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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Paquito D'Rivera, who has won 12 Grammys, is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. D'Rivera's latest project, “Jazz Meets the Classics,” was released this month. He joins us on the latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."