Hey you all!
Sometimes we all want something different. Something new, something to give our boring old live a much-needed breath and sometimes we have to break free from old traditions to learn to value them again.
December already started and with it also the beginning of the Advents Season. Nowadays Christmas gets celebrated all over the world. Some celebrations are more, others are less religious.
But no matter where you are, they always are people coming together and celebrating family, friends and love. And I think there is nothing more wonderful.
So I did a bit of digging and figured I give you the my personal 10 favorite amazing Christmas Traditions around the World!
But this year I am actually looking forward to being at home with my family, after I have been away the last 9 months^^ But this is not about me 😉
Here are 10 amazing Christmas traditions from around the Globe!
For everybody who needs a bit of change and Inspiration or is simply curious about the rest of the world =)
This one sounds like fun. After a barbeque on christmas eve, the party starts. Around midnight you will be able to see a lot of fireworks lighting up the sky. Another great tradition are the so-called “globos”, lanterns with a small light, floating up into the sky. Instead of silent night, christmas is a loud and colorful party. A true celebration of live!
Let’s stay on that side of the world and move farther north. Canada has more christmas traditions then any other place, due to the immigrant history. In the end it is up to you to pick 😉 From the largest Santa Claus Parade in Toronto, to the Belsnickeling tradition in Nova Scotia where people dress up in funny Santa Claus Costumes and make the house owner guess who they are and sing songs in exchange for cake or so-called “Taffy Pull” which are party’s for Singles in honor of Saint Catherine, the saint of Single Woman. Prefer Ice Sculptures? Head to Labrador in Newfoundland (this makes me smile…kinda doggy those names…pun indended 😉 ) And I don’t have to mention the stunning christmas threes, great scenery and definitive a snow christmas!
With such a diversity of cultural groups Ghana offers quite a lot of activities starting from the 20th of December until the 6th of January. But what I really want to see is their church service on Christmas Eve. Because instead of sitting around, they all start singing and dancing. Sometimes these services go all night long. Dance into Christmas, how awesome is that?!
4. Palestinian Territories
We can’t really leave the origin of Christmas out of the list can we? Even though just 20 percent are Christians, Christmas gets celebrated. In Bethlehem there is a parade through the streets and a church Service in the Church of Nativity, which is supposed to be on the spot where Jesus was born. I think there is no better place to go back to the roots and the actual meaning of Christmas. I am not religious, but I think experiencing this event would be a pretty unforgettable experience.
This is for everybody who want to celebrate Christmas twice. Most people belong to the Orthodox church, so Christmas falls onto the 7th of January. But it really starts on the 5th with people meeting in the parks around bonfires. On Christmas Eve the food is vegetarian or has seafood. The next day is the church service and the official Christmas Feast, with meat. (I never knew so many country’s fast before christmas). Macedonia is great if you are interested in getting a peak into the another Christian Community, but best if you know some locals to celebrate with.
Another country which fast during Christmas Eve (until the evening feast which is meatless). They put Straw under the tablecloth. If a long and thin one sticks out and you pull it out it means you will have a long life, short one -short life and a thick one means a rich and plentiful life. They also set an extra plate for family member who passed away or couldn’t come and invite people who otherwise would be all alone. This I think is a wonderful tradition. Nobody should have to be alone, while everybody celebrates. Again a place where it is nicer to know some body, but then I have seen the most amazing celebrations in Hostels, some places just make you feel like family 😉
7. New Zealand
From cold back to the warmth. Who doesn’t like Christmas on the Beach? There are Christmas Parades and the kids leave Santa beer and pineapple instead of milk and cookies. The big city’s have Christmas light shows and Christmas Dinner is again a barbeque. I’d say let’s get the grill fired, this sounds fun =)
While Japan has a few Christians, it doesn’t really get celebrated for religious reasons. It is heavy commercialised and most japanese families will have KFC for Christmas Dinner. Thank you advertisement for letting them think westerners eat KFC instead of Roast Turkey or Ham xD The rest is more about the romantic aspects. Try not to be Single during that time, because Christmas became a bit like a second Valentines Day. But why not Japan gives the whole Christmas Season for sure an interesting twist ^^
The scenery is equally stunning as Canada. One can easily imagine Santa Claus flying over the wilderness with his sled. But the actual event I would like to see is the Saint Lucia Festival on the 13th of December. The shortest Day of the Year got turned from the original Pagan Festival of Lights into a Christian Event. In theend it’s lots of Christmas Carols, but I bet it really gets you into a nice Christmas mood. Then on Christmas Eve the families have a Julbord which is a cold buffet with awesome food- smoked salmon anybody? And then for some very strange reason everybody watches Donald Duck in the afternoon. Also they have straw goats protecting the Christmas Tree and Gävle has a giant one since 1966. But it usually gets burned down by Vandals. It just survived a total of 12 times the Christmas Season. I can already picture myself renting a cabin in Sweden.
The last country on my list. Christmas Dinner consist of Seafood and later on everybody goes to the midnight service. Afterwards the fun starts with people singing and carrying torches through the streets. Catalonia has another strange custom. They have a log on two legs, called the “Caga Tio” -Pooping Log. From the 8th on it gets “fed” Sweets and little presents. On Christmas then it gets beaten with a stick for digestion to drop its gifts through a small hole. Whatever that meaning is I do not know…but it would be worth going there to find it out ;D
An add on…if you are in Brunei or North Korea (which will be pretty difficult to get to anyway), don’t even think about celebrating Christmas or putting up a tree. It’s strictly forbidden! In Brunei you can go to jail!
Where did I find all of these information?
There is a brilliant page called www.whychristmas.com which has a list of all countries and lots of other information about Christmas Traditions and Food.
I hope this gave you some ideas about where to spent Christmas next and remember no matter where you are and if you are religious or not, it is never wrong to celebrate love, friendship, peace and family.
Wishing you a merry christmas time and sending you my love no matter where you are!
Ps. Where would you want to celebrate Christmas once? Or which countries would you recommend? Feel free to share your tips and stories^^
PPS. All of the pictures used are Stock pictures and not my own. Just to let you know…usually I just use my own pictures unless stated otherwise! =)