Each country has its own Christmas tradition and celebrates it a little bit differently. When it comes to Christmas, you might think about Christmas room decorations, the image of the crowd flocking to the mall, or a list of interesting Christmas movies. But you might be surprised by 11 weird Christmas traditions around the world that you have never before.
What are the most common Christmas traditions?
Christmas is one of the favorite times of the year when holidays are just knocking at the door. The celebrations have all nearly begun and we are ready to be a part of all of it. We often spend quality time with friends and our significant ones to celebrate the holiday each Christmas season. It is the time that we look forward to exchanging greeting cards and some of the other types of gifts with our family friends, as well as all the loved ones.
Everywhere you go, you’ll see Christmas decorations and hear a list of familiar Christmas songs displaying on the street or in the mall. The most common decoration is probably a Christmas tree that most families have ones in their house. Some people buy their tree from their local street, some go to the Christmas tree farms and choose their favorite tree.
Christmas is a precious time that family members have great moments. They can make cookies, dinner meals, and do their own unique traditions for Christmas together. When all the family members gather for Christmas, they usually have a big and special meal. In addition to Christmas food, drinks are an indispensable part of Christmas celebrations. One of the really common drinks around Christmas is hot chocolate and mulled wine. Then it’s fun to watch a Christmas special on TV or do some interesting Christmas outdoor activities together. Some fun outdoor activities for Christmas include Christmas caroling, ice skating, hiking, snowboarding, visiting Christmas tree light ceremony, Christmas markets, and more.
Do these Christmas traditions sound familiar? It seems normal for those living in the US, and some countries. But it’s also weird for some nations. Each country has a different Christmas tradition. While some countries celebrate Christmas in a certain way, others have different ways around the world. Whatever country you look at, their traditions seem normal to them as it’s where they have grown up. Let’s delve a little deeper into how Christmas is celebrated in some countries and why they continue today.
What is the weirdest Christmas tradition?
Christmas tradition In Iceland- The Yule Cat
Have you ever wondered why you always buy a new outfit for the holidays? Perhaps it stems from the legend of Icelandic Yule Cat. The Jólakötturinn, or the Yule Cat, are not by the usual Christmas cats. Coming out and in the 19th century, this cat was extremely interested in fashion, so it would eat anyone on Christmas Eve if they didn’t have new clothes to wear. Yule is meant to encourage farmers to finish their shepherd before the holiday and to make something out of wool. Since then, every Christmas, Icelandic often give each other lovely sweaters.
Christmas Traditions In Greece- The legend of Kallikantzaros
It is told that during 12 days of Christmas, Kallikantzaros- evil goblins would appear from the core of the Earth, and their mission is to saw the world trees to terrorize each family. There is not a certain pattern of this goblin. Some areas describe them as small, others believe they are very large, but they’re typically black and hairy. At Christmas, they reach the Earth’s surface to cause night mischief across Yuletide and disappear on January 6 to return home.
Christmas Traditions In Austria- Krampus is here to scar your kids
Austrian kids are always scared whenever they hear about Krampus. In Austria and other Central European countries, it is believed that the demon Krampus punished bad kids. The form of this demon is very frightening with a half demon, half a goat. He is depicted with heavy iron chains. Austrians believe that Krampus together with his jovial colleague often visits homes on December 5 to attend the Feast of St. Nicholas.
In Austria, each Christmas season, a guy dresses up as Krampus and terrifies children in order to remind them if they’re a naughty girl or boy, Krampus will kidnap and eat them. Sounds scared, right?
Christmas Traditions In Japan- KFC is indispensable part
In addition to familiar traditions such as home decoration, giving Christmas gifts, the Japanese celebrate Christmas in their own way. The festival menu will be indispensable for KFC dishes. Even if you don’t understand Japanese, the Christmas menu’s pictures advertised on the KFC Japan website will appeal to you. A premium fried chicken party for Christmas is a delightful spot in sunrise country.
Besides, the Japanese refrain from giving or sending each other with red cards since they believe that only obituaries have red. So, instead of red cards like many other countries, they will give each other a white card like snowflakes, which symbolizes purity. There is another interesting fact that Santa Claus, known as Santa Kurohsu, has one eye on the back of his neck to observe spoiled children.
Christmas Traditions In Ireland- Treat Santa to Guinness beer and Mince Pie
Christmas in Ireland is quite similar to Christmas in America, but they still have a very interesting tradition of placing a high candle on the largest window sill of the house to light the way for travelers. The candle is lit after sunset on Christmas Eve and is supposed to burn down all night long. It represents the light that welcomes Mary and Joseph. If in the US, Santa Claus is often treated to milk and cookies, in Iceland, he will drink beer and Mince Pie. Guinness beer is a popular drink in Ireland.
Christmas Traditions In Norway- Hiding brooms And Not Cleaning
An informal but quite common Christmas tradition in Norway is that people hide brooms. Long ago, people believed that witches and evil spirits appeared on Christmas Eve and searched for brooms to ride. So, at Christmas, many people still clean and hide brooms in the safest place in their homes to prevent them from being stolen.
Christmas Traditions In Spanish- No Christmas is complete without the Caganer
Every nativity scene features a baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Three Wise Men. But in the Catalonia region in Spain, there will be a Caganer statue. Having been around since the early 18th century, Caganer has traditionally been depicted as a peasant defecating.
So, why include such a ridiculous scene depicting the birth of Jesus? It is believed that if the farmers didn’t include a caganer in the nativity scene, they would suffer a poor crop and bad fortune. Today the tradition is still continuing. Christmas markets are full of caganers with many new versions that feature many well- known faces such as soccer players, rock stars like Mick Jagger. How do you feel about the Spanish tradition?
Christmas Traditions In Netherlands- Sinterklaas is considered the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus
Like Germany, the biggest Christmas tradition during the holiday season in the Netherlands is St. Nicholas Day, known as Sinterklaas. It was December 6, but it was held the day before and started the first Saturday after 11/11. Sinterklaas goes to a city or town in the Netherlands and brings his servants, called “Zwarte Pieten”, and when they get off the boat to travel, all the local church bells will ring. Then Sinterklaas led a parade down the street and rode a white horse.
Children leave a shoe by the fireplace or windowsill and sing Sinterklaas’ songs, with the hope that he will visit them during the night with gifts. Hay and carrots also left in their shoes for the white horse to give them a chance to receive more gifts.
Christmas Traditions In Italy- La Befana is Santa Claus
One of the most unique Italian traditions is La Befana- an old witch dating back to the 13th century. It is celebrated after Christmas, on January 6, but still very important. The night before, on the 5th, La Befana walked on a magic broom to every house in Italy to bring gifts to the children. Like Santa Claus, she climbs down the chimney and gives candy to good kids. Naughty kids often receive coal, dark candy, or sticks. Children leave their Christmas socks and write notes for La Befana. Basically, La Befana is the Italian version of Santa Claus.
Christmas Traditions In Ukraine- Spiders in Christmas Trees
If you don’t like spiders, then you probably won’t be a fan of Ukraine’s Christmas tradition. The Ukrainian decorate the pine tree with spiders and cobwebs. Of course, there is a story behind it. According to Ukrainian legend, a poor widow and her children planted a pine for Christmas, then they realized they had nothing to decorate. When the spiders found the children crying, they decorated the tree with beautiful silk threads. Since then, they see spiders as a symbol of good luck in the new year.
Christmas Traditions In Sweden- Santa Claus would ride a straw goat instead of his sleigh
If Americans routinely celebrate Christmas by watching the Christmas movies, the Swedes wouldn’t have a complete holiday without Donald Duck. In 1958, Walt Disney released a special series called “Donald Duck and Friends Wishing You a Merry Christmas” which was broadcast on television, which attracted 40% of views nationwide. In Sweden, people preferred Donald Duck above all else over Mickey Mouse as usual.
Besides, In Sweden, there is Gävle Goat, which dates back to 1966. Gävle Goat is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat, originally used to attract people to shops and restaurants. It is always located in the center of Castle Square and is the largest straw goat in the world.
Christmas is the best time of the year for us to gather with our significant ones. Christmas traditions in different countries are also extremely diverse, with its own unique cultural colors. T-Shirt At Low Price hopes the post will be useful and make you clear about different Christmas traditions.