Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

December 03, 1963 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-12-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.





1 U r.. 11H Y UL' li L' 1Y1tsr:K 3, 1963


Gifts for Christmas from WAHR'S
Fiction - Non-Fiction - Humor - Cook Books
-- Children's Books
We Deliver, Gift Wrap, and Mail,
"W E4 RS
316 S. State St. - Since 1883 - NO 2-5669

,World Customs Show Christmas Spirit

Jul-Nisse, Saint Lucia, Befana,
Samichlaus and'Kris Kringle are
but a few of the major traditional
characters in the Christmas cele-
brations in other countries.
These festivities include such
memorable features as Polish pup-
pet shows depicting the murder
of the Innocents by Herod, door
decorations of bundles of grain
for the birds in Denmark. Other
traditions include cakes with a
pea and a bean in them for the
choosing of the King and Queen
of the Twelfth Night in France,
firecrackers in China, pinatas in
Mexico, wooden shoes stuffed with
carrots and hay in Holland and a
sleeping hen brought into a warm
Russian kitchen.
St. Lucia in Sweden
The most beautiful young lady
in Swedish households will typ-
ically dress up as Saint Lucia with
a red sash around a white dress
and a crown of pine boughs. She
awakens the members of the fam-
ily, bringing them coffee and
cakes, to herald the beginning of
the Christmas season on Dec. 13.
Also highlighting festivities in
Sweden is a Christmas eve dinner

with a fish dish called "lutfisk,"
followed by tree-trimming, danc-+
ing and singing.
Swedish people believe thati
their ancestors revisit their homes
on Christmas Eve, and when the
living make up their beds that+
night and prepare dinner, they
have the feeling of being intrud-
Danish Santa in Attic
"Jul-Nisse" is the traditional
Danish Santa Claus who lives in
the attic, looks 'out for the farm1
animals and eats a bowl of por-
ridge and a pitcher of milk placedi
for him in the attic by the chil-
People in Denmark also like to
remember the birds on Christmas.
They decorate their doors with
bundles of grain saved from the 1
fall harvest. The grain is the1
Christmas dinner for the birds. i
The first star in the Dec. 241
sky heralds the end of the Polish!
Fast Day and a large family;
Christmas dinner. Straw, symbol-1
izing the manger, is placed un-l
der the table, dishes and table-i
cloth and a seat left empty for
the Holy Child.1
Polish Symbol of Peace l
A Peace Wafer, secured from the
local priest, is given to the head
of the family to break and share l

with guests as a symbol of peace
on earth. After dinner, puppets
portray the stony of the murder of
the Innocents by Herold, and
songs, combining religious and
folk sentiments, are sung in hon-
or of Christ's birth.
Many Poles traditionally believe
that on Christmas night the heav-
ens open and Jacob's Ladder can
be seen by those who have lived
good lives.
Christmas Day for the French
usually begins with a midnight
mass of high splendor, after which
families hold an elaborate dinner,
called the "revellion."
French Merriment
The holidays, emphasizing reli-
gious aspects throughout, end on
Jan. 6. the feast of the Kings of
Epiphany, when there is much
merriment. A King and Queen of
the Twelfth Night are chosen by
means of a cake ("le Gateau des
Rois") which contains a bean and
a pea. The two people whose
pieces of cake contain the pea or
bean are designated as the royal-
In the honor of the Virgin
Mary, the Feast of the Immacu-
late Conception is the main fea-
ture of the Christmas holiday.
Shepherds, dressed in goat-skin
trousers and colorful jackets, tra-

ditionally come down from the
mountains and play on pipes and
flutes in front of village shrines
and carpenter shops, honoring the
Virgin ani Child.
Witches in Italy
Italian festivities are reminis-
cent of our Halloween, with the
benevolent witch "Befana" riding
on her broomstick from house to
house and leaving presents for the
children beside each hearth. The
Italian family decorates its house
with a profusion of flowers and
olive branches.
A manger scene called the Pre-
cipio, with statuettes of the Holy
Family, angels, shepherds and
wisemen, is found in most Italian
Switzerland's "S a m i c h I a u s"
comes as early as Dec. 5, and his
coming is heralded by processions
of choirs, clergy and cross bearers,
banner-carrying boys wearing
high-peaked hoods for protection
from the weather.
Swiss 'Samichlaus'
Samichlaus himself is in the
middle of the procession, dressed
in a red mask, flowing beard, fur-
trimmed robe and gray sack with
rewards for good and bad children
In larger cities in Switzerland,
Samichlaus is usually a young

4 44".44 -*'

For the discriminating music lover .,.
* This Christmas choose from Ann Ar-
bor's most varied LP stock -- Pops --
Classics m-- Children's Records -- Reli-
gious --- The Spoken Word. We've got
them, and we're here to help you find
Shop where music on records is our
pleasure as well as our business.

o K

Excited Crowds Spell Christmas Shopping


bishop, accompanied by other
bishops, masked and carrying the
traditional triple purse of Saint
Mandolins accompany a parade
of singing Chinese Christians, who
march toward the church in their
most colorful costumes, carrying
lanterns and singing carols.
Chinese Tree of Light
Just before midnight the pro-
cessions are interrupted by fire-
crackers, and midnight masses be-
gin. The Chinese Christmas tree,
called the Tree of Light, has num-
erous brilliant paper flowers, pa-
per chains and cotton snowflakes
instead of candles.
The yule log is one of the sym-
bols of the English Christmas cel-
ebration. According to tradition,
each person in the family must
sit on the log and salute it before
it is lighted, to assure good luck
for the household.
Cherished hymns are sung by
carollers under the arches of Brit-
ish cathedrals at midnight, and
ancient plays or Norman, Saxon
or Viking origin, are enacted for
the holiday crowds.
Break the Pinata
The game of pinata creates a
good deal of joy for Mexican chil-
dren. The pinata, an earthenware
bowl resembling a face or animal
and filled with goodies, is placed
in the middle of a large circle of
children, who take turns trying
to break the pinata while blind-
If no one has succeeded, the
pinata is broken at the end of
the game, and the scramble for
its contents begins.
During the week before Christ-
mas, vendors in the streets com-
monly display handcarved reli-
gious figures, decorating their
shops or stalls with tapestries of
religious design.
Czech Traditions
Czech Christmases are common-
ly a time for the ending of all
quarrels and the visiting of friends
and foes in order to establish new
relationships for the coming
Another tradition that remains
in Czechoslovakia is that Saint
Nicholas descends from heaven
on a golden cord, led by a white-
clad angel. Little children still go
to bed early on Christmas Eve,
hoping that'Saint Nick will leave
them a present.
Saint Nick's gallant white steed
receives hay and carrots placed
in clean wooden shoes by children
in Holland. The shoes, along with
a dish of water, are placed on the
window sills.
Goodies for St. Nick's Horse
Usually the horse-goodies are
replaced during the night with
toys and candy, for which Dutch
children awaken early.
Family gatherings, complete
with skating on the canals,are
followed on Christmas Day by a
parade of grotesquely-dressed town
men after church.
In Germany, Santa Claus Is
Kris Kringle, and the Christmas
tree is the legendary "Tannen-
baum," which is decorated in se-
crecy and lighted on Christmas
Eve for the first time.
Handcarved Toys
Toys, as in so many other coun-
tries, are the primary source of
joy to children and are often
carefully handcarved by skilled
One of the few traditions that
remain in Russia is the family re-
union. At this gathering an old
custom-the Five Piles of Grain-
is enacted.
At midnight, after five piles of
grain-representing the five fates
-wealth, poverty, death, marriage
and a life of Single Blessedness-
have been spread out on the
kitchen floor, a sleeping hen is
brought into the room.
Befuddled Hen
There is great excitement while
the befuddled hen wakes up and
begins to eat from the five piles
of grain.

Other customs remaining in-
clude processions of carolers sing-
ing old songs referring to the pag-
and deities and the burning of the
"badnyak," a piece of wood sim-
ilar to the yule log, to keep away
evil spirits.
The Christmas celebration is
heralded by church bells ringing
at five o'clock in all the cities in
Norway. Families have been busy
for weeks preparing food for the
winter and gifts for the holiday.
Norwegian Foods
Among the traditional foods are
cheese and' sausages, breads and
animal cookies and lutfisk.
While all the farm animals are
given special attention, the rest
of the celebration commemorating
the beasts who were present at the
birth of Christ centers around the
birds. In Norway the sheath of
grain is placed on top of a tall
pole in the family yard.
A candle in an open doorway is
a special symbol for the Irish in
their celebration of Christmas.
Both are meant as signs of hos-
pitality, assuring that no couple
seeking shelter for a baby who
might be the Son of God will be
homeless. The candlelight must
shine forth all night long and may
be put out only by those having
the narue Mary.
Irish Cup and Saucer


417 E. Lib

0 2-0675


IN 1

Visions of sugar plums

II - ~ II

through this door lies
the perfect gift for you
with her monogram
with genuine sapphires,
rubies and cultured pearls
an outstanding collection of
14 karat gold and sterling charms
All engraving done at no extra charge.

A visit to Santa Department store rush



Back to Top

© 2022 Regents of the University of Michigan