Staying at home on Christmas while rounding your family up in a festive mood may be a great option but for those who are looking for something more exciting than the usual Christmas dinners, traveling is definitely a good choice. However, before picking your travel destination this Christmas, it would be wise to know unusual Christmas traditions around the world so you’ll know which places to visit and which of them should you avoid depending on how you feel about the way they celebrate the season.
While those who are in the west usually gather around the Christmas tree during Christmas eve, those who are in Catalonia has this unique tradition of huddling over a small log which has been decorated to resemble a character and it is complete with a hat and a grinning face. The log sits on the table from the fortnight before Christmas and it gets a daily serving of nuts, sweets and fruits. During the Christmas Eve, the family beats the log using sticks while humming traditional Christmas carols until the logs reveal various treats.
It is often said that Santa Claus knows who are naughty or nice and good children get presents what happens to mean kids are quite unknown but you’ll definitely find answers when you spend Christmas in Austria. Here, Krampus, the twin of St. Nicholas roams the street on the eve of the saint’s festivity. Krampus is the hell-bound counterpart of the gift giver and he punishes bad children. Men who are masquerading as the fiend go on a parade which leaves both kids and adults in fear especially those who have done their fair share of bad deeds during the year.
Attending the church service during Christmas is not a new tradition and it is quite usual especially in Christian nations but if you are in Venezuela, you have to be nimble and quick as custom dictates traveling to the church while wearing roller skates. To support the tradition, roads are cleared for church goers.
Christmas may be a jolly time of the year but there are countries around the world where the holidays are used to remember deceased family members as in Portugal. Do not be shocked if you see an extra plate on the table as that was deliberately left for relatives who passed away and this practice is said to bring good fortune into the household.
Only a small fraction of India’s population are Christians but due to the sheer number of people in the country that amounts to over 20 million people. Celebrations are made as usual with mass and gift giving but what’s queer about the country’s tradition are the trees. Since there are no pine or fir trees here, mango or banana trees are used as substitute. While strolling along the streets don’t be surprised to find mango and banana trees in Christmas garb.
Each year, a straw goat is erected on the town center and despite government efforts to secure the Christmas symbol; someone burns the goat up on the strike of the clock on New Year. This seasonal tradition gets a lot of attention as it is a fine struggle to keep peace and order and avoid chaos.
While most of us are waiting for the man in the red suit to receive presents, kids in Italy are waiting for a good witch who hands over presents to children who have been good.
The ways people celebrate Christmas differ from one country to another but some nations have a queer way of doing so. However, it is undeniable that experiencing the holidays in another place is worth looking forward to.