History of Christmas in Europe

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The Christmas season is celebrated in different ways around the world, varying by country and region. Elements common to many areas of the world include the lighting of Christmas trees, the hanging of wreaths, Christmas stockings, candy canes, and/or the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas carols may be sung and stories told about such figures as the Baby Jesus, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas,or Grandfather Frost. The sending of Christmas cards, the exchange of Christmastime greetings, observance of fasting and/or special religious observances such as a midnight Mass or Vespers on Christmas Eve, the burning of a Yule log, and the giving and receiving of presents. Along with Easter, Christmas time is one of the most important periods on the Christian calendar, and is often closely connected to other holidays at this time of year, such as Advent, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, St. Nicholas Day, St. Stephen's Day, New Year's, and the Feast of the Epiphany.

Christmas is something that is celebrated in most parts of the Western world and even where it is not, there are usually similar or equivalent celebrations that take its place. A European Christmas however is not necessarily the same as Christmas in other parts of the world and depending on the country and the region you may experience slightly different traditions and practices. As such there is no universal European Christmas, but many different Christmases which help to add a local spin on well known traditions and which anyone can enjoy and appreciate; Here are a few examples of a European Christmas in different countries and how they differ:

Germany: In Germany the European Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve, December 24th or at least that is when the presents are exchanged. In a German European Christmas, Father Christmas is supposed to bring not only the presents, but the tree as well (making this particular European Christmas more hard...
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