News / USA

US Ethnic Communities Celebrate Christmas

US Ethnic Communities Celebrate Christmasi
X
December 18, 2013 10:23 PM
Christmas is a highlight for many immigrant communities in the United States who bring colorful traditions from their countries of origin. Mike O'Sullivan looks at the holiday celebrations of three ethnic communities in Los Angeles.
Mike O'Sullivan
Christmas is a highlight for many immigrant communities in the United States, who bring colorful traditions from their countries of origin.  

For Hispanics, the nine-day celebration of Las Posadas reenacts the search by Mary and Joseph for a place to lodge as Mary prepared to give birth to baby Jesus.

People in costume join the nightly procession along Olvera Street, the city's Hispanic center.  Arturo Najera came to the historic neighborhood with his wife, Rosario, and their family.

"We're happy to join in this community celebration.  This is important to all of us Latinos, especially Catholics," said Najera.

Maria Berumen came to the United States from Cuba as a child, but this is her first time seeing Las Posadas.

“I've been wanting to come for years.  And this time I found out about it because I saw a post on Facebook," said Berumen.

At the Filipino Christian Church, holiday preparations are also under way.  Philippine immigrant Helen Culp says it's a time to celebrate with family.  

“I think the Philippines is the most 'Christmasy' country in all the world," said Culp.

Ely Obillo says the star, which announced the birth of Jesus, is the holiday symbol loved in the Philippines, and Los Angeles.

“Made out of bamboo or a wooden frame.  And they would cover it every year.  Most of the time they would cover it with colored cellophane," said Obillo.

As churches in L.A.'s historic Philippine and Korean neighborhoods display Christmas decorations, Father John Bakas of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral also prepares for the holiday celebration, which extends in his church from Christmas to the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6.  He reminds parishioners that this is a spiritual celebration.

“Because as we celebrate the birth of Christ in this faraway place 2,000 years ago, the key for us Orthodox Christians is to have Christ being born in the manger of our hearts," said Father Bakas.

In the Greek, Philippine, and Hispanic neighborhoods, Christians of every ethnic background say Christmas is a time of fellowship and community.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid