Merry Christmas to All: Christmas Traditions Around the World
Every family has their own Christmas traditions that they carry out during the holiday season. Maybe it’s the white elephant game you play every year, signing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve, or going to Christmas mass. We all have our own ways of celebrating the joyful holiday.
While Christmas traditions generally look the same everywhere, many countries have their own traditions that we may not be familiar with. From different types of food being served to different Christmas activities, celebrations vary for everyone. Regardless of how we celebrate, the importance of the holiday is to enjoy it with our loved ones. To get everyone in the holiday spirit, if you aren’t already, here are some unique Christmas traditions from all over the world!
Finding the Pickle
This is a tradition that is well-known. It is attributed to Germany and has even made its way to the United States. Apparently, someone hides a pickle in the tree and the first child who finds it gets an extra present, while the first adult who finds it gets good luck for the next year. While it was said to be a real pickle once upon a time, people now just use a pickle ornament.
This is a Venezuelan tradition and is where residents go to Christmas mass on roller skates. It is said that so many people participate in this tradition that several city streets are closed due to high amounts of roller blading traffic.
Everyone knows what a piñata is, and that the papier-mâché figures filled with candy come from Mexico. But while some might think these are reserved for birthdays, piñatas make an appearance on all holidays in the country. During Christmas, they add additional sparkles to celebrate.
Spotting the Christmas Star
In Poland, spotting the Christmas star, or the very first star shining on Christmas Eve, is very important. When the first star shines is when Polish families decide it’s time to eat their Christmas feasts. So, if you’re hungry on Christmas Eve, you need to keep your eyes peeled on the night sky!
Surfing with Santa
Christmas in Australia is like no other, because it is their summer season and not winter. In Australia, many celebrate Christmas by surfing all day, then heading back to the house for a Christmas barbecue.
The Yule Goat
In Sweden, the animal that represents Christmas is not a reindeer, but actually a yule goat. It goes all the way back to the 11th century, where the yule goat figure was used to ward off the devil. Now, it’s seen as ornaments on Christmas trees or in Christmas decorations.
You may have seen these before, as they are somewhat popular in the United States. But in England, crackers are colorful cardboard tubes filled with candy, mini-gifts, paper crowns, and other little goodies. When you twist and pull the ends apart to open, it makes a loud cracking sound, hence the name.
Now that you know a little bit more about the traditions around the world, you can incorporate some of these into your Christmas holiday this year! Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
Source: Micaela Bahn (2022) 25 Christmas Traditions Around the World That Will Surprise and Delight You
Source: Caleigh Alleyne (2022) 20 Unique Christmas Traditions Around the World