Religions treasure peace, hope during this holiday season

Lynn Klavetter

Lynn Klavetter

Here in the United States, there are many celebrations that take place around Christmas.

But around the world, Christmas traditions are celebrated differently.

Although Christianity is unsanctioned in China, an estimated 10 million people (about one percent of the population) celebrate Christmas. Dun Che Lao Ren is China’s Santa Claus. Referred to as “trees of lights,” Christmas trees are decorated with paper ornaments ranging from chains to flowers to lanterns. In recent years, midnight Masses have grown in popularity so much that many churches cannot hold the number of people who come on Christmas Eve, according the website.

Quite different Christmas traditions are celebrated in Germany. The celebration starts with the beginning of the Advent calendar, which starts on the first Sunday after November 26. Beside children’s beds hang brightly decorated advent calendars. Small unnoticeable squares are all over the calendar and are numbered one through 24. Each day until Christmas, children open one square beginning with number one to find a small picture of a toy or decoration such as a ball or candle, according to the website.

The poinsettia originates from Mexico and has a legend about it. The story tells of a boy who traveled to the manger to see Christ and realized on the way that he had nothing to offer. The boy gathered some green branches at the edge of the path and was mocked at by other children for doing so. When he arrived, he laid the branches by the manger and beautiful red star-shaped flowers appeared, according to the website.