How Christmas is Celebrated Around the World

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Every family has their own way of celebrating Christmas or their own quirky traditions. But when you look further afield it’s very clear that Christmas can be a whole new ballgame for other countries around the world.

Australia

Christmas is actually in Australia’s summer season, so they are typically blessed with hot weather.

On Boxing Day, a yearly yacht race takes place, starting in Sydney and ending in Hobart, in Tasmania.

Austria

Austrian children fear the Krampus – a Christmas demon who captures naughty children!

Estonia

It’s traditional for Estonian families to go to the sauna together on Christmas Eve.

Germany

Adults hide a pickle in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve; the child who finds it receives a small gift!

Children leave a shoe outside on the 5th December. If they are good it will be filled with sweets overnight. If they are naughty a tree branch will be placed in the shoe instead.

Greenland

Their Christmas dinner involves Mattak – made from Whale skin served with blubber. Another Christmas food is Kiviak – dead Auk birds stuffed into Seal skin and then left to ferment for 7 months!

Iceland

Anyone who does not receive new clothes before Christmas Eve is said to be devoured by The Yule Cat – a mythical beast from the Icelandic Hills.

Japan

Many Japanese families eat KFC on Christmas Eve, this tradition started in 1974 due to an advertising campaign. They also send white Christmas cards because red cards are traditionally used for funeral announcements.

Norway

People believe that they can’t clean on Christmas Eve in case their brooms get stolen by witches and evil spirits, with many people actually choosing to hide their brooms in a safe place!

Philippines

In the city of San Fernando, The Giant Lantern Festival takes place on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. The lanterns are typically made from steel or bamboo frames and decorated with coloured lightbulbs and wires.

Spain

Children leave a glass of Cognac for each of the Three Kings of the Spanish Epiphany as well as some walnuts and a satsuma. A bucket of water is sometimes left out for the camels that bring the Kings.

In Catalonia, a traditional Christmas figure is ‘El Caganer’ which means ‘the poo-er’! It is traditionally a figure of a peasant but now it is becoming popular for the figures to have the face of celebrities or politicians!

United Kingdom

When baking a home-made Christmas pudding, it is traditional for each member of the family to stir the mixture in a clockwise direction and make a wish as they do so.

Children write their letters to Santa in hopes that they will get the gifts they’ve been hoping for. The Royal Mail even offer a service where a response letter will be sent if you send your wishlist to the specified address

Venezuela

Caracas residents go to Mass, just like in many other countries. However, they choose to do so on roller skates. Busy roads are even closed to make way for this tradition!

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