Armenia to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Shnorhavor Nor Dari yev Sourp Dznunt
This tree is adorned with many traditional decorations from Armenia including fruits and doves. Pomegranates are the most prominently featured, because in Armenia they represent life, wellness and happiness. Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6 with a water blessing symbolizing Christ's baptism. Some Armenian families eat fish during the holiday season because it was blessed by Christ.
To celebrate Austrian pride, red and white heart-shaped plaques depicting cities, provinces and famous Austrians, as well as pinecones, decorate the tree. The beloved Christmas carol “Stille Nacht” ("Silent Night") was composed in a chapel in Oberndorf, Austria in 1818. To honor that history, a sketch of the chapel is displayed on the tree. And no traditional Austrian Christmas tree is complete without sugar-filled paper tassels. Families gather on Christmas Eve to enjoy dinner, featuring baked or fried carp. Christkind (Christ child), often a young woman dressed in robes, visits Austrian homes to give gifts to children.
Golden straw and flax ornaments depicting angels, wreaths and animals are the main decorations on this tree, complemented by round ornaments with Belarusian patterns. Also look for straw dolls dressed in beautiful traditional clothing, which are common souvenirs from the country and represent the unique Belarusian culture. In addition to Christmas, many citizens of Belarus celebrate Kaliady, a pagan festival that takes place from December 25 to January 7. Many dress in elaborate animal costumes, sing songs, play music and perform plays. Foods such as kuccia (a barley dish), herring, vinihret (a beet salad) and kalachi (fruit-filled pastries) grace the holiday table.
Joyeux Noël (French), Vrolijk Kerstfeest (Dutch), Fröhliche Weihnachten (German)
Each year, this tree features a mix of ornaments that one might find on a Belgian family’s tree along with other items that represent Belgium, such as waffle ornaments and pictures of the king and queen. Families enjoy baking—and eating!—speculoos (spiced cookies shaped like St. Nicholas) and buche de Noël (a yule log cake).
This tree displays wooden doves, painted white to symbolize peace. The country’s maritime culture is represented through handmade wooden boat ornaments. Other ornaments include Belize-grown dried flowers, which resemble acorns, and handmade dolls. For the nine evenings of Las Posadas (celebrated by Mestizo culture), statues of Mary and Joseph are carried throughout town, from home to home, accompanied by music, dance, fireworks and other festivities. In Garifuna culture, the Charikanari dance interprets the relationship of a bull and a hunter with elaborate costumes, fun and games. Creole communities in Belize celebrate the Bram, a parade of dancing, singing and music-making throughout the countryside.
A local family has decorated this tree for the past 11 years with 160 artfully handmade traditional ornaments gathered during trips back to Bolivia. The ornaments come from the three main regions of the country—high plains, low plains and the valleys—and include llamas; red, yellow and green totora boats; and native Cholita dolls that represent the city of La Paz. In Bolivia, Christmas centers on the birth of Jesus. Gifts come from Jesus and Santa Claus delivers those gifts. This religious holiday is spent with family and celebrated with special dinners consisting of picana (a soup made of chicken, roast beef or roast pork), salads and a variety of tropical fruits.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sretan Bozic, Bajram Mubarek Olsun
White 3-D snowflakes adorn this tree, in honor of the XIV Winter Olympic Games held in the capital city, Sarajevo, in 1984. A panoramic image of a Bosnian or Herzegovinan city is depicted on each snowflake. The white color of the snowflakes also symbolizes purity and the desire for world peace after the Bosnian War. Depending upon religious affiliation, some Bosnians celebrate Christmas; others celebrate the Islamic holiday festival Eid. Everyone celebrates the New Year. Children happily wait for gifts from Djeda Mraz, or Grandfather Frost. Families and friends gather to greet the New Year and wish each other "Sretna Nova Godina!"