6 Unusual Christmas Traditions
By paul on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 in No Comments
Realising that Santa is not real was quite an eye-opener as a kid and marked the end of childhood for most of us. But do you know that some countries celebrate Christmas with traditions that come straight out of fairytales?
While decorating the tree and gifts are common among all, let’s look at some of the most unusual ways in which people celebrate the festival at the end of the year. Who knows, you might end up in one of these regions in the future, so having some knowledge about the practice would only benefit you.
Now let’s begin so you can thank the best essay writing service later.
Giant Lantern Festival
Colourful lights are usually associated with Christmas, but the city of San Fernando in the Philippines takes it to a whole new level with their lanterns. The tradition is originally known as Ligligan Parul Sampernandu and is primarily a competition conducted on a Saturday before Christmas Eve where 11 different villages participate by coming up with various magical designs for the lanterns.
Previously, papel de hapon, which is a popular Japanese origami paper, was used in making the lanterns and they consisted of half a meter in diameter, but as the excitement grew, the size also increased. Today, multiple structures and designs are presented with various objects detailing the intricate patterns that illuminate in the dark with the help of light bulbs.
While you may not consider it quite celebratory, Swedish people mark the beginning of Christmas on 1st December by burning a goat to the ground. Before you call the animal protection service, you should know that it is a 13-metre tall Yule Goat which was constructed in the centre of Gavle’s Castle Square for Advent.
While the origin remains a mystery, every year Swedish people gather round to burn this massive statue of a standing animal which represents the master of Devil.
Since the beginning of the tradition in 1966, the structure has been burnt 29 times successfully with the most recent arson taking place in 2016. Also, this is considered vandalism in Sweden so if you are visiting, just watch it with the rest of the audience.
Most of us were scared by the monsters under our beds when we were kids, but those were just our parents playing tricks on us. In Austria, however, the practical joke becomes quite official when a demonic creature from hell roams around the streets, scaring children “who have been naughty”. No, this is not a Halloween prank.
According to the Austrian tradition, St. Nicholas has an evil accomplice who tries to imprison children who misbehave while St Nicholas himself rewards good kids. So in the first week of December, men dress up as the Krampus to scare children into behaving nicely.
Well, Christmas is the time for all kinds of festivities and if your idea of a delicious holiday dinner is to overeat KFC, then book your ticket to Japan. The celebrations of Christmas in the country are quite low-key with only the elite class participating in gift-exchanging and decorations, but recently, KFC has decided to revive the event in Japan by introducing a new holiday menu. From standard chicken buckets to premium-roast birds, you can have it all without making the effort of going in the kitchen and cooking on the day.
Have you ever been scared of your brooms being stolen by witches and wizards to roam around in the air as freely as possible? Does that sound ridiculous? Well, not to the citizens of Norway. The tradition of hiding brooms to prevent the aforementioned theft dates back to centuries, and many people still observe the practice for this very reason. Very rarely would you find a carelessly left broom in Norway during Christmas season as people take special measures to hide them in the safest of places inside their houses.
Are you tired of gaining the extra holiday weight every Christmas? You can get rid of it by heading to Venezuela. In the city of Caracas, citizens head to Church every Christmas Eve as part of the tradition, but they do so in roller skates. The practise is followed by almost all the residents as cars are not allowed on roads during that period, and people safely skate to their respective churches only to come back home to a cornmeal wrap stuffed with meat. Sounds quite healthy to us.
So these are some of the wonderful and unusual traditions of Christmas from around the world. If you feel that the gifts under the tree have gotten too repetitive, you can head to any of the cities mentioned above to get a different experience.