The year is slowly fading into darkness as per the Gregorian calendar (the most widely used civil calendar in the world today) and a new year is about to dawn. The last few days of the year are generally a time of celebrations and merriment across many parts of the world and these festivities have thrived for millennia.
The contemporary, increasingly international version of Christmas is less a religious festival than a celebration of affluence, modernity, and above all Westernness. [...] Without anyone willing it, Christmas has become part of a package of Western soft power.
Stacy and Kevin Schworm’s Christmas dinner this year could include pig ears. [...] The Schworms are among dozens of area exchange students and hosts who will exchange more than gifts this holiday season. They’ll also exchange Christmas food traditions, incorporating a bit of each in their celebrations.
Russia has donated a Christmas tree to the Notre Dame cathedral in France, following an appeal for help. The cathedral had struggled to raise the money for its annual tree and appealed to foreign embassies in Paris for assistance.
Fears of a third intifada could mar the vital Christmas tourism season in Israel and the Palestinian territories, delivering a second blow to an industry still reeling from the summer Gaza war, say officials and venue operators on both sides.
Russia and France may be tussling over the delivery of military supplies – and the small matter of a war in Europe – but the Kremlin is not above a magnanimous yuletide gesture.
Nabil Giacaman has worked in his father’s shop off of Bethlehem’s Manger Square for as long as he can remember. He is the third generation in his family to make a living crafting wood and mother-of-pearl figurines, peddling miniature nativity scenes and baby Jesuses to the tourists who flock to this famed plaza just steps from the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born. He will also be the last.
From massive Christmas trees, to man-made ice rinks and fake snow, Dubai is proving once again that it can pull off festive season celebrations in style despite its desert location. While the city cannot boast the world’s tallest Christmas tree, there are quite a few other jaw-dropping attractions to talk about this festive season.