soul and rhythm & blues. The group also explains how the heart of New Orleans influences each of them as musicians and songwriters.