8 Inspiring Christmas Traditions From Around The World
4 minutes read
Have you ever wondered how people celebrate Christmas around the world? Every culture and country that celebrates the holiday has its own Christmas traditions and spends the day in their own special way. Christmas Traditions are influenced by a variety of customs, religious practices, rituals, and local folklore.
In the UK, Christmas traditions involve eating roasted turkey and Brussels sprouts, pulling Christmas crackers, indulging in Christmas pudding and mince pies, and celebrating Boxing Day, to name a few.
While some yuletide rituals remain the same no matter where you live, such as decorating a Christmas tree, filling Christmas stockings and opening presents, some more unusual Christmas traditions around the world may surprise you.
Here, Beauty Daily lists eight interesting and inspiring Christmas traditions from around the world.
How does Kentucky Fried Chicken sound for a traditional Christmas dinner? Don’t raise your eyebrows just yet because KFC holds a soft spot in Japanese people’s hearts. While most don’t celebrate Christmas, every 25 December millions of Japanese people flock to the nearest branch of their beloved fast food chain to share a festive Japanese KFC family Christmas meal brimming with salad, cake and lots of fried chicken. Orders are usually placed with the restaurant months in advance all thanks to the very effective marketing campaign that began in the ‘70s.
For the rest of the world, it’s Santa who creates the naughty and nice list for Christmas. In Italy, it’s La Befana, an old witch who flies on her broomstick throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (5 January). She swoops down chimneys leaving sweets and chocolates for the good children – and just coal for the bad. La Befana is celebrated every 6 January as a public holiday in Italy.
Another customary Italian Christmas tradition is feasting on Italian Christmas cakes: Pandoro, a golden bread dusted with sugar, and Panettone, a buttery, sweet bread made with either raisins, chocolates, fruits or nuts.
Christmas in Australia is spent during the summer season. So, instead of putting on layers of winter clothing and gathering around the fireplace, Australians tend to celebrate the festive day grilling meals outdoors on the barbecue, and then head to the beach to swim, surf and sail. Santa Claus also makes an appearance but instead of arriving on a sleigh, he makes an entrance on a surfboard. If you want to see Santa on a summer vacation, fly to the land down under!
In the Philippines, Christmas kicks off at the start of the ‘Ber’ months. Yes, holiday preparations start on September 1st, making it the longest Christmas celebration in the world. Houses and villages are adorned with special Christmas lanterns called ‘parols’, and malls and local radio stations play Christmas carols.
Another Filipino Christmas tradition is called Simbang Gabi, where Catholic Filipinos attend a nine-day series of mass in preparation for Christmas. It starts from the 16th of December until Christmas Eve. Many Filipinos believe that finishing Simbang Gabi will make their wishes come true. After each church mass, Filipinos customarily buy the native delicacies Puto Bumbong (purple glutinous rice cakes sprinkled with grated coconut and brown sugar) and Bibingka (rice cakes made from rice flour topped with salted egg, carabao cheese and grated coconut).
If the UK has Santa Claus and Italy La Befana, Austria has Krampus, a half-man, half-goat and the evil accomplice of St Nicholas. Krampus is said to wander the streets to scare badly behaved children who are then stuffed into his sack, according to the local legend. Quite a horrific Christmas!
Apparently, Norwegians believe that Christmas Eve coincides with the arrival of witches. A Christmas Tradition that dates back centuries is for Norwegians to hide their brooms in the safest place in the house before they go to sleep to stop the witches from stealing them.
7. Czech Republic
For unmarried and single ladies in the Czech Republic, there’s a Christmas Tradition they follow to reveal their destiny in love. On Christmas day, they eagerly throw a shoe over their shoulders and if the toe of the shoe points towards the door, it is believed to be a sign that you’ll be married within a year!
In Iceland, kids get 13 Santa Claus-like visits in the form of Yule Lads. They take turns visiting kids on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. Children leave their shoes in their bedroom window for the 13 Yule Lads to drop off candy and chocolates if they’ve been good, and rotting potatoes if they’ve been naughty.
Looking for more great Christmas content? Read next: The Best Christmas Markets For Festive Feels.