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Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World: A Festive Journey

Unwrapping Unique Christmas Traditions

The holiday season is a time for joy, and around the world, countries have woven their unique traditions into the festive tapestry. Join us as we unwrap a selection of charming and intriguing customs that you might want to incorporate into your own holiday celebrations.

Japan’s Finger-Lickin’ Christmas

In Japan, Christmas and KFC go hand in hand. The three-letter magic word is “KFC,” as people flock to the American fast-food chain to indulge in “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” or “Kentucky For Christmas!” This tradition originated from a marketing campaign in 1974 and continues to this day. KFC registers its highest sales volume every year on Christmas Eve.

Spain’s “El Gordo” Lottery Extravaganza

Spain’s festive season kicks off with “El Gordo” or “The Fat One” – the Spanish National Lottery’s grand event. Held on December 22, it offers the biggest prize money of the year. People gather with stacks of lottery tickets, hoping to win big. Choirs of schoolchildren traditionally sing the lottery numbers, turning it into a nationwide celebration.

Catalonia’s Whimsical Christmas Log

In Catalonia, Spain, holiday gifts arrive via Tió de Nadal or the Christmas log. This unique tradition involves a piece of wood decorated with a face and legs. The log is not only a bearer of gifts but also gets “fed” at night and tucked in with a blanket. However, the quirky part is that on Christmas Eve, families gather to beat the log with sticks until it “poops” presents and candies, earning it the nickname “Caga Tió”.

Norway’s Broom-Hiding Superstition

In Norway, the Christmas season involves hiding your brooms and mops. This isn’t to shirk cleaning duties but to ward off evil spirits believed to roam freely on Christmas Eve. Norwegians take precautions to prevent these mischievous spirits from stealing brooms and going on joyrides in the Christmas night sky.

Ukraine’s Christmas Spider

In Ukraine, Christmas trees are adorned with ornaments resembling spider webs. This charming tradition stems from a tale of a poor woman who couldn’t afford decorations. When she woke up on Christmas morning, her tree was covered in sparkling spider webs. This tradition is believed to bring good luck and is also observed in countries like Poland and Germany.

Santa’s Canadian Address

Santa Claus has a real address in Canada: Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0, Canada. Children from around the world can send him letters in over 30 languages, including Braille, by December 16, and receive a reply. It’s a heartwarming tradition that highlights the spirit of giving.

santa claus

Germany’s Christmas Pickle

Hidden within many Christmas trees worldwide is a pickle-shaped ornament. In countries like Germany and the United States, finding this pickle means you get an extra present or good fortune. The origins of this quirky tradition are mysterious, but the promise of an extra gift makes it all the more fun.

Star-Gazing in Ukraine and Poland

In parts of Ukraine and Poland, the youngest child watches the evening sky on Christmas Eve. They wait for the first star to appear, signaling that it’s time to open presents. If it’s overcast, someone in the family usually decides when the time is right to begin the festivities.

Predicting the Future with Pudding

In Slovakia and parts of Ukraine, pudding plays a unique role during the holidays. The oldest male family member takes a spoonful of loksa pudding and throws it at the ceiling. The amount of pudding that sticks is believed to predict the family’s luck in the coming year, adding a dash of fun and fortune-telling to the celebrations.

Sweden’s Donald Duck Special

An essential Swedish tradition is the Christmas “Donald Duck Special.” A one-hour TV show airs on Christmas Eve at 3 p.m., and it’s such a beloved tradition that all other festivities are planned around it. Families gather to watch the show, making it a cherished part of the holiday season.

Iceland’s Christmas Cat

Meet Jólakötturinn, the Icelandic Christmas cat. While it may sound cute, this “Christmas Police” member is anything but. Legend has it that Jólakötturinn eats children who haven’t done their chores and didn’t receive new clothes for Christmas. A whimsically dark addition to the holiday season!

Venezuela’s Christmas Roller Skating

Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, takes a unique approach to Christmas mass: roller skating! People don roller skates and glide their way to the church for the Christmas Eve service. Certain areas of the city are even closed off to ensure a safe and festive roller skating experience.

The Philippines and the ‘Ber’ Months

In the Philippines, the Christmas season kicks off early with the start of the ‘Ber’ months: September, October, November, and December. This is the longest Christmas celebration in the world, and it’s filled with vibrant parades, sumptuous feasts, and colourful lanterns illuminating the streets.

Celebrate Global Festivity

These unique Christmas traditions from around the world offer a delightful twist to the holiday season. To celebrate Christmas in the Lower Mainland, there is no better place than Glow Langley! Marvel at the twinkling lights, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Merry Maker’s Market, sing along with our festive live performances 🌍✨ Merge the global traditions we’ve explored into your celebration and make Glow Langley a new, cherished tradition. Joy, laughter, and a world of Christmas excitement await you! 🎄🎉 Buy your tickets to Glow Langley today.

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