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9 Dec 2010

Belarus third on CNN list of top 10 places to celebrate 2010 Christmas

Belarus third on CNN list of top 10 places to celebrate 2010 Christmas

MINSK, 9 December (BelTA) – CNN made a rating of the top 10 places to celebrate Christmas and New Year in 2010.

The monthly CNNGo program, which has recently appeared on CNN TV channel, put Belarus third for eye-opening yuletide traditions. CNN advises to visit a Belarusian village such as Pogost that honor the old traditions.

The Belarusian festive season is all about the Koliady, a folk ritual that was originally a pagan holiday but later appropriated to coincide with Christmas and the New Year, CNN says. In villages such as Pogost, youngsters perform folk plays for the public during Koliady. Locals dress up as animals and carry animal’s heads on a stick to go trick-or-treating in village neighborhoods. Yet, CNN did not specify which particular Pogost to go to celebrate Christmas. The point is that there are many villages with such a name in Belarus. All in all, there are six villages called Pogost in Vitebsk, Gomel, Minsk and Mogilev Oblasts.

The world's best place to spend the Christmas holidays, according to CNN, is Reykjavik (Iceland), which is home to the elves and where 13 Santa Clauses congratulate you on Christmas instead of the traditional one. There are bonfires and fireworks all over Iceland on both New Year’s Eve and the Twelfth Night, which falls on 6 January 2011. Reykjavik is followed by Nuremberg (Germany) which, according to CNN, is worth visiting for the Christmas Fair, which annually lures up to two million tourists with stalls selling all kinds of handmade nativity ornaments.

Salzburg, Austria, is fourth. Next in line are Sydney (Australia), New York (USA), Hong Kong (China), San Juan (Puerto Rico), London (United Kingdom) and Boston (USA).

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