Christmas Traditions Around the World

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Christmas Traditions Around the World

Amber Tingue, Contributor

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Coming up, is the great holiday of Christmas which has been celebrated for thousands of years. Different countries have their own ways of celebrating this joyous day from festivals to spending time with family.

In the United States, people tend to spend time with their families and reminisce about old family traditions. The holidays come along with drinking hot chocolate, listening to Christmas music, decorating homes with lights and trees, getting into a jolly spirit, and awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus for little ones. Other places have similar customs, although many countries have traditions unfamiliar to those in America.

In the Philippines, a Great lantern Festival is held in the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines” where many different villages come together and light their lanterns. In the past, these lanterns were made out of simple paper and lit by a candle. Today these lanterns are made out of various colorful materials, as well as lit with an electric bulb.

In Austria, an iconic character, by the name of Krampus, roams the streets. This is supposed to be the evil side of St. Nicholas who terrifies children and punishes the misbehaved. Men dress up in costumes to take on the appearance of Krampus to terrorize people with the sound of loud bells in the first week of December.

In Finland, Christmas takes on a different form. Instead of Santa Claus, they have a Christmas goat. This is also a season celebrated by the animals, as farmers hang seeds and bags of nuts on the trees for the birds. People tend to visit the cemeteries to visit their loved ones as well. The cemeteries become decorated with glowing lanterns and offerings for lost family members. It almost turns into a winter wonderland at the graveyard.

In Japan, the celebration of Christmas has never been a big deal besides the basic exchange of presents and decorations. However, in recent years, the tradition of a KFC Japanese dinner has started. The KFC in Japan has added delicious items to their menu with images that will appeal to those who may not be able to read Japanese.

In Germany, their celebration of St. Nicholas’ Day is similar to that of Christmas in America. This character leaves sweets, coins and little coins in the shoes of good children. In exchange, the kids must read poems or sing songs for what St. Nicholas has given him. However, there is a twist to the normal Christmas known in America. St. Nicholas brings and evil accomplice, Knecht Ruprecht, that whips the disobedient children.

In some countries, strange traditions exist. For instance, in Norway individuals hide their brooms to prevent them from being stolen on Christmas Eve. This tradition first arose when people believed that witches existed. Also, in Venezuela, the people go to church on Christmas Eve like some regularly do. They do so on roller skates or roller blades, and then go home for a festive dinner of tamales. In Ireland, towns folk place large candles in their window sills at night to welcome Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus, and wish people “Nollaig Shona” which means “Merry Christmas”.

Disregarding all the different traditions people still seem to come together during the holidays over the theme of fellowship. Christmas was originally celebrated on the account of the birth of Jesus Christ. However, no matter what religion people are there is still a holiday celebration for them. Traditions are a fun part of the holidays, but the best part of the Christmas season is the joy that people truly get to experience and also what people are able to give to others.

 

 

 

Sources: https://www.greetingcardpoet.com/christmas-around-the-world/

Sources: https://www.momondo.com/discover/article/christmas-traditions-around-the-world

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Amber Tingue, Contributor

My name is Amber and no one takes me seriously. I am also a victim to playful and loving bullying by Rhys and Caiden. (They sometimes apologize so it's...

1 Comment

One Response to “Christmas Traditions Around the World”

  1. Matthew Evangelista on December 20th, 2018 9:41 pm

    Well done

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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