Joy to the World

“It is a fine seasoning for joy to think of those we love” Moliere
           British came to India in 1600 and established their business. Christmas was alien to this soil till then. Brits celebrated Christmas with low sound. It was 1822 that first house of Brit was built in Shimla. They found it comfortable or weather was much more similar to European weather.
          ‘White Christmas’ especially this concept is deeply rooted in Scandinavian countries. Europeans who did settle in Shimla started celebrating White Christmas from 1881. There was a sizable 4,800 Europeans were staying there. Raja Bhasin, a well known Indian historian noted these minute details.
           Time changed, India got independence and Brits went back. Seasons changed this ‘White Christmas’ phenomenon became rare. Last time in 1991 we had ‘White Christmas’. Year 2014 is also lucky to shower ‘White Christmas’.
“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us
Back to the delusions of our childhood
Days, recall to the old man the pleasures of
His youth, and transport the traveler back
To his own fireside and quiet home! “
Charles Dickens 
         The very concept of celebration and family is near and dear to the hearts of all the people around world. Americans have their own way of celebration. Boxing Day; day following Christmas day, US, Canada and many Asian countries religiously celebrate this day. Gift boxes are given by traders and it is a holiday. In South Africa it is known as Goodwill day.
France has one wonderful tradition of taking traditional bath in Nice River. A city called ‘Nice la Belle’, people from Europe come here for the traditional holy bath.
          Italy being a stylish country with a legacy of classical music, we find the Italian essence of passion, devotion and romance reflected in their music. The charming presepio take us by surprise.
Baboo Natale (Father Christmas) is an Italian version of Santa Claus. La Bafena an old crone who offer the gifts to deserving children 12 days post Christmas. They have a wonderful story for children. In Czech they call it ‘ Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce’ Some of them fast on Christmas eve and eager to see golden pig appearing on wall as it is a good luck sign. They have one very interesting tradition. If you throw your shoe over your shoulder and its toe pointing towards his door then it means you will be getting married that year.
         Germany celebrates Christmas in many ways. They give special importance to Christmas tree. Mother of the house decorates the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. As a tradition they keep 24 boxes with some gifts in it. The Christmas Pickle, Pickle is the last ornament hung on Christmas tree. There are many stories linked to this Christmas Pickle.
As we move towards Bolivia we have the tradition of Father Christmas. They have a concept of Father Christmas; they distribute gifts to poor children. It is a rather motivating practice they do. Children from all country look forward to Christmas and it ponders lot of gifts and surprises.
         Today in the age of smart phone and touch screen music library, I recollect the song, ‘An Old Christmas Card’ which stirred the generations.  Today when I read a news Brit actress Scarlett Johansson who has become a Hollywood heart throb spends this time with family.
I recalled the lines of Charles Dickens, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year”
         This year surprisingly in a country like India is celebrating Christmas with more zeal. People from varied faith are buying and decorating the Christmas tree, it is their devotion to family life. Today we all are connected with technology and at the same time we are detached from ourselves. If Christmas is the reason to rejoice then let it be!
Happy Christmas and New Year Ahead!

Published by Rahul Mate

Passionate about cinema, fine art, literature and photography, while teaching in media school Rahul Mate makes a little change into the life of people by connecting them with world of creative freedom.

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