Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and this festival is being celebrated with a lot of colors and shine in every corner of the world. The world takes on a magical glow in the end month of every year. All people seem merrier and for most the people winter becomes cozy. While celebrating a festival, like as at Christmas or other occasions everyone performs some rituals or customs and that particular celebration makes the holiday season so special. All favorite Christmas traditions around the world are celebrated in a loud and proud way, and guarantee oodles of festive fun.
- Philippines’ Giant Lantern Festival
The Ligligan Parul Sampernandu or commonly known as the Giant Lantern Festival is held each year in the city of San Fernando on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. The city is famous with the title of “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.” The spectators from all over the world visit the city to see the charm of the festival. Eleven villages or barangays take part in the Festival celebration. A competition is organized which makes everyone fierce and they pitch in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. The original lanterns were a simple creation with a two feet in diameter. It is made from Japanese origami paper, usually named as papel de hapon and then these are lit by the candle. Nowadays, the lanterns are made from a variety of material. Its size has also grown to 20 feet. The new lanterns are now illuminated by electric bulbs and these leaves a sparkle in the kaleidoscopic pattern.
- Gavle Goat at Sweden
In the history of 48 years, specifically since 1966. A tradition in which a 43-foot-tall Yule Goat has been built every year in the center of Gavle’s Castle Square for the Advent. This is a Swedish tradition of celebrating Christmas which has unwittingly led to another “tradition” of sorts. The common people of the city try to burn it down. Till now, the Goat has been burned down 26 times successfully and the most recent destruction was done in 2013. The goat fair usually celebrated on 1st December every year.
- Krampus in Austria
St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice, Krampus which is a beast-like creature normally called as demon roams the city streets to frighten kids and punish the bad ones. Many get an illusion of Halloween by seeing such activities, but it’s a unique way of celebration done at Christmas. According to a tradition in Austria, St. Nicholas rewards nice little children for their good deeds, whereas Krampus is said to do the opposite, he captures the naughtiest children to whisk them away in his sack. On the very first week of December, the people of Austria celebrate the eve of St. Nicholas as St. Nicholas Day. On this day, young men of the society dress up as the Krampus and frighten the children with clattering chains and bells.
- Celebration of Saint Nicholas’ Day in Germany
Somewhat similar to Krampus in Austria, German people also celebrate the day of Saint Nicholas’. People usually get confused with Father of Christmas “Weihnachtsmann” by seeing this festival, but it’s slightly different from that. Saint Nikolas travels by a donkey on December 6 nearby midnight and he leaves small treats for good children like as coins, chocolate, oranges, and toys. He leaves the treat in the shoes of children all over Germany. The festival is particularly celebrated in the Bavarian region. St. Nicholas also visits the children in schools or at their home. The children recite a poem, sing a song or draw a picture in exchange of sweets and candies. St. Nick often brings Farmhand Rupert or Knecht Ruprecht along with him. Knecht Ruprecht is a devilish character dressed in dark clothes which are covered with bells and he has a dirty beard as well. Knecht Ruprecht uses to carry a small whip or a stick in his hand which he uses to punish mischievous children.
- Japan’s Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner
Christmas was an unknown day in Japan and Japanese have never considered it as a big deal. For Japanese people, Christmas was a small and a secular tradition of gift-giving and lighting. Due to this Christmas remained largely a novelty in the country. But now, a new and quirky “tradition” has emerged here in recent years. A Christmas Day feast organized by the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken. The festive menu is a delicious feast for satisfying your taste buds.
- The Yule Lads of Iceland
13 is a celebrating number in Iceland as 13 days before Christmas a play is conducted in Iceland. In the play, 13 characters dress up as rascals and come out in the market of Iceland. The group of 13 persons called as Yule Lads and they visit the children across the country for 13 nights, which leads up to Christmas and it’s called as Yuletide. During the each night of Yuletide and children place their best shoes on the window so that different Yule Lads can visit them and leave gifts for nice boys and girls. Whereas, they leave rotting potatoes for those who are naughty.
- Unorthodox belief of Norway
Norway has the most unorthodox tradition of celebrating Christmas eve. People in Norway hide their brooms as a tradition. The tradition dates back centuries, which people believe till now. According to people believe witches and evil spirits come out on Christmas Eve and look for brooms to ride on. People believe this tradition yet.
- Lighting of National Hanukkah Menorah in Washington, D.C.
The Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday and it’s celebrated across the United States with much fanfare. It’s one of the most elaborate events which takes place on a national stage. From 1979, a giant Menorah of 30 ft has been raised on the grounds of the White House for the eight days and nights of Hanukkah. The ceremony in Washington, D.C. is marked at extreme levels with speeches, music, and activities for kids. The lighting of the Menorah is a special attention.
- Venezuela’s roller-blading
Do you have a love for Christmas and craze for roller blading at the same time? If the answer is yes, then Caracas is the right place for you, and visit Venezuela on Christmas eve. At every Christmas Eve, the residents of the city head to church in the early morning as normal, but the difference is that they cover the distance on roller-skates. This is a unique tradition and popular as well that all the roads across the city remain closed for cars. The roads are closed for the safety of people so that they can skate to church in safely.
- Day of the Little Candles, Colombia
Día de las Velitas or Little Candles’ Day is a celebration marked at the start of the Christmas season across Colombia. The celebration is done in the honor of the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception. The people of Colombia place candles and paper lanterns in their windows, front yards, even as balconies. This tradition of lighting candles has enlightened the entire country.