- Title: VARIOUS: Christmas spirit throughout Europe reflects cultural diversity.
- Date: 24th December 2005
- Summary: CLOSE UP BUNCH OF MISTLETOE
- Reuters ID: LVA36GQU5A72R7LUWM2LKN2FZS7V
- Duration: 00:00:05
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: Religion
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Europeans celebrated the spirit of the Christmas
season with various activities that reflect the diversity
of cultures throughout the continent.
In Paris, the Eiffel tower sparkled as search lights
were attached to the top of the monument.
Extra fixtures added to the Champs Elysee and Arc du
Triomphe helped the French capital shine brightly.
Small children would have been wide-eyed to see Pope
Benedict at his weekly general audience at the Vatican on
Wednesday (December 21). The only thing really missing were
the reindeer as the seventy-eight-year-old pontiff was
slowly driven round St. Peter's square wearing a red cape
and a red velvet hat trimmed with white fur.
But Pope Benedict wasn't trying to get into the festive
mood, in fact he was wearing a 'camauro' - a head warmer
commonly used in the middle ages. The 'camauro' often seen
in medieval paintings of popes was last seen in public on
Pope John XXIII who died in 1963.
The pontiff, who suffered from a cold last week,
decided to bring back the tradition and protect himself
from the biting cold at the Vatican.
In Rome, a Christmas tree was put up near the
Vittoriano Statue to bring some holiday spirit to the
In the Swedish town of Gllivare, Santas from around
the world gathered to take part in the World Santa games.
Events including singing, dancing, and fastest porridge
eating tested the St. Nicholas' prowesses to discover who
was the real man in red.
In Stockholm, as in many European cities, the variety
of presents and decorations on offer at Christmas markets
bulged the purses of holiday shoppers already reaching
their patience's and credit card limits.
In Jozefow, just outside of Warsaw, manufacturers of
Christmas decorations are working at full speed to make it
for the holidays. A small workshop of the family owned
company Silverado produces a wide array of colourful
designs. Each peace is hand decorated. Most of the
production reaches stores in the United States.
A large tree in front of Berlin's landmark Brandenburg
Gate reminds tourists and locals alike of the Christmas
season which was recently opened in Nuremberg at the
traditional "Christkindl" market.
The Christmas tree on the eastern side of the
Brandenburg Gate, once the symbol for German division and
later for reunification, is traditionally decorated by
youths who this year carved some 300 wooden apples and
stars painted in festive red and gold.
In late November, perhaps the world's best known
Christmas market is opened in the southern town of
Crowds of Christmas shoppers enjoy a mug of traditional
Gluehwein (pron. GLOO-vine), or mulled wine, eat a
Nuremberg roasted sausage or just enjoy a stroll past the
stalls selling everything from gingerbread hearts to wooden
As much as the people of Berlin and elsewhere had hoped
for snow, weather forecasts predict rain for December 24
when Germans celebrate Christmas.
Light snow is expected to fall only on Monday, making a
white Christmas in Germany unlikely.
A seventy-two metre tall christmas tree looks over an
ice skating ring in the centre of Warsaw. In the days
before holidays the highest christmas tree is illuminated
in an array of colours. The "Millennium Tree" is an
international project managed by Better World company. A
twin tree is standing in Lisbon.
In Moscow, the falling snow on Sint Basil's Cathedral
make for a magnificent backdrop to the city's stunning
architectural landscape. A Christmas tree with blue
flickering lights has been installed to add to the delight
In Stockholm, a couple practised their Christmas
etiquette by stealing a sneaky kiss in a phone booth under
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- Embargoed:8th January 2006 12:00