01 March, 2012

How to celebrate Christmas / Como celebrar la navidad

In the UK, especially in the more commercial areas *cough Oxford Circus cough* putting up the Christmas decorations starts well before December. Switching off the lights, however happens on the 12th day of Christmas, and before long all the decorations are gone, leaving us with a bleak, grey January filled with resolutions, overcrowded shops, and nothing really to look forward to until Valentine's Day (and then only if you have a soppy partner). According to the old pagan superstition, from the times when decorations were evergreen plants, we only borrow the holly etc from the sprits that live inside them, and if we don't return the plants to the woods after the 12th night then we'll be cursed for the rest of that year.

Colombia has it all backwards ;) Having only arrived in January I can't say when the decorations start being put up, but now it's March and I still can't tell you when they start coming down! The huge public displays (three separate links) which put Regent Street's movie tie-ins to shame all disappeared long ago, but the smaller, more private Christmas is still around...

Inspired by a journalist friend I decided to investigate and ask why, the most common answer being "Oh, yeah. They just get left there until next Christmas or until someone steals them, whichever comes first."
Well, merry Christmas from Colombia! Off to find a chocolate orange...

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