According to the prevailing tradition Christmas in the USA (as in many other countries where significant part of inhabitants is Catholics) is more popular and important holiday than New Year. Christmas means the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrated on 25th of December. For majority of Americans this day is non-working. Possibly Christmas is one of the most international holidays in America. Indeed the tradition of singing Christmas carols came from England whereas tradition of Christmas tree`s decoration – from Germany.
The earliest information about Santa Claus appeared approximately in 4th century – at that time Saint Nicholas lived in the territory of present-day Turkey. He was famous for his generosity and kindness. After his death the body of the holy elder was secretly taken to Europe, this resulted in increased growth of his popularity among European population and Catholic Church established 6 December as Day of Saint Nicholas.
It`s also one of the most beautiful holidays of the country. Regardless of the weather, even if there is much snow in the streets a festive atmosphere reigns throughout the country, streets and houses are decorated with various symbols of the holiday. Glowing figures are set in front of the doors of houses. Trees and bushes are decorated with lighting chains. Every master of a house put a well-dressed snowman in front of hall door. Christmas celebration with the whole family in parent`s home is common for all Americans. Before meal people read prayers and then eat sacred bread, drink red wine. Traditional dishes include turkey, fish, sausages and potato pie. Inalienable attributes of Christmas dinner are prune and green peas.
For many Americans the holiday is time for demonstration of good will and cause for charitable activities. Non-Christian holidays celebrated approximately at the same time of year, primarily African-American Kwanzaa and the Jewish holiday Hanukkah together were merged with Christmas into a single holiday period. Religious content of the holiday presents an inseparable part of celebration. On Christmas Eve midnight worships by candlelight take place in churches. Some of them include pastoral mass or dramatization of the birth of Jesus Christ.
As many other aspects of cultural life of the United States, Christmas in the USA reflects values of free and diverse population.