We’re now halfway through Blogmas and I’m happy to say I made it this far. It’s been interesting to see the different engagement on my posts and people joining in The Christmas Tag and reading their answers to the questions. This got me thinking (dangerous, I know) about how other people around the world celebrate over the festive period. I’ve done some research into Christmas traditions around the world and I’ve picked out a few which I thought I would share with you.
Now, I love a good Boneless Banquet as much as the next person, but a KFC for Christmas dinner seems a little strange. Each to their own though. As the festive holiday isn’t a big thing in Japan, they only have a few small traditions like giving gifts and a display of fairy lights. But in recent years they enjoy a feast of the Colonel’s finest finger lickin’ chicken.
This was definitely the strangest one I came across. An evil accomplice of St Nicholas, Krampus is a demon-like creature that terrifies the children of Austria by wandering the streets at night and punishing the ones that have been bad. While St Nicholas rewards the good girls and boys, Krampus allegedly takes the naughtiest kids away in his sack. So naturally, the tradition here is for young men to dress up as the beast during the first week of December and frighten the children with rattling bells and chains.
Saint Nicholas’ Day (Sankt Nikolaus Tag), Germany
On December 5th Nikolaus travels through the night leaving little treats such as coins, oranges, toys and chocolates in the shoes of good girls and boys over Germany. For those who have been naughty, Nikolaus brings along his assistant Knecht Ruprecht, a devil-like character who wears dark clothes with bells and carries a stick or small whip. He leaves a piece of coal for the children who have misbehaved throughout the year.
Cemetery vigil, Finland
Finnish people traditionally mark Christmas with a family gathering on Christmas Eve and eat before Santa’s arrival. After eating, families head to cemeteries in a touching tribute to light candles for their loved ones who have passed, which I think is lovely.
Gävle Goat, Sweden
A Swedish Christmas tradition comes in that of a 13 metre tall goat that is placed in the centre of Gävle’s Castle Square to mark Advent. However, people have been trying to burn the goat down and have managed to do this 29 times which people now see as the new tradition.
If you’re intrigued by other Christmas traditions around the world, there are plenty more of them to read up on. Which one do you find the most interesting? What Christmas traditions does your country partake in?