This week we thought we’d do something different, everybody has plans, everybody is running around like a headless chicken to try and find/prepare/plan that final thing!
This week we thought we’d write about some facts about christmas and some interesting and sometimes quirky global Christmas traditions, who knows, maybe you might want to “bolt” one of these on to your existing plans?
Christmas is quite ancient in origin and revolved around pagan celebrations such as Deus Sol Invictus (Dec 25), the Kalends (Jan 1-5), and Saturnalia (Dec 17-23). Ultimately the date of the 24/25th was associated with the birth of Christ, and was thus spread to all the corners of the world.
Mistletoe, with its penchant for staying green and bearing fruit in Winter, was held particularly sacred by the Celtic Druids, Norse peoples and Native American Indians. Evergreen trees have always been revered for similar reasons, eventually being co-opted into the Christmas celebrations.
One of our favourite Christmas traditions hails from Iceland and really appeals to our love of books. It is habitual in Iceland to exchange books on Christmas Eve and then spend the rest of the evening reading the books and eating chocolate, sounds like heaven to me!
Did you know that fruit cake originated in ancient Egypt? It was considered mandatory to get into the afterlife, now it is mandatory with tea :-)
In the Ukraine, there are twelve course to their Christmas meal, one for each of the apostles.
In Guatemala, during the first week of Advent, local men in devil costumes run in the streets and chase children. This part of the festivities known as “The Devil’s Reign” ends on December 7th with La Quema del Diablo (“The Burning of the Devil”). This is a cleansing ceremony where people place things they do not want or need (or symbols thereof) on to a big pile, cover it with firecrackers and burn it all.
In the city of Caracas in Venezuela, it has become a well established (they shut down traffic) tradition to head to mass in roller skates on Christmas Day, lovely!
Whatever you do, however you celebrate, we do hope you have a lovely Christmas and a magical New Year!
Brought to you by one of the most scenic, the most central and the most top-rated tourist destinations in South Africa, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Magic of Christmas Show!
Definitely one for the kids, this is an interactive show featuring music, songs, dance and other festive surprises for the whole family to enjoy. There will be naughty elves, plenty of photo opportunities and chances to meet Merry Clause and her Candy Cane dancers.
The ensemble is completed by all the favourites including Toy Soldiers, Jingle Bells and the beautiful Snow Fairy
Ths show travels from one part of the Waterfront to the other, so make sure you’re at the right place at the right time (first floor between YDE and Mr Cobbs at 20:15).
Every year Lourensford Wine Estate adds fifteen to twenty pop-up stalls to its’ existing market and puts on a magical market with all things sparkly and festive.
It’s a whole weekend long and jam-packed with awesome goodies, beautifully situated on the stunningly scenic and historic estate replete with sprawling lawns and majestic trees.
The big U-shaped structure plays host to 80+ stores and stalls, ensuring that you will eventually find that “special something” you’ve been hunting for. You senses will be assailed by uniquely handmade wares and original art, delectable food and organic and locally sourced artisanal produce.
For many years the amphitheater at Oude Libertas has placed host to the annual Christmas sing-along to ring in the festive season.
Many memorable traditional Christmas songs will be performed by an accomplished choir, full orchestra and several hand- picked soloists. Don’t worry if you can’t recall the words, song books will be available.
For the charitable side of Christmas you are encouraged to bring gifts or donations which will be handed a charity that benefits children in need.