Luware unites many nationalities, cultures and personalities. As different as our Luwarians are, so are their Christmas traditions and activities before and during the holidays. Here are a few personal traditions and plans of Luwarians – and maybe new ideas and inspiration for your own holidays.
“In the last 10 years, I have never really celebrated Christmas. I was mostly traveling during the holiday season – paragliding in South Africa, partying with strangers in Chile, mountaineering in New Zealand, skiing in the Swiss mountains. This year, I wanted to visit a close friend in the US which obviously and sadly didn’t happen. As I am in Switzerland, I had planned to spend this Christmas rather traditionally – at my parents’ house, together with my brother and boyfriend. And then – Corona surprise: my boyfriend tested positive and we are now just ending our joint isolation. Maybe not the best time for visiting parents which is why my boyfriend and I will ‘celebrate’ just the two of us: We will cook Chapatis (East African flat bread) and a chicken stew with Sukuma wiki (kale) – a traditional celebration meal from Kenya, where my boyfriend grew up. And then we will put on our silly disco light and dance to African music.”
When I was living in Belarus, my celebrations commenced on December 24, along with most of the world (even though most Belarussian traditionally celebrate New Years’). With 15-20 relatives in the house, the Christmas table was always laid out with traditional vegetarian Belarusian dishes, as my Christmas was preceded by fasting. The day was full of laughter, chatter and sharing stories to remember the relatives who are no longer with us. On the 25th, the celebration continued from the morning until the evening in a friendly family atmosphere. My husband and me kept the gifts until the 31st as we spent Christmas separately and with our own relatives.
We have recently moved to Chicago in the USA which has altered our Christmas tradition a lot. Since we don’t have many friends here yet and especially with the current situation, my husband, my son and myself will have a small celebration together at our home.
Being half Colombian and half British my celebrations start on the 24th. Usually, we have dinner as a family with traditional Colombian food made by my mother. We then visit a relative and continue eating, chatting and exchange Secret Santa gifts, as well as open gifts at midnight. Around 2/3 am, we return to my parents’ house and my dad cooks the meats for the next day while everyone else is off to bed. On 25th, we have two sittings for Christmas dinner as approximately 30 relatives are coming around and we can’t fit everyone at the table, or even in the same room. Christmas dinner is pretty British (roasted meats, potatoes, sprouts, vegetables etc.). The day basically just ends with everyone scattered all over the house, lots of drinking, chatting, laughing and a not so amazing hangover the next day.
Unfortunately, this year is different. With London being placed in Tier 4, I will be sticking to the UK government guidelines and my Christmas celebrations will be a lot simpler and toned down (I’m sure my liver will appreciate 😉).
“In Belarus, we celebrate New Year’s, which naturally involves lots of food. In my family, our day usually starts with a round of pancakes filled with cottage cheese and raisins (using a secret family recipe). Then, cooking begins to have everything ready for dinner, including my favorite salad Seledka pod shuboi (herring under the fur coat). This salad always triggers a serious conversation as my husband likes the Beetroot grated but I like it chopped, take a guess who usually wins 😉.
We then setup the table, watch our favorite New Year’s comedies on TV as was the tradition when we grew up, put mandarins on the table, and make the candies ready for after dinner. This time of the year is very special to me as it’s when I forget about anything else going on in our lives and value the time we have together as a family.”
„Normally, I enjoy the holidays with my wife far away from the stress of Christmas; in the warmth or snow, with recharging activities such as hiking, tennis or snorkeling. This year, of course, this is not possible. We stay at home in our comfortable house in Hamburg and do our sports in the surrounding area. In the evenings, we will have a board game battle – without gluttony, gift stress free and completely Corona compliant. Great games I can recommend for two are Village, Tzolkin or The Legends of Andor.”