Christmas Decorations from Around the World

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Delicate paper garlands, flowers and lanterns adorn Christmas trees in China.

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Many German children find themselves in a pickle on Christmas morning as they search for the special ornament Santa hides on the tree.

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Inspired by their beautiful landscape, Australians often decorate for Christmas with seashells and Eucalyptus leaves.

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Russia’s Father Frost inspires decorations of snowflakes and shades of blue.

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An old Ukrainian wives’ tale led to the custom of adding spiders and spider webs to traditional Christmas tree trimmings.

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Candles and wreathes, traditionally worn on the heads of young girls, can also be used as table decorations in Norway.

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A candle in the window is a common Christmas decoration in Ireland, where the tradition began.

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The nativity is a staple in European Christmas décor.

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Although the more mainstream tradition of a Christmas tree has reached much of Greece, many homes continue to decorate ships in lieu of a tree. Here visitors watch the Aristotelous square decorated with Christmas lights in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki.

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A Yule log, embellished with candles and greenery, is often the focal point of Christmas table spreads in France. This Yule log is decorated with rosehips and evergreen leaves and is ready to be burned to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

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You won’t find a Santa Claus among Italy’s traditional decorations. Instead La Befana — a witch-like figure like this one in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for ceremonies for the feast of Epiphany — is said to deliver presents.

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Christmas crackers often double as decorations before they’re popped in England, where they were invented.

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Because they celebrate Christmas in the summer months, many Africans decorate oil palms and mango trees both outdoors and in their homes.

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Children in Germany use the advent calendar to mark the arrival of Christmas.

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Poinsettias are used to decorate Nativity scenes in Mexico because legend tells a story of two children, Pablo and his sister Maria, who were very poor. The two placed a bouquet of weeds at the foot of a nativity at their church on Christmas Eve, and the leaves miraculously turned bright red.

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