Christmas preparations can be witnessed from the first week of December around the globe. There are various events and celebrations that take place everywhere. You might have also started planning for the parties, gifts, dishes, etc. Children are excited to decorate the Christmas tree and awaits Santa for the exciting gifts. These are very common Christmas scenarios that we see around us. But, not all the countries celebrate this day in the same way. Every country has its tradition and practice that they follow during this festive season. They have different beliefs, customs, stories, that are very old and are part of their merrymaking.
Let us take a look at some of the unique Christmas traditions around the world:
As 80% of people in the Philippines are Catholic, the highest in any Asian country, so Christmas is an important occasion here. Every year, Great Lantern Festival is held in the San Fernando city on Saturday before Christmas where people from many villages take part and compete to make the giant and most beautiful lanterns. Due to this, the city is also known as the Christmas capital of Philippines. Many tourists from all over the world visit the country to be a part of this festival.
Christmas is famous for fun and feast, but Austria has one terrifying tradition. In the first week of December, many young men impersonate as Krampus, an evil companion of Santa. Krampus is a horned creature who is half-goat and half-demon, and people believe that he punishes and beats the naughty children and put them in a woven wicker basket on his back.
Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, it is celebrated as the day of happiness and romance. But, the feast in KFC is very popular here ever since Kentucky Fried Chicken stated its Christmas Chicken Campaign in 1974. Now, it has become a tradition here, and families go there to eat chicken on this day.
Long-ago, it was believed in Norway that on 25th December all the witches and evil spirits come out and take away the brooms from their homes to ride on them. So due to this superstition, Norwegians still hide their brooms at the safest place in their homes.
Although Christmas is celebrated on 25th December in Italy, gifts are exchanged on the day of Epiphany, i.e., 6th January. It is believed that night before, an old lady ‘La Befana’ gives gifts and toys to the children just like Santa. So kids hang their shoes and socks to be filled by the lady. There is a famous story that La Befana refused to join the three wise men to see Jesus. Later, she regretted her decision but could never find the baby, so now she leaves the gifts for other children.
In Iceland, 13 yule lads visit children in the thirteen days that leads to Christmas and give presents and sweets just like Santa. They are mischievous fellows who drop gifts in the socks according to the behavior of the child on that particular day. Each one of them has different names and personalities.
Even though every country has different traditions and customs on Christmas but the celebrations are meant to bring joy and happiness everywhere. We hope that you enjoyed reading about the unique practices that are followed in different countries and this Christmas would bring success in your life.
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