Break out the holly and the mistletoe because the holidays are once again upon us. Each one of us has a special tradition for the season. Below you will find some interesting and unique ways the world celebrates this time of year. Who knows you may want to incorporate one of these traditions into to your holiday festivities!
Germany- On the night before Christmas, German families hide a pickle in the Christmas tree. Christmas morning the first child to discover the pickle receives a special little gift.
France- Children place their shoes by the fireplace in anticipation that Pere Noel (Santa) will place a gift in them.
England- Here children don’t mail their letter to Old St. Nick. Instead, they throw them in the fireplace hoping that a draft carries them to the North Pole for him to read.
Mexico- In the city of Oaxaca, residents carve radishes into figures depicting scenes of the nativity and Mexican folklore to be put on display from December 23 through Christmas.
Norwegians- A belief that witches lurk the night on Christmas Eve cause Norwegians to hide all brooms in the house.
Italy- Nine days before Christmas, children will visit homes, reciting a bible verse and to receive a treat. Kind of like a Christmas version of Trick or Treat.
Venezuela- Venezuelan’s have found a new way to arrive to Mass. Here it is a tradition to strap on roller-skates to glide church.
Japan- Paging Colonel Sanders, in Japan the traditional Christmas dinner is KFC.
Ireland- Forgot the milk and cookies, here Santa gets to nibble on some yummy mince pies. What will he wash it down with? Well some Guinness of course!
Estonia- Traditionally families will head to the sauna together on Christmas Eve.
Puerto Rico- On the Eve before Christmas carolers will show up unannounced at a friend’s home. They eat and drink then they all head on to another’s home, continuing until Christmas morning.
Spain- Here on December 8 they place a log, which has been dressed up with a face, legs, and a hat. Through the month children make sure “Santa Log” is fed and kept warm with a blanket. Then on Christmas morning, they find presents hidden under “Santa Log’s” blanket.
Ukraine- There is a legend of a widow and her children who had nothing to decorate their Christmas tree. The spiders in the house took pity on the family and during the night, they wove magnificent webs onto the tree. When the widow woke in the morning, the morning sun shone on the tree revealing the shimmering webs in silver and gold. Now it is not uncommon to find spider webs placed on a traditional Ukrainian Christmas tree.
There sure are some fascinating ways to celebrate the season. From us to you we hope you have a very Happy Holiday Season!