CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS IN LANDS WHERE WAR
RAGES "PEACE.ON.EARTH" DIM DREAM
m in qerMany
In thecathedrals of'Berlin as Well
as in the chapels of the smallestham
lets In the kaiser's kingdom, Germans"
unite on ChristmaS.day in singing the
great Christmas anthem, "Peace on
Earth, good will to men." " i
""For in Germany Christmas is es
sentially a church-going day, a'day
on whlch.every one," from the tiniest
ohild in the' family to the venerable"
grandparents all go. in little family
processions to "cbrist-kirche"' or
Ghristmas mass and sing the great
peace anthem and chant f-hymns of
thanksgiving for "peace on earth."
The Christmas celebration really
begins on 'weihnacht" or Christmas
eve. when the Christmas tree which
has been an-institution uv Germany
for 3p0'years, is lighted, and members
of the family who have gathered from
far and near assemble beneath Jits"
lighted candles' to receive their
Christmas gifts from "father', 'or
whoever may be the "head of the1
A-splendid family supper is served"
in jBvery. German home on Christmas
eve and poor, relations and homeless
friends are always bidden to this
feast, f6r love and good will rule in
Germany at Christmas tide.
IN AUSTRIA -
Every Austrian mother tells her'
children the story of the. Chriit-child
on Christmas eve. Shef teaches her
little ones that the gift-hringer who
fills .their stockings Is a messenger
from, heaven. ",
The eve of Christmas is therefore
a sacred, holy time in Austrian house
holds time of peace offerings, a
time when families gather together -and
give praise for tie blessings re-p
ceived during the year.
No beggar Is turned." from the door
of an Austrian home on Christmas
eve, for- according to tradition, the'
Christ-child visits the-earth again on
this day, arid because "he loves the
poor and they aie'his best friends he
wears the clothes of a begar and goes
from house to house asking" alms. .
Even in the poorest homes, homes
where the widows, the little father
less children live, a lighted caddie is
placed in 'the window so that the
Christ-child will know he is welcome.
In Austria as'in'all o'ther parts of
the Christian worid'-Christmas an
thems are sung in the homes andin
the'cburches on Christmas day. Fam
ilies cather for Christmas dinner, and
I the day is one of peace and joy t and
Although ther white light of peace.
haS'kin'd!edlntor war flames uxTTrance
th light that symbolizes peace -the
"calehs" or Christmas lamp -r- will
shine n every French Tiome on Chrst
mas eve. '
One of the many Christmas tradi
tions French" fathers and. mothers
hand down to their children" is the.
tradition of the 'Christmas lamp, the'
light that is symbplicyof the, ajar of
"BethfehemV Sorrow may ''sadden the
day of eace atfd good wjll, poverty
may dim the joyof thevCfiristmas fes
tival, but whether, the 'day be cele
brated in poverty and sorrow or in
luxury; and merriment tie Christmas
lamp which .proclaims belief in the."
Child of Bethelhem shines In the Vonr
dow of ever home,, and around. It
parents .gather their children to" singr
the ringels' anthem "'peace on,
earth; good will toward men."
" IN ENGLAND .
The heatrthstone is th'e altar at
which England worships on Christ
The family circle the sons and
daughters who may have traveled
thousands of miies for, the Christmas'
reunion; the old" people and all tbe
-little folks mvthe family' gather 1
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