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1001 ways to celebrate Christmas around the world

MSGR. THOMAS FRAUENLOB Teutonic College (Vatican City) "Christkind, Baby Jesus, is represented as a small child, with golden hair and white garments which symbolize him being free of sin. The white garments that this child, which bring the gifts, wears is very important. It's these images, these drawings of a snow-filled Christmas, with these Christkind that brings light in such a dark time of the year.â? One of the busiest figures during these festivities is Santa Claus, who lives in Lapland, in northern Finland. AINO HUXLEY Ambassador to the Holy See (Finland) "So Santa Claus is a very, very very old man who lives up in the North of Finland in the region of the Polar Circle, in Lapland. He is a magical figure who gives to kids and adults dream Christmas. Father Christmas is a very hug-able figure, is very, very big and he has this fluffy red cloth and with always a belt because  his stomach is so big so it is hard keeping on his pant.â? In Guatemala, Christmas begins December 7 with the "Burning of the Devil.â? This tradition involved burning the oldest items in the house. The celebration of the Immaculate Conception also takes place around this time. ALFONSO MATA Ambassador to the Holy See (Guatemala) "It commemorates Mary and Joseph's search for shelter for their journey to Jerusalem. From one house to another, comes the figures representing Mary and Joseph. Their processions for families and friend, who go from house to house seeking shelter. Commemorating this, they are denied until they are finally welcomed, they come in, and there we drink punch, eat tamales and drink rum with coffee.â? As in every year, the Christmas spirit takes over thousands of people's lives, as they celebrate in various ways the arrival of Baby Jesus. But each one celebrates in their own way, according to where they are from. VIC/RCarr AA/MG VM - PR