The prevalence of Iraq Christmas Traditions
Iraq is considered a Muslim country with its population consisting of very few Christians after the war of 2003. The mood of Iraq Christmas traditions is very dignified and quiet considering the majority of the population is Muslim. Since the publication of the holiday in 2008 by the Iraqi government, Christians in the country can now embrace and celebrate Christmas freely with no worries about any repercussions. The Iraq Christmas traditions are very different from the western traditions thus proving Christmas to a have a very big devout importance.
The Iraq Christmas traditions start during Christmas Eve whereby all the Christians gather around in one of the Christian courtyards and then a child reads about the birth of Jesus Christ while the others hold lighted candles which are used to make a bonfire from a heap of thorn bushes after the reading. If the burning bushes turn to ash, that’s a sign that the next year will bring every Christian family good fortune. The next step involves jumping over the ash by every family member three times while making a wish.
Eventually Christmas day arrives and the Iraq Christmas traditions continue with a religious ceremony that consists of a local mass and offering of special prayers in the local churches available. After the ceremony, a bonfire is lit and the singing of hymns by the men of the congregation begins which is then followed by a religious demonstration that occurs on the streets of the Christian community. The Iraq Christmas traditions demonstrate this religious ceremony by bishop of the church holding the figure of baby Jesus and walking through the congregation. After this, he blesses one member of the congregation with the ‘Touch of Peace’ then the blessing is passed from that member to the rest until the whole congregation is blessed. This blessing was incorporated in the Iraq Christmas traditions embrace peace everywhere they go considering Iraq which is not a peaceful country.
The Iraq Christmas traditions then continue when the women go home and prepare exquisite dishes specific for Christmas and then the children wait earnestly for Papa Noel who is like Santa Claus to deliver gifts to them.