The birth of Christ is celebrated all over the world, even in countries that are not predominantly Christian. If you often wonder how they celebrate the festive season of Christmas in different parts of the world, read on.
Austrian Santa’s helper
If you like things on the dark side, spend Christmas in Austria and see the scary Santa’s helper, by the name of ‘Krampus’ a devilish creature that prowls the streets looking for naughty children. People dress up to scare folk and there’s even a Krampus parade in Vienna, which is well worth a visit if you happen to be in Austria for Christmas.
Cobwebs in Ukraine
Ukrainians like to put up decorations that mimic spider webs, which gives an eerie look to Christmas. This tradition involves an ancient story of a poor widow who didn’t have any money to decorate her tree and because of this, the spiders span webs all over the tree to create a spectacular display for her children. Perhaps, for this reason, spider webs are considered good fortune in Ukraine culture. You can also find the more traditional practices these days such as Christmas lights in the streets along with many parades and processions.
Roller skates in Caracas
The capital city of Venezuela is host to perhaps the only place where people celebrate Christmas by gathering together for a roller skating party. On Christmas morning, people head to the centre of the city and traffic is halted at 8:00 am, if you happen to be in South America, this is a must-see.
In Finland, it is traditional for the family to strip off on Christmas Eve and sit in the sauna for as long as they can before jumping into a nice brisk lake. A cold plunge is more than a little refreshing and for the Finns, a sauna before the evening celebrations is traditional. This is most definitely an invigorating experience that everyone should try at least once in their lives. As well as the sauna, you will also find large scented candles and a Christmas light or two in most homes and town centres.
Shoes by the fire in Netherlands
Dutch children leave their shoes near the fire in the hope that Santa will fill them with sweets and other goodies. This typically starts 7 days before Christmas Day and the old tradition was, if a child had been behaving badly, Santa would leave a potato in their shoes. Most parents are happy to provide candy in the days leading up to Christmas Day and the potato thing died a death many years ago!
Straw goat in Sweden
An ancient tale of a Yule goat being used in pagan times eventually morphed into the construction of a huge straw goat, known as the Gavle goat. Such is the popularity of the burning of the Gavle goat, the event is livestreamed, Google search can help you find the live stream or past videos.
Giant Lantern Festival in Philippines
A Catholic country will celebrate Christ’s birthday in many wonderful ways and one of those is the Giant Lantern Festival, held in the Philippines. San Fernando is the venue and the lanterns are out of this world! Indeed, wherever you are in this country, Christmas is celebrated, with a midnight mass held in every church in the nation.
If you are staying at home this year, search online for a Christmas Elves Christmas decoration supplier and make your home one that reflects the season of love.