7 Christmas Traditions from Around the World
The countdown to Christmas has officially begun.
There’s a lot to love about the holiday season. Being surrounded by the smell of good food, the best of friends, and the constant sound of laughter is what makes the holidays so much fun. But, if you think about it, it’s the time-old traditions that make Christmas special. You know, from decorating the Christmas tree, baking fresh cookies for Santa, and let’s not forget opening presents on Christmas morning, to name a few. It’s moments like these that we all look forward to at the end of the year.
However, have you ever wondered how Christmas is celebrated around the world? From a KFC dinner to Christmas spiders, we’re listing 7 Christmas traditions that may surprise you, some that’ll scare you, and others you’ll definitely want to include in your household.
This is one finger lickin’ good tradition.
Believe it or not, Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan. Therefore, the traditional Christmas dinner is pretty uncommon. However, there’s one particularly interesting way the citizens have found to celebrate the day. Fried chicken. Yes, you heard that right! And not just any fired chicken, KFC fried chicken.
Started in 1974, KFC’s iconic marketing campaign “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!”, or Kentucky for Christmas, quickly became one the country’s most loved Christmas traditions, with people ordering their buckets months in advance.
Puddin’ the joy in the jingle.
Ahh, Christmas pudding. Who doesn’t love the indulging in this sweet and spicy delight? While in all its flavor glory, Slovakia uses Christmas pudding to do more than just warm the heart. It’s also used to predict the future.
Bear with us for a second, because this one is messy and extremely fun. The oldest male family member takes a large scoop of Loksa pudding (Slavic Christmas pudding) and throws it up to the ceiling. The more pudding that sticks to the ceiling the more luck you have.
Dare we say this is one of the coolest Christmas traditions around the globe.
Christmas is highly celebrated in Venezuela and boy do they know how to! Although traditional in most aspects, with morning mass at church, they’ve found a way to spruce it up by roller-skating to Christmas mass. Some roads are also blocked off so people can safely skate to mass.
Twelve Days of Christmas plus one.
Similar to 12 days of Christmas, Iceland celebrates 13 days to represent the 13 yule lads. Every night before bed, children leave their winter boots by the window and head off to bed. In the morning they’re either greeted with candy in their boots if they’ve been good, or rotten potatoes if they’ve been bad.
Coal looks like a pretty great gift right about now, doesn’t it?
A summer Christmas.
For many, Christmas without the chilly winds, snow fall, and a cup of hot cocoa just seems unimaginable. But not for our friends down under. We often forget that summer falls during the second half of the year for those living in the Southern hemisphere.
Therefore, Christmas in New Zealand is usually spent firing up the BBQ cooking up seasonal produce and fresh seafood. Furthermore, their Christmas tree is a Pohutukawa. A local coastal tree that has a rich, vibrant red color when it blooms.
So, if you’re someone who doesn’t love cold weather, you know where to head now.
Why celebrate one day when you can celebrate for the whole month (almost)?!
Norwegians begin celebrating Christmas from December 3rd onwards, with all the local bars and restaurants filling up with families doing exactly what is meant to be done during the holidays. Spending the day chowing down good food with great company.
It doesn’t stop there though. They even have a mini-Christmas on December 23rd, because why not? Think of is as a soft opening restaurant, hotels, stores etc host before the big day, expect this is for Christmas.
This one isn’t for the faint hearted.
One of the scariest Christmas tree decorations must be a spider’s web. An old superstition of a story about a poor Ukrainian woman who couldn’t afford Christmas ornaments. When she woke up, she found her tree covered in spiderwebs that glistened and sparkled in the sunlight.
While this tradition is mainly credited to Ukraine, many other countries like Germany and Poland also believe that finding a spider or its web in a Christmas tree is extremely lucky.
Aside from baking cookies to leave out for Santa, there’s one Christmas tradition that happens here on the homeland that you’d be shocked to find out about.
Taking you down South to the Pelican State, one of Louisiana’s most beloved Christmas traditions began during the 18th century when On Christmas Eve, massive bonfires are lit up on levees across the Mississippi river so that Santa can find his way to homes.
What a great way to celebrate the holidays and make a ton of smores!