Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

December 24, 2013

Expatriates try to adapt elements of home for Christmas

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Washington's Coptic Christians don't find it hard to stock up on holiday provisions: They celebrate Christmas with a 40-day fast. Some Copts, most of whom come to the area from Egypt, eat no food during the day; others cut out all meat and dairy products.

"You eat a lot of french fries," said Michael Meunier, an information technology specialist in Fairfax County who was born in Egypt. "At night, you can have a little wine. At least, I do."

At the end comes a massive feast in the wee hours after midnight mass Jan. 7, the traditional Coptic Christmas.

"It may be 3 a.m., but it's the biggest meal you want to see," said Meunier. "You can't wait for the next day."

Copts celebrate on Dec. 25th as well, Meunier said. On both Christmas Eves, his church, St. Mark Coptic Orthodox in Fairfax, Va., will hold mass in English, Arabic and Coptic. On both mornings, kids open presents.

"We tell our children, 'You are lucky. You get two Christmases,' " Meunier said. "The tree stays up and the gifts come back."

Cecilia Browning's children get no presents until they've eaten at least a bite of lutefisk, the gelatinous, pungent, lye-soaked whitefish that has come to mean Christmas to Swedes around the world. (Norwegians spell it lutefisk; Danes spell it ludfisk.)

Browning, who runs the House of Sweden cultural center in Washington's Georgetown area, orders her fish online. But there are abundant local shopping options for Swedish expats; Ikea sometimes carries Christmas hams. And Klaradal shop in Olney, Md. does a brisk December business in vanilla sugar, Marabou mork choklad and the spices for glögg, the Scandinavian winter drink of mulled wine and brandy.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.12.33 PM.png Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter

    A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25 hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    Yankovic's 14th album was released this week, and it warms my heart containers that he's kept up his geeky brand of humor for so long. While he has written so many incredible songs, none have spoken to my love of proper grammar.
    Until "Word Crimes."

    July 16, 2014

  • State lawmakers tweak gun regulations

    Obtaining a concealed carry weapons license within the Commonwealth of Kentucky is not a simple task.

    July 16, 2014

  • When your doctor commits suicide, things get complicated

    When they call for appointments, patients are told they can't see their doctor. Ever. The standard line: "We are sorry, but your doctor died suddenly."

    July 15, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks