Now we look at Christmas celebrations around the world.
Different people may have different views about the Christmas.
But biblical teachings, tells us, it’s the solemnity, celebrating the Birth of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
While some communist country like China restricted Christmas celebrations, its reported most do not know about the religious movement.
But this does not stop Christians from celebrating the nativity.
We now look at different celebrations around the world.
Hundreds of Catholic followers attended a Christmas Mass in Beijing amid reported restrictions on the Christmas celebration.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CATHOLIC, YAN XIAOYA SAYING:
“I’ve been a Catholic since I was born. Every year our family celebrates this joyful Catholic ceremony. Every year we treat Christmas as a very grand occasion.”
The Postojna Cave in Slovenia staged its traditional living nativity creating the magic of Christmas in a nature-made setting, one of the country’s top tourist attractions.
12. (SOUNDBITE) (Slovenian) VISITOR, LUCIJA ZAKELJ, SAYING:
“The children really enjoyed it, especially riding the cave train, and all these lights, it’s beautiful.”
In Indonesia…More security personnel were deployed with thousands of Muslim security volunteers to also help keep watch over Christmas events.
16. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) INDONESIA POLICE CHIEF TITO KARNAVIAN SAYING:
“So far we still have had no information of (potential) terror attacks through our intelligence network or through our observations. But in our experience, we know it is difficult to monitor such things as groups use secret communication processes and also lone wolves (for planning attacks). In America, England and France, these lone wolves could be found as they use Internet and study on how to become radical and also how to assemble bombs. But these are hard to find (for us) and we can only take action after the attack happens. To overcome this we need to strengthen our cyber surveillance”
Still In Indonesia and the Bali resort island has started to welcome back its visitors to enjoy the long Christmas and upcoming New Year’s holiday season.
That’s after suffering from cancellations and tourists leaving Bali because of the eruption of Mount Agung in late November.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN TOURIST, MARK DEAN SAYING:
“For Christmas we’re doing a family Christmas with all the kids, wife, and their family with more nephews and nieces here as well, I hope that we’ll a nice and relaxing Christmas.”
(SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) INDONESIA TOURISM MINISTER, ARIEF YAHYA SAYING:
“I was in Bali two days ago, and the total number of our inbound visitors has increased up to 11.000. The normal average number of visitors to Bali is 15.000. So it’s almost 70%.”
In Pakistan hundreds of Christians in the port city of Karachi attended Christmas Mass amid tight security, a week after nine people were killed and more than 56 injured when four attackers broke into a church in the southwestern city of Quetta which was packed with more than 400 worshippers.
(SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) CHRISTIAN WORSHIPPER, MUSHTAQ NAWAB, SAYING:
“We are not frightened, and we are celebrating Christmas without any worries.. We have the full support of the authorities who have taken all measures for our security. We will not be cowed down by terrorists. We are Pakistanis , and we are ready to spill our blood along with the rest of our countrymen. We will protect our land, and will not let the terrorists succeed in their designs.”
In Bethlehem Christmas mass also attracted pilgrims from around the world including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other officials.
In Liberia Christmas has been disturbed by the crucial presidential elections on this boxing day.
Bishop George Harris led a muted Christmas service at the Pentecostal Philadelphia Central Church in Monrovia’s Congo Town.
(English) BISHOP, DOCTOR GEORGE HARRIS, SAYING:
“Christmas they are looking forward to merry making, then the day after they are looking forward to a sober day where sober actions are taken. So it’s a little bit confusing and disturbing. So some people are deciding whether to go full blast on Christmas Day or to be, to maintain sanity for the next day. So you have that kind of thing happening.”
In Russia, a passenger bus swerved off course and drove into a busy pedestrian underpass in Moscow, killing at least four people, Russian news agencies reported.
The driver of the bus had been detained by police
In Florida’s the “Ride of Christmas Magic” where surfers dressed as Santa take part in the annual event.
Surfing Santas raise money for a cancer charity as well as funds to support the Florida Surf Museum which aims to preserve the history and culture of Florida surfing.
Dozens of people dressed in Christmas costumes challenged the cold temperatures in a traditional swimming session in Berlin’s Orankesee lake.
(SOUNDBITE) (German) WINTER SWIMMER, CHRISTEL BARTH, SAYING:
“Last week was cold. Well, it was to be felt in the thighs, but we do it anyway. But today we are using swimsuits. That is not so pleasant”
On the outskirts of Washington D.C. in an annual tradition that dates back to 1986, Santa and his elves, donned their water skis and zipped up and down the Alexandria waterfront, on the
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SARAH MOFTAH, SPECTATOR, SAYING:
“It was pretty amazing. So, it’s just the fun to be outside with all the people, hanging out and enjoying the cold weather all together. It was pretty nice.”
In Belarus, some of the Santa Clauses drove beautifully decorated tractors – Belarusian national produce, widely used in various celebrations in the country.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) BELARUS RESIDENT, YULIA, SAYING:
“I want even more wonders. So we are waiting for a miracle.”