The Santa who brings presents to American children was invented by Coca Cola in 1931. This was a full two years after they removed all traces of cocaine from their soda. Czech children, on the other hand, get presents from baby Jesus. Even though the Czech Republic is the most atheist country in the world. Finally, Syrian Christmas wouldn’t be complete with immortal camels.
Only 10% of the Syrian population identify as Christians. Despite being an Arab majority that is predominantly muslim, everyone in Syria loves to celebrate Christmas. Unlike the West, their traditions are more similar to those of Eastern Europe.
Syrians say “Milad Majid” (Merry Christmas is Arabic) on December 6th. During Syrian Christmas, people visit churches for special masses that honor Saint Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra.
“It is the Smallest Camel of the Wise Men who brings gifts for the kids on the Eve of Christmas. The smallest camel is a seasonal character of the Nativity story and it is said that he had an extreme rough time to make it to the journey but did reach in spite of his enervation. For his loyalty and will to see the Christ Child, he got the blessing of immortality and hence, on every January 5th night, the little camel brings gifts.”World of Christmas
Syrian Christmas Feast
The typical Christmas dinner in Syria involves chicken, lamb and some dessert dishes. Some of their famous Christmas dishes include ‘Baba Ghannouj’, ‘Hummus’, ‘Baklava’ and ‘Mezze platters’. Some of those who celebrate Christmas observe fasts as a spiritual preparation before Christmas. The fasts basically put them on a temporarily vegan diet as they need to avoid dairy products, meat, eggs and fish.
You can read about Christmas traditions from all over the world on The Travel Bug Bite!