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European approach to winter holidays

Christmas symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ, it is a holiday of love and happiness to the whole world. People share warm wishes, try to congratulate all relatives and friends. At \ Christmas also marks the arrival of winter. Europeans decorate their homes with dazzling Christmas lights, flowers, hang balls on Christmas trees. Christmas presents are the perfect way to express love for loved ones.

The French are sure to exchange Christmas presents. By tradition, children leave their shoes near the fireplace so that Per Noel (an analogue of our Santa Claus) will fill them with fruits, nuts, toys. For Christmas, a puppet show is being played at Cathedral Square. Almost all families also play the scene of the birth of Jesus.

The most famous Christmas market in France is held in the city of Arras, it presents objects of local artisans and artists. The fair is famous for its cheapness. It opens on November 8th and lasts until December 24th this year. The Lille Christmas Market is the largest in Northern France, presenting unique, rare gifts. At the fair you can have fun and enjoy refreshments. She works from November 19 to December 30. The Reims Fair has magical entertainments and runs from November 21 to December 28.

In England there is an interesting custom called “mummering”. In the Middle Ages, participants in a special pantomime wore masks and played Christmas plays. In cities and villages, people still perform Christmas pantomimes. Noon December 25th is Christmas dinner time. Until this time, only corn porridge is eaten. English Christmas lunch is a roast turkey with sauce and vegetables. Brandy Christmas pudding is a popular dessert.

Hyde Park Fair in central London features numerous attractions, a 60-meter Ferris wheel and an outdoor ice rink for 400 people, a German bazaar with traditional gingerbread and hot mulled wine. The fair is open from November 23 to January 4.
At the Christmas market in Bath, 120 stalls are presented, including those selling homemade gifts, unusual decorations, seasonal food and drinks. It runs from November 27 to December 7. At the Lincoln Fair, mainly traditional toys, jewelry, jewelry are sold, it runs from November 3 to December 14.

In Germany, starting from the Catholic holiday of Advent, this year from December 7, in all cities there are retail outlets and stalls where you can buy everything you need to celebrate Christmas: Christmas trees and decorations for them, candles, sweets. The walk itself at such fairs is very pleasant, especially for children. The smell of fir resin and mixed with fried almonds, fried sausages and baked chestnuts. The air is filled with songs. The most famous Christmas market is held in Nuremberg and attracts many tourists every year.

In Greece, Christmas comes after a 40-day fast. The traditional dish is called “Christ’s bread” – bread with raisins, olives and nuts. Also eat roast pork. On the main square of Syntagma, there is a “Sugar Town” – rows of painted pavilions that sell sweets, in particular, very popular candied fruits. An interesting Greek legend is the goblins of Kalikanzari from the center of the earth, which descend through chimneys within 12 days after Christmas, bringing discord to the house. To scare them away, they sing Christmas songs.

In Portugal, children are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the three wise men for Christmas. They put their shoes on the windows and at the doors with carrots and straw inside on the evening of January 5 to feed the camels they come to. In Portugal, the custom to establish additional seats at the festive table for the dead is popular.

In Spain, after Christmas at midnight, the streets are filled with dancers and spectators. A special Christmas dance called Hota is performed with the accompaniment of a guitar and a castanet.

A Christmas tree in Norway is usually decorated with apples, candles, red deer figures etc. A Norwegian Christmas gnome, if not one, lives with his pets in the yard. To appease him, they prepare Christmas porridge.

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