Christmas traditions vary all over the world, though some are more unusual than you might think. If you want to venture out of your comfort zone and travel somewhere new this winter, the following facts from this interesting infographic will help you to decide where you’d like to spend the festive season.
Unusual Customs and Traditions
- The town of Gävle in Sweden has introduced a relatively new tradition. For the last 40 years, a giant goat made of straw has been erected in the middle of the town at the beginning each holiday season to mark the start of the winter festivities.
- In Finland, families usually spend Christmas Eve visiting the graves of their ancestors and lighting candles in their memories. However, others prefer to spend the evening letting off steam in private saunas.
- If you come across a Christmas tree in the Ukraine, you’ll probably be wondering if you’ve got your dates mixed up. Rather than tinsel and baubles, Ukrainians decorate their trees with artificial spiders and cobwebs! Spooky.
- A festive menu in Greece will most likely consist of roast lamb or pork accompanied by salads and a cheese pie.
- In Poland, you will enjoy your main meal on Christmas Eve, as the locals often fast the following day. The meal is usually meat-free, mainly consisting of fish, vegetables and mushrooms.
- A Christmas meal in France in known as le Reveillon and usually features a roast lamb or goose stuffed with chestnuts.
The Faces of Father Christmas
- Bishop Nikolaos of Myra was born in Turkey in 270 AD. He became the model for the modernised Santa Claus since he was known as a secret gift-giver and miracle-worker.
- In Russia, the Father Christmas-like figure is Grandfather Frost, a generous man who travels around Russia with his granddaughter the Snow Maiden.
- The name ‘Santa Claus’ derives from the Netherlands, where St Nicholas is known as Sinterklaas. Here he is rides a white horse rather than a reindeer-drawn sleigh.
Ho, ho, ho-pefully this post has enlightened you about Christmas culture all over the world. Wherever you choose to travel, you’re bound to find something weird and wacky to tell your friends about when you return home.