Blue Umbrella Official Blue Umbrella Winter 2018 Issue - Page 12

Ch ri stmas around th By: Monica A. In America, many people celebrate Christmas by giving gifts to one another, decorating their homes, putting up Christmas trees, and singing Christmas carols. However, Christmas looks a little different in other parts of the world. 1) In the Ph ilippin es, the annual Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul Sampernandu) is held on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando. Appealing to many tourists from all over the world, this festival consists of eleven barangays (villages) competing to create the most intricate lantern. The competition is ruthless since everyone in each barangay takes part in trying to construct the most intricate lantern. At the festival?s inception, the lanterns were two feet in diameter and made out of bamboo. Today, however, the lanterns are made 12 from a variety of materials and are around fifteen feet across. Electric bulbs that sparkle in a kaleidoscope of patterns brighten them. 2) In Gävle, Sw eden, the 43-foot-tall Gävle Goat looms high just moments before it?s set ablaze. The Goat, built to celebrate Advent, is the victim of a vandalistic pseudo-tradition in which arsonists try to set it on fire. Since 1966, the Goat has been burned down 29 times, with its latest destruction having taken place in 2016. 3) Over the 13 nights leading up to Christmas in Icelan d, 13 troll-like characters, the Yule Lads (jólasveinarnir or jólasveinar in Icelandic), visit the children scattered throughout the country. Each night of Yuletide, the children place their finest shoes by the window. After the children have gone to bed, a Yule Lad visits, leaving gifts for good girls and boys and rotting potatoes for mischievous ones.