From Sweden to South Africa, everyone is getting in on the Santa action.
Jólabókaflóð, or giving books as gifts on Christmas Eve and then spending the rest of the night reading. This tradition has earned Iceland the distinction of publishing more books per capita than any other country. Iceland also has some fascinating Christmas folklore including the Yule Cat, a vicious feline who roams the countryside looking to eat children who didn't receive new clothes to wear on Christmas., is an annual tradition of
Leave the milk and cookies for the kids. In Ireland,a bottle of Guinness and mince pies. Some Irish households also put a large candle in their window on Christmas Eve, letting it burn all night to symbolically welcome Mary and Joseph.
If you’ve ever felt that fear and dread were missing from your yuletide revelry, look no further than Austria’s . Participants dress up as the mythological goat-beast who beats children that are on the naughty list and march through the streets.
It's a common tradition to give apples during this time of year because the Chinese word for Christmas Eve (Ping An Ye) is similar to their word for apple (Ping Guo.)
A giant straw sculpture of a is created each year in Gävle, Sweden at the start of the holiday season. According to local folklore, the Yule goat is an invisible spirit who oversees people’s Christmas preparations. It has also become a bit of a tradition for vandals to try and destroy the Gävle Goat throughout the month. The have succeeded 37 times since the first Gävle Goat appeared in 1966.
In some regions of Spain, people often include ato provide some levity to their Christmas nativity. The caganer is a statue (sometimes of a famous person) who is...pooping. The figure represents fertility and good fortune. The tradition has also spread to parts of Portugal and Southern Italy as well.
The Welsh custom involves a group carrying decorative horse skulls while going from door to door (or pub to pub) requesting access to people’s homes through song. If they are granted entry, they can enjoy tasty apps, but if they’re denied, they keep trying until one side backs down. The horse is likely an homage to Epona, a goddess of fertility in medieval Welsh folklore who was also known as the protector of horses and is depicted riding a shimmering white one.
take turns decorating one of their windows each day leading up to Christmas and when your house’s day comes up, you're expected to host a party for the villagers.have become annual traditions in some Swiss towns. Houses
Finnish people like tofor the holidays. It's a common practice for people to unwind in a sauna on Christmas Eve after a long day of festivities.
KFC ran an in Japan in 1974 with the slogan “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (meaning "Kentucky for Christmas!") and the people were into it. The chain offers a full holiday dinner (complete with a commemorative Christmas plate) for around 3,980 yen or $39.
Some Children in Englandto Santa in the fireplace instead of mailing them. The travels out the chimney all the way to the North Pole where the big guy reads the message in the smoke.
Greek folklore includes tales of known as Kallikantzaroi. The creatures live underground all year, but come out of hiding during the 12 days of Christmas to cause mischief. Superstitious people can protect their homes by leaving a colander on their doorstep (the goblins get confused when they count the holes) or by marking their door with a black cross.
Norwegian children believe that Santa gets delivering gifts from gnomes called Nisse. Some even leave a bowl of rice porridge for the Nisse who guards the farm animals.
annual holiday tradition in Oaxaca, Mexico, held on December 23 in the town’s Christmas market. It involves people carving scenes out of oversized radishes and competing for prizes.is an
Costa Rica’s lanterns on display.has only been a holiday tradition for 20 years, but people come from all over the world to be part of the luminous parade with spectacular floats and
Children in South Africa are cookies left out for Santa. Danny’s ghost haunts people’s homes on Christmas.of a little boy named Danny who was killed by his own grandmother for stealing
Bulgaria takes caroling very seriously. Carolers, called koledari, are usually groups of young men (led by one elder) dressed in traditional attire who travel from house to house starting at midnight on Christmas Eve. The local myth is that these singers possess the power to chase away demons and bad energy through song on this one night each year. They don’t stop singing until sunrise.
Some homes in the United States have adapted a tradition of hiding ain their Christmas tree. It's believed to bring good fortune to whoever finds it. The idea of the Christmas pickle comes from a story about an American Civil War soldier who was being held captive on Christmas Eve and was given a pickle by a guard who took pity on him.
People in Venezuela get in a little Christmas cardio between December 16 and December 24. Roads are closed in Caracas (the capital of Venezuela) so people canto early morning mass.
It’s all about lunch in Denmark. The rice pudding dessert that has an almond inside. Whoever finds the almond wins a prize.is a gathering of friends or colleagues that centers around festive food, drinks, and songs. One Julefrokost staple is a
December 25 may be Christmas, but most of the holiday fun in Holland happens on leaves presents for all of the children that night.or St. Nicholas Eve. Sinterklaas
Children in the Czech Republic are not allowed to open their gifts until they hear the ring, which signifies that baby Jesus has come and left presents for them.
Haitian children wait until nightfall on Christmas Eve to light upwhich are sparklers or other fireworks.
Argentinian Christmas begins with the on Christmas Eve which turns into an all-night affair as revelers celebrate with family and friends into the wee hours.
Children in South Korea love Grandpa Santa (or Santa Harabujee). Businesses hire people to dress as Santa to greet customers and give out treats. However, when it comes to exchanging gifts with loved ones, money is actually the most popular gift every year.
Toronto kicks off the holiday season with their annual Santa Claus Parade, which has been going on since 1913. More than 500,000 people attend this televised event.
The wreaths are usually made of straw or twigs and candles symbolizing hope, joy, love, and peace are added to the display once a week during the 25 days leading up to Christmas.is a huge part of . The
There’s no curfew on open up their presents at midnight and then show off their new toys to friends throughout the early morning hours.. Children