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Angela Hudson Peralta

Christmas Around The World...BELGIUM! ♥ Photo: Great Market ready for Christmas, Brussels Small family Christmas presents are also given at Christmas too, under the tree, or in stockings near the fire-place, to be found in the morning or opened on Christmas Eve.The traditional Christmas breakfast is the same as the normal Sunday breakfast eaten throughout the year.

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Christmas Around The World...BELGIUM! ♥ Photo: A Christmas tree is illuminated at the Grand Place in central BrusselsOn Christmas Eve ('Kerstavond' in Flemish and 'le réveillion de Noël' in Walloon), a special meal is eaten by most families. It starts with a drink (apéritif) and 'nibbles', followed by a 'starter' course such as sea-food, and then stuffed turkey. The dessert is 'Kerststronk' or 'la bûche de Noël' a chocolate Christmas Log made of sponge roll layered with cream.

Christmas Around The World...CANADA! ♥ Photo: Otawa at Christmas by Howard Sandler In Canada,from 1875 onwards, Christmas lost its essentially religious character, at least for Anglophones and the upper middle class.Little by little it became a community festival which gave rise to much family merry-making. New customs began to take root.Henceforth, the decorated Christmas tree, the crche with its santons or plaster figures, gifts and the Christmas "rveillon" became part of family tradition.

Christmas Around The World...ARGENTINA! ♥ Houses are decorated with red and white garlands; on the door Father Christmas's Boots are placed. The Christmas tree is decorated with colored lights, ornaments and Father Christmas placed on top of it. Mothers make different kinds of meals such as roasted turkey, roasted pork, stuffed tomatoes, mince pies, Christmas's bread and puddings. The toast: drink prepared with different kinds of fruit which is cut into pieces, then it is mixed with juice.

Christmas Around The World...BULGARIA! ♥ Photo: Christmas in Sofia by Aleksander Nikolov In the past Christmas was celebrated differently. There were boys and non-married young men who were visiting the houses, singing songs for wealth and health for the hosts. They were rewarded with money, food and so on. They were bringing long sticks to put kravai which are round breads with holes in them. They were called Rkoledaris.

Christmas Around The World...CANADA! ♥ Photo: Noël à Québec, via: voyage-sejour-vac... Francophones, however, incorporated these new practices into their culture much later. After the First World War, increasing commercial advertising drew Francophones into the dizzy festive activities. During the 1930s, the working classes also joined this happy Christmas rush.

Christmas Around The World...BETHLEHEM! ♥ Photo: Manger Square, Bethlehem Christian homes in Bethlehem are marked by a cross painted over the door and each home displays a homemade manger scene. A star is set up on a pole in the village square.