Christmas is just around the corner and this week the blog post is about Christmas traditions all over the world. Someone excited like me??????
As you may know or not, I was born and raised in Italy but my origin is Filipino, so to experience the different traditions between Italy and Philippines I felt very lucky.
Here are the top 10 Christmas traditions that in my opinion are worth to experience at least once in a lifetime:
- The legend of the Christmas spider in Ukraine where finding a spider or a spider’s web on a Christmas tree is considered good luck. Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with ornaments in the shape of a spider and artificial spider webs.
- The Christmas pickle in Germany and United States. In the tradition, an ornamental pickle is placed on a Christmas tree as one of the Christmas decorations. On Christmas morning, the first child to find the pickle on the tree would receive an extra present from Santa Claus or would be said to have a year of good fortune.
- Hiding the broom in Norway. Norwegians long ago believed that witches and mischievous spirits come out on Christmas Eve and would steal their brooms for riding.
- Krampus in Austria. In folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as half-goat, half-demon, who, during the Christmas season, punishes children who have misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards the well-behaved with gifts. Thousands of people gather in Hollabrunn Market Square, Austria, to watch more than 120 Krampus impersonators take to the streets.
- Gävle goat in Sweden. The Gävle Goat, a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat made of straw, is a traditional Christmas display erected annually by local community groups and has become famous for being destroyed in arson attacks during December.
- The Giant Lantern Festival is an annual festival held in December in the Philippines. The festival features a competition of giant lanterns.
- Noche de las Velitas in Colombia. It is celebrated on December 7, on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, which is a public holiday in Colombia. This day is the unofficial start of the Christmas season in the country. On this night, people place candles and paper lanterns everywhere they can be seen, in honor of the Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception. On December 8, it is customary for houses to hoist a white flag with the image of the Virgin Mary all day.
- In Caracas, the capital and largest city of Venezuela, there is a unique custom to roller-skate to local churches to attend the Misa de Aguinaldo (“Early morning mass”). Because of this, many neighborhoods close the streets to cars until 8 a.m.
- Caganer or “the shitter” is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia. Another tradition is the Tió de Nadal is a log long about thirty centimeters with a broad smiling face painted and it consists in children that must take good care of the log, keeping it warm and feeding it, so that it will defecate presents on Christmas Day.
- KFC dinner in Japan. Over the last four decades, KFC has managed to make fried chicken synonymous with Christmas in the country. Millions of Japanese families eat KFC during the Christmas season and millions of people weather long lines to order fried chicken weeks in advance to carry on the tradition.
Unusual huh? Did you know about these christmas traditions and have you experienced one of them? What are other Christmas tradition that you do with you family?