Have you ever wondered what the holiday season looks like in other countries? Here is your glimpse into 5 traditional Christmas celebrations around the world.
An Icelandic Christmas is not complete without Yule Lads. Each night for thirteen nights leading up to Christmas, children in Iceland place a shoe by their bedroom window. During the night, one of the thirteen troll-like Yulemen visits and leaves a gift based on the child’s behaviour that day. If they wake up to candy, they were good, but if they wake up to a rotting potato, well we’ll let you guess..
Santa’s red winter coat with white fur trim becomes a bathing suit because Christmas is a summer holiday in Australia! Instead of turkey dinners and skating, traditions include barbecued prawns and surfing. Boxing day is often celebrated by watching one of two annual events - a cricket game in Melbourne or the Hobart Yacht Race in Sydney. While most traditions are centered around warm temperatures, Australians still love to go carolling.
Christmas in the Philippines is a 4 month celebration starting in September, and aside from the length is quite similar to a North American Christmas. Family gathers from all over to celebrate with each other and eat the traditional Christmas dinner, Noche Buena, which features a roasted pig. Handmade parols (star-shaped lanterns) are made each year and often line the streets of most cities, but you can’t miss the lights in San Fernando where Ligligan Parul Sampernandu (The Giant Lantern Festival) is held.
Routed in rich history, Christmas is mainly celebrated from December 16th-25th when firecrackers and bells fill the morning air to wake everyone up. In the capital of Caracas, streets are shut down to cars and citizens roller blade or roller skate to church to attend mass. Yes, you read that right - roller skate. Christmas dinner traditionally consists of tamales and “pan de jamon” which is a bread baked with ham and raisins.
Christmas Eve is seen as a romantic holiday similar to Valentine’s Day, while the rest of the season focuses on spreading happiness, and is filled with mesmerizing light displays and Christmas markets. Possibly the most unique tradition on this list though is Christmas dinner in Japan. “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii” or “Kentucky for Christmas” - KFC is the most popular meal served during the holidays.
Contact us if you’d like to spend your next Christmas in any of these destinations!