Christmas is one of the major festivals of United States and celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor throughout the country. The cosmopolitan society of United States celebrated this holiday season in several unique ways. The traditions and rituals do not only vary from state to state but also from one home to another. Despite this disparity in the celebrations, one thing that binds together people of this country in these celebrations is the zeal and passion about the arrival of Christmas season. Also, there are several traditions that are uniformly followed by all the Americans. These comprise of the traditional Christmas tree, Santa Claus with this reindeers, Christmas cards, Yule log, and mistletoe.
If you trace the history of the celebrations of Christmas in the country, you would not need to move beyond the 19th century. It is said that the festival of Christmas gained its popularity in America in the early 19th century, say somewhere around 1830. The concept of decorating the Christmas tree transpired in USA in 1840s when in 1841, Prince Albert, installed a decorated Christmas tree in Windsor Castle especially for his wife Queen Victoria and their children. The country saw the emergence of Santa Claus, the children loving character with long white beard, red suit, and round belly in Christmas celebrations when Dutch people came to this country.
Christmas Celebrations In America
Christmas celebrations in America actually start a month before the festival. The spirit of Christmas is held in high regard in the country. Markets are filled with several new kinds of products and as shopping season is at its peak, the shops remain opened until the midnight. Christmas programs, carnivals, parties, games, and activities start way before Christmas arrives. In schools, there are fancy dress competitions where children dress as ' Santa Claus' before schools are closed for the celebrations. At homes, people get engaged in shopping for Christmas ambience and feast.
In the United States, the traditional Christmas tree is held in high regard. It is beautifully bejeweled with Christmas ornaments, candies and a star tree topper that corresponds to the star of Bethlehem. The other things that are used in the Christmas decorations are sprigs of holly and mistletoe, Christmas lights and Santa idols. There is also an exchange of gifts and chocolates between people on this occasion. An exclusive Christmas Day parades with colorful display of bands and dancers makes Christmas special in the country. The carols and are also an inevitable part of the celebrations.
On the eve of Christmas, people in America observe Midnight Mass. There are concerts and services in the Church on this occasion. The customary Christmas dinner consists of roast turkey with sauces and vegetables similar to other parts of the world. A rich, fruity Christmas pudding with pumpkin pies and brandy sauce is a typical Christmas dessert. In America, there is a special thanks giving ceremony on Christmas where people thank the Almighty for his blessings and gracious presence on this auspicious occasion.