Christmas Traditions Around the World Articles

Weird and Wonderful Traditions of Christmas

If you’re bored with the same old traditions of Christmas you’ve been practicing for decades, consider adding some of these to your Yule celebrations.

When it comes to the traditions of Christmas, it’s easy to assume that just because you celebrate things a certain way, other people do, too. That’s not necessarily true even within your own culture, much less out in the wider world.

In fact, one of the traditions of Christmas that most Americans take for granted is that the day itself falls on December 25. Not necessarily so. The Eastern Orthodox, even here in the States, often celebrate Christmas on January 6. Some people even celebrate on January 7.

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Our Debt to Victorian Christmas Traditions

Here in America, we can trace many of our shared Christmas customs back to Victorian Christmas traditions

You might think that Victorian Christmas traditions are dead relics of a bygone era, considering that they originated at least a century and a half ago. But the truth is, most of the Christmas traditions we enjoy today are directly rooted in Victorian customs.

Let’s take a look at a few.

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Sehr Gut! Classic German Christmas Traditions to Enjoy

Yuletide traditions we Americans celebrate derive from German Christmas traditions… but there are a few you may not have heard of

Christmas remains a magical holiday, but German Christmas traditions make it even more so. We already thank Germans for the Christmas tree, of course, but on the enchanted German Christmas, water turns to wine, animals talk to humans, church bells ring from the bottom of the sea, and more.

Only the completely pure of heart experiences this type of Christmas magic, of course. Which leaves out most of us over the age of, oh, three or so. However, there are other traditional German Christmas events that any of us can enjoy.

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Joyeux Noel! Fun French Christmas Traditions

French Christmas traditions are familiar to some Americans and Canadians, especially Quebecois and Cajuns — but they’re new to most of us

Like many Americans, I’m pretty much a mutt when it comes to national heritage, but I’ve always been fascinated with French Christmas traditions. After all, my folks decided to name me “Noel”, which is French for Christmas! And somewhere in there, I surely have a French ancestor or two.

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Traditional Mexican Christmas Decorations

Most Mexican Christmas decorations are familiar to us Americans, but some remain uniquely Mexican

While the American visitor to Mexico during the holidays won’t find much to be surprised by, charming and unique Mexican Christmas decorations still dazzle your eyes. In addition to the basic Christmas tree balls and Hallmark ornaments, our friends down south add some interesting variations.

Curious about Mexican Christmas décor? Then by all means, let’s take a look!

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All About Australian Christmas Traditions

Australian Christmas traditions aren’t just limited to a extra shrimp on the bar-bee and an ice cold Foster’s…though those do have their place

To understand Australian Christmas traditions, you have to understand that Aussies are upside-down, seasonally, in comparison to us Americans. If that’s difficult to process, just imagine going to the beach on Christmas Day.

So, yeah. Maybe things are a little different from what most of us would suspect. They definitely don’t sing “White Christmas” down there, mate!

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Ukrainian Christmas Traditions

Learn about Christmas traditions from Ukraine

Most people associate Ukraine with Easter, especially eggs, but there are actually many interesting Ukrainian Christmas traditions, too. Areas with a high percentage of people of Ukrainian ancestry accept “Ukrainian Christmas” as a normal part of the year’s celebrations, and many people celebrate the holidays twice — on December 25th and again on Ukrainian Christmas.

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Learn Something New — Christmas Traditions Around the World

Unusual Christmas Traditions Around the World

Christmas traditions around the world are as different and unique as the country in which they are celebrated. While we may not understand all of these traditions, they are fun and interesting to learn about. Learn some of the Christmas traditions from around the world — You may find some you want to adopt…or maybe not.

Greenland

Instead of getting Christmas candy, chocolates, and pies, Greenlanders have a tradition of kiviak. Never heard of it? To make this special treat, take the flesh of an auk (a bird), wrap it in sealskin and place it under a rock until it decomposes. The treat, reportedly, has a strong odor and tastes similar to blue cheese. Don’t think so.

Portugal

The Christmas celebration starts off with a big Christmas morning meal. This in itself isn’t unusual, but the unusual part comes into play when they set a place for the dead and offer them food. Maybe not.

Yugoslavia

Kids and the parents tap into the fun side of Christmas with this tradition. The second Sunday before Christmas, the children sneak up on their mom and tie her feet to a chair. They yell, ‘Mother’s Day, Mother’s Day, what will you pay to get away?’ The mother then gives them each a gift. This repeats the next Sunday with the dad and he too gives them gifts. There’s no day set aside to tie the children up. Hmmmmmm…..possibilities.

Wales

The idea of a good Christmas tradition to some of the good people in Wales is dressing up in a horsehair sheet, putting a horse skull on a stick and parading around in the street nipping people on the head with the skill. The people nipped must pay a cash fine. Sounds like a good way to get in trouble.

Irish

An old Irish tradition that wouldn’t fly too well here in America is that of whitewashing the entire farm — inside and out. The women would scrub all of the walls and the men would follow behind whitewashing. The Irish thought this purified the farm for the coming of the Christ child. A nice Christmas Eve service sounds more appealing to me.

France

A Christmas tradition your children will definitely not want you to start is one that is held by northern France. On the night of December 5th, children are visited by two Santas — Pere Noel and Pere Fouettard. Pere Noel rewards the kids with gifts given on the 6th – St. Nicholas Day, but Pere Fouettard (Father Spanker) gives the bad children a spanking.

Finland

The Christmas season begins on Christmas Eve where everyone gathers at 5:00pm at the cemetery to pay a visit to his or her deceased loved ones. The visitors place candles on the graves and a service takes place. While this may not seem like a very happy way to start Christmas, later on, Father Christmas visits the homes, asks the children if they’ve been good and gives gifts.

Netherlands

In the Netherlands, children receive gifts December 5th but Christmas is celebrated on December 6th. On the 6th of December, Sinterklaas and his sidekick, Black Pete, arrive by steamer. They leave nuts and candy for the children who have been good and have left hay and sugar in their shoes for Sinterklaas’ horses.

Yes, Christmas traditions around the world are a bit different from those celebrated in the United States. Of course, that doesn’t make them wrong… just different. This holiday season; celebrate in a way that makes your family happy and creates memories and maybe… just maybe you might want to add one of these Christmas traditions from around the world.

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Got Some Irish in Your Blood? Learn Some Irish Christmas Traditions and Celebrate

Celebrate your Irish Heritage with these Irish Christmas traditions

If you have Irish ancestry, Christmas is a great time to learn about your heritage and celebrate Irish Christmas traditions. What better way to teach your children about their ancestors and incorporate a few new Christmas traditions into your families’ holiday celebration?

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Christmas in the Bush — and other Australian Christmas Traditions

You’ve heard of Christmas trees, but have you heard of a Christmas bush? Learn this and other Australian Christmas traditions

If you’ve ever wondered about Australian Christmas traditions and Christmas ‘down under’, wonder no more! Here are some funny, unusual, and exciting traditions that are near and dear to Aussie hearts. Who knows? You may want to start one if these traditions in your home

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