字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Hi, I'm Rick Steves, and it's Christmastime in Europe. From manger scenes to mistletoe from Norway to Rome, we're celebrating all over the continent. Buon natale! Froehliche weihnachten! Joyeux noël! Merry Christmas! And thanks for joining us. [ Background orchestra plays "Joy to the World" ] In melting pot America, Christmas is celebrated year after year with traditions that came over on the boat with our ancestors. In this holiday special, we're traveling back to the old country, to places of rich variety and deep roots. We'll explore the history behind our much-loved traditions. Joining friends and families across Europe, we'll discover a Christmas that's both familiar and different. England is filled with voices singing in the season. The short days around the solstice bring Norwegians out to celebrate the light of Christmas. Families, friends, and food are the centerpiece of the French noël. An angelic Christmas presence fills Germany and Austria with wide-eyed wonder. Italy reveals the sacred nature of the season, from its countryside to its holiest shrines. Nature in all its wintry glory seems to shout out the joy of the season in Switzerland. And everywhere Christmas is celebrated with family, including my own, as together, Europe remembers the quiet night that that holiest family came to be. While each European culture gives Christmas its own special twist, they all follow the same story of how the son of God was born on earth, as told in the bible and illustrated over the centuries by great artists. The Christmas story begins with the annunciation: An angel sent from God with a message for a young woman whose name was Mary. And the angel said, "'Fear not, for thou shalt bring forth a son, "'and you will name him Jesus. "'And he shall be called the Son of the Most High and his Kingdom will have no end.'" "And it came to pass, "that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, "that all the world should be taxed. "And Joseph, a carpenter from Nazareth, "went to Bethlehem to be taxed, "with Mary, who was expecting a child. "And while they were there, "she brought forth her firstborn son "and laid him in a manger "because there was no room in the inn. "In that region, there were shepherds, "keeping watch over their flocks by night. "An angel of the lord came to them, and said, "'Fear not, for behold, "'I bring you good tidings of great joy. "'For unto you is born on this day in the city of David, "a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.' "And suddenly there was a multitude of angels "proclaiming: 'Glory to God in the Highest, "and on earth peace and good will to all.' "And the shepherds said, 'Let us go to Bethlehem,' "where they found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger." Now, after Jesus was born, there also came wise men. And a glorious star, which they saw in the east, went before them. Guiding them, it stood over where the child was. The wise men knelt down and worshiped the child, giving him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The long-awaited messiah had arrived. This is the story that Christians have celebrated through the ages. We don't really know on which day Jesus was born. Historians argue it was likely in the spring, as shepherds were "tending their flocks." But, in the 4th century, a pope declared December 25 to be the official birthday of Jesus. Why that date? Christianity was newly legal in the Roman empire, and the clever pope figured it would be smart if the biggest Christian festival coincided with the biggest pagan one: Winter Solstice. And throughout the land, people -- Christians celebrating the birth of the son and pagans celebrating the return of the sun -- have been rejoicing ever since. For scenes straight out of a box of old-fashioned Christmas cards, we head to England, to the city of Bath. Here, in the heart of the old town near the magnificent medieval abbey, Bath hosts an annual Christmas market. Carols are a deeply ingrained part of the English Christmas tradition. The custom goes back to Shakespeare's day. Today, young and old sing their way through the season. Here the Bath Abbey Choir of Boys and Men are performing a carol concert by candlelight. [ Choir singing "Oh, Holy Night" ] [ Introduction to light, staccato melody ] [ Choir singing ] As is the case just about anywhere, it's in the countryside that families celebrate Christmas in the most down-to-earth style. My friends Maddy and Paul and their kids, Theo and Leila, are looking for a living tree, which they'll decorate and then plant at home. That the right size? Man: You think it would look good with the fairy on top? Brilliant. I like it. It's a new twist on an old tradition, with a wink to the nature-worshiping pagans who once haunted these parts. Decorating with greens goes back to the druids who adorned their temples with swags of evergreen. For pagans, living greens in the dead of winter represented the persistence of life. And for Christians, evergreens are a reminder of the gift of everlasting life. During the hectic season, getting together to bake Christmas goodies while the little ones decorate edible ornaments, is a fine way for busy mums to spend some time together. Is that all right? Maddy's recipe for mince pies harkens back to the days of Henry VIII. Back then, the dried fruits, spices, and shredded meat for the filling were so expensive that only the wealthy could afford to make mince pie. According to tradition, 12 pies should be eaten during the 12 days of Christmas to ensure good luck each month of the coming year. Woman: Don't let me forget those mince pies, Maddy. But it's the Christmas pudding that's the real centerpiece of a traditional English holiday meal. This is Christmas pudding, and it's made with lots of very special ingredients that in days gone by, they used to be very expensive. And you know you call it "figgy pudding" because they used to have lots of figs in it. But it used to be made in Elizabethan times, and we all have, because it's so special, an extra big stir and an extra big wish. Kids: ♪ Now bring us some figgy pudding. ♪ ♪ Now bring us some figgy pudding. ♪ ♪ Now bring us some figgy pudding. ♪ ♪ Now bring some out here. ♪♪ Put this one up here. Like a lot of us, Maddy and Paul are opting for a simpler, less commercial style of Christmas, and that's reflected in their family traditions. Little Theos and Leilas wouldn't always have been so involved in the family activities. Childhood as we know it really began in 19th-century England with the new middle class. And at Christmas those stern Victorians gave themselves permission to indulge their kids. [ Talks indistinctly ] The English tradition of singing starts very young. We're visiting Theo's school as the children take center stage at the 14th-century village church for a very special Christmas concert. [ Children singing to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" ] ♪ ...This is the road to Bethlehem ♪ ♪ on a cold and frosty morning ♪ ♪ We're going to be taxed in Bethlehem, ♪ ♪ Bethlehem, Bethlehem ♪ ♪ We're going to be taxed in Bethlehem ♪ ♪ on a cold and frosty morning ♪ ♪ Where should we stay in Bethlehem ♪ ♪ Bethlehem, Bethlehem ♪ ♪ Where should we stay in Bethlehem ♪ ♪ on a cold and frosty morning? ♪ ♪ There is no place in Bethlehem, ♪ ♪ Bethlehem, Bethlehem ♪ ♪ There is no place to Bethlehem ♪ ♪ on a cold and frosty morning ♪♪ [ Applause ] [ Children singing "Jingle Bells" ] Christmas is drawing near, and tonight these lucky children are taking a train through the woods to meet Santa, or as the English know him, Father Christmas. Man: Come on in now. Come on in and stand just there. And you stand just there. You come across there. That's right. Tell me your names. Now, what's your name? Dillon. Hello. What's your name? [ Answers ] And what's your name? Jack. Well done! Now then, most important. What do you want for Christmas? I don't know. Just some surprises. I'm very good at surprises. And what do you want? Well, I haven't writ my list out yet. So we're going to wait for your list, and when it comes, I'll be ready for it. Now, are you going to do something for me? Are you going to leave me something on Christmas eve? Child: Yes! What are you going to leave me? Mince pies and wine! And are you going to leave a carrot for the reindeer? Yeah. Yes! We'll check back on Christmas Eve to see what Theo and Leila leave for Father Christmas. Kate. And something special... While children on their best behavior ask Santa for the toy of their dreams, my wish right now is a chance to hear one of finest chamber choirs in England, The Sixteen, filling a classic church with timeless sounds of the season. Woman soloist: ♪ The holly and the ivy ♪ ♪ Trees that's both well-known ♪ ♪ Of all the trees that grows in woods ♪ ♪ The holly bears the crown ♪ Chorus: ♪ The rising of the sun ♪ ♪ The running of the deer ♪ ♪ The playing of the merry harp ♪ ♪ Sweet singing in the choir ♪ Male soloist: ♪ The holly bears a bark ♪ ♪ As bitter as any gall ♪ ♪ And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ ♪ ♪ For to redeem us all ♪ Chorus: ♪ The rising of the sun ♪ ♪ The running of the deer ♪ ♪ The playing of the merry harp ♪ ♪ Sweet singing in the choir ♪ Woman soloist: ♪ The holly and the ivy ♪ ♪ Trees that's both well-known ♪ ♪ Of all the trees that grows in woods ♪ ♪ The holly bears the crown ♪ Chorus: ♪ The rising of the sun ♪ ♪ The running of the deer ♪ ♪ The playing of the merry harp ♪ ♪ Sweet singing in the choir ♪♪ Leaving the tranquility of the English countryside behind, London offers Christmas fun fit for a queen and streets filled with holiday cheer. There's magic in the air.