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If you happen to be a part of any Choir, Christmas Carols would then appeal you in a different level altogether. Christmas carols have a power to help one forget all negative aspects of his life and fills his heart with new hope cheer and happiness.

Listening to or singing Christmas carols in a choir instill a certain degree of goodness and energy anyway; and if you happen to work with or simply witness children’s choir, Christmas celebration is then spread with a certain charm all over!

Last Christmas Eve; choir carols music in Santa Barbara was a popular choice among all of us and so it was decided that we would be there for Christmas. All siblings put together made a group of nine. It was definitely a challenge for us to be able to master the most popular carols in a month’s time and perform in the most awaited venue of the year.

It was initially a little difficult for all of us to manage time everyday and come over for the rehearsals at nine in the evening. But thanks to the Christmas Sheet Music for choir and piano; we all had the exact notations, chords, scale, bridges and for certain songs – ideas for doing harmony as well.

A search through the internet helped us immensely for two reasons. We found the lyrics of all the numbers on just a click. Secondly, we came across the different versions of each song. I truly had no clue that a simple Christmas carol of just two or three versus could be or was actually sung in so very many ways!!

We began well ahead in time and I have to agree that after a week, we couldn’t wait the whole day to come together and sing our favourite carols.

Since we were nine of us, it was decided that we would practice nine numbers, one a favourite of each of us. So all of us, surfed through our music libraries and racks, checked with old carol books and selected one song each to add on to the final list of carols.

We requested Father Bernard to be our pianist and he happily agreed. It was equally nostalgic for him as we would practice together in our childhood days for the mass on Sundays. He too seemed to re-live good old days!

Finally after rehearsing for a whole month; on Christmas Eve we performed all together. Check out our choir list that we’d prepared:

  • Come all ye faithful
  • We thank Thee
  • I’ll fly away
  • Across the bridge
  • The night watch
  • Silent night
  • Jingle bells
  • By the rivers of Babylon
  • Oh gentle shepherd

We all hope this Christmas is equally eventful!

“Chúc M?ng Giáng Sinh” (“Merry Christmas” in Vietnamese language)

The way that the Vietnamese people celebrate Christmas is a quotable example of secularism. Though the main religion here is Buddhism and Christians form only a minority, Vietnam celebrates Christmas as one of the four important festivals in the country, the other three being, birthday of Buddha the mid-autumn festival and the New Year.

Christmas in Vietnam is celebrated with vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment. It is the birthday of Jesus Christ, who is known in Vietnamese language by the name ‘Kito’. Coming to the history of Christmas traditions in Vietnam, the Catholics, which form a minority of the country, had celebrated Christmas in the most peaceful way. When the communist power came into existence in 1975, the Christmas celebrations became private affairs. But, from 1980s, as a result of the country embraced western ideas, Christmas regained its status as one of the four major festivals in the country.

In present times, Christmas in Vietnam is being celebrated by not only the Christians, but also the people belonging to other religions as participate in it with liveliness and enthusiasm. The major portion of the celebrations takes place at Ho Chi Minh City, where people of all religions gather and celebrate in the way how the Europeans celebrate it. The youth gather at the cities and the vehicles are prevented from entering into the city circle.

But, as far as Christians in Vietnam are concerned, the most important part of the Christmas celebrations takes place at a city in North Vietnam, known as Phat Diem, which is considered the spiritual centre of seven million catholics. Catholics gather here on the Christmas night with a cheerful spirit and the children present a drama featuring the holy birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas in Vietnam is of much important for devout Catholics in the country. They attend midnight masses in the church and go back to their homes for a Christmas supper, which is the most important meal of Christians in the country. The dinner may consist of different items. But the traditional item for common people is chicken soup, whereas the rich families may have turkey and Christmas pudding.

The concept of Santa Claus is well prevalent in the tradition of Christmas in Vietnam. The children believe that the Christmas father would come on Christmas night to give them gifts. So, as in the Western way, they put one shoe on the windowsill to watch the miracle in the morning that the shoes are filled with presents.

The churches and cathedrals in Vietnam create soul-stirring nativity scenes and cribs during Christmas. The cheerful and joyous nature of Vietnamese people makes them to participate in the celebration without any religious or community-wise distinctions.

Christmas in Spain is more animated and inspiring than any other countries since there many legends in association with the birth of Jesus Christ, those are perhaps unheard of in the other parts of the world. One such legend says that a cow at the time of the Nativity breathed on the infant Jesus to provide him warmth and thus cows are much revered in the country. A tradition in Spain says that the three wise men from the east visited Jesus Christ on January 16 and thus on this day the children expects the threesome to visit them with gifts.

Usually every house in Spain has a manger, which will be displayed during the Christmas with decorations and the figures memorising the characters present during the holy birth. The elders used to gather around the manger a week prior to the Christmas and sing accompanied by the instruments played by the children of the house.

Christmas in Spain is celebrated in a highly religious mood despite of a huge commercial ambiance. The Christmas stars are usually lit in every place by this time. By the end of the second week, Christmas trees made in every home in addition to the artificial and delicate Nativity scene designed in the background of villages and landscapes creating an ambiance of the surroundings of the holy birth. These nativity scenes are known in the Spanish language by the name Belenes.

Christmas in Spain starts on December 8, which is the day of the Immaculate Conception held in reverence of the Virgin Mary, who is the patron saint of Spain. This feast is observed every year in front of the great Gothic Cathedral in Seville. A ritualistic dance ceremony called the ‘dance of six’, (los Seises in Spanish) is conducted as part of this feast.

The Christmas Eve is known by the name Nochebuena, which means ‘the good night’ in the Spanish language. On 6th January, which is the feast of Epiphany, children in Spain receive gift as in the same European traditions. A curious belief is that the three wise men every year travels through the rustic ways of Spain distributing gifts and re-enacting the centuries old incident. The children used to put single shoes on the windowsills, so that while passing the house, any of the wise men can put a gift within the shoes for the children. In return, the children used to fill in with the shoes with straw, carrots and barley for the horses of the wise men. Among the threesome, the Ethiopian king Balthazar is most revered in the country and the children usually expect gifts from him.

After one month long celebrations in connection with Christmas in Spain, spanning from December 8 to January 6, the offices and schools are open on January 7. On this day, the children go to school and the elders to work place in waiting of yet another Christmas next time.

The Origin of Christmas- Get to know the origins of Christmas to have a clear idea of Christmas

Christmas is one of the well known festivals that are celebrated all over the world. It is celebrated to mark and commemorate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ. Also known as X Mass, it is one of the greatest events for the people of the Christian community and is celebrated all over the world. In addition to the Christians, people of all communities also take part in the celebrations. Christmas is held every year on the 25th of December. To have a better idea, let us know the origin of Christmas.

Origin of Christmas day

Christmas is marked with great fun and exuberance the world over. The event marks the start of the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. The whole event lasts for a period of twelve days. The celebratory days begin from December 25 and lasts till Jan 5 or 6. If we have an idea of the origin of the event, we can see that on the 25th of December, Jesus was born and so it is a special day. As such, wide spread celebrations takes place on this day. As the clock strikes the mid night hour, people come out to the streets and pay their respects to Lord Jesus. The bells of churches ring and homage and prayers are offered.

The origin of Christmas is based on the biblical details that are inscribed in the Gospel of Matthew, and the Gospel of Luke. Christmas and the figure of Santa Claus are integral to each other. Santa is known as the Father of Christmas. His character was first recorded in the 15th century and is related to merry making spirit. The giving and sharing of gifts remind us of the three magi’s gifts to Jesus.

Christmas Day was first celebrated in a proper way in the 4th century during the reign of Emperor Constantine. Since that period, the festival is being celebrated with great fanfare almost all over the world. Based on popular belief, the name “Christmas” was first taken from the Mass of Christ. One of the main ingredients of the event is the mass which thanks Jesus who gave his life for the human race.

Origin of the Christmas celebrations

Prayer services are an important part of Christmas Day which dates back to centuries. The celebrations start from the previous day, also referred to Christmas Eve and go on till the next day. After the prayers are over, people accept blessing from the priests and exchange greetings and wishes.

Gifts and decorations also form a major part of the Christmas celebrations. Greetings and wishes are exchanged by friends and family members. In almost all Christian houses, children and young people make Christmas trees by decorating with lights, nativity scenes, holly leaves, red stocking and other things. Bells are erected on the doors and windows and chocolates are distributed among everybody.