Whether clichés or not, fun or not, rational or don’t make any sense… These are the main traditional Christmas traits in Lebanon...
Well, first of all, believe it or not, the traffic jam we all suffer every day CAN get worse! It’s like on November 30th at 11:59 pm, some evil force casts a spell on Lebanon… Wherever you are and regardless of your destination, you will get caught in the traffic for hours!
And unless you’re planning to spend your night in the car, don’t go near malls, shopping streets and Christmas markets. However, make sure you visit these ON FOOT, it’s a must.
While in your car, billboards help you forget your pain for a few moments to remind you of another kind of pain: you know, those ads featuring famous stars with their “cheesy” portrait pictures we see every year? As usual, they make eye contact with you, giving you that very serious look!... Anyway, you probably couldn’t attend these events unless you win the lottery.
The streets offer you a free sound and light show, or let's rather say "shows"! Wherever you go, skylines and street decorations dazzle you with an ambiance like no other along with the themed Christmas songs naturally. It’s like the different regions’ municipalities are attempting to outdo one another. The biggest competition of the year, it’s apparently more important than ensuring a clean wonderful living environment all year long!
Byblos is always leading the way with its unmatched Christmas tree but rumor has it that Zahlé might be the leader this year. By the way, olive trees can be used as Christmas tree as well.
And now to the yummy part: from stuffed turkey with nutty rice to the famous kebbeh, from the French bûche de Noël (Yule log) to Teta’s famous meghle. Not to mention the Christmas themed sweets offered as an extra bonus. And when it’s time to relax after dinner, the fireplace is the centerpiece while nature plays few of its favorite symphonies pairing well with ambiance! You can hear the thunderstorms and the heavy rainfall touching the ground.
The TV is also an important aspect with the live shows and competitions on the different channels promising very generous prizes, and of course New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be complete without the annual predictions of the clairvoyants introducing us to the year to come with their sixth sense… Otherwise it’s definitely a Christmas themed movie such as the ever popular 'Love Actually' or 'Home Alone' to distract the kids and sit in peace.
Merry Christmas !