Christmas Traditions Full of Diversity

Posted on December 23, 2015 by


Early Christmas traditions involved hanging a tree upside-down to represent an early symbol of the Holy Trinity. It is believed to have started in thirteenth Century Germania.

In Norway, there is cleaning done on Christmas Eve. It is believed that if all brooms are safely hidden away, evil witches and spirits will come, and they will steal them.

In Japan, most families eat KFC on Christmas Eve due to a marketing campaign in 1974.

In Germany, some families hide a pickle in the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and the first child to find it receives the smallest gift. Also, German children leave a shoe outside their house on 5 December. Then it is filled with sweets overnight, and the naughty children will find a tree branch in the shoe instead.

In Ukraine, instead of putting lights and Christmas ornaments on the tree, they put an artificial spider web on them.

In the Czech Republic, unmarried women stand by the door and throw a shoe over their shoulder. If the toe is pointing towards the door when it lands, that means she will get married within the next year.

Estonia families traditionally head to a sauna together.

In Welsh Villages, a villager is picked to parade around town with a mare skull on each sides of a stick on Christmas Eve.

“I don’t have any weird Christmas traditions, but I’d love to be in Japan to eat some KFC because I’d love some KFC on Christmas,” senior Lizzay Faust said.

In Iceland, the yule cat is said to stalk the Icelandic hills. Those who don’t receive new clothes before Christmas Eve are known to be destroyed by this beast.

Since 1966 in Sweden, authorities in Gävle have installed a Swedish Yule Goat. However, almost every other year, vandals have burned it down. Also, they peel an almond and put it in a dessert. Whoever finds the almond is said to get married within the next year.

“My family doesn’t have any weird family traditions, but we just started one two years ago where we have Christmas lunch/dinner at my dad’s restaurant in Kutztown. It’s a great time and I hope we continue to do that every Christmas,” senior Kae Huang said.

In Italy, children don’t wait for Santa Claus to come around; they wait for the arrival of “Befana,” who is known as a friendly witch that delivers sweets and toys on 5 January .

Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on 7 January. People wear white clothing, and the men play a game call “Ganna,” which is a fast-paced game with sticks and wooden balls.

Guatemalans sweep out their houses, and then the whole neighborhood makes a pile of dirt. Then, shortly after, they place something that represents the devil on top and burn it.

In Greece, a race of evil goblins (Kallikantzaroi) lurk underground, according to Greek legend, during the twelve days of Christmas.

In Slovakia, the most senior man of the house takes a wooden spoon full of Loksa pudding and throws it at the ceiling.

South African children are told the story of Danny, a young boy who angered his grandmother by eating the cookies that had been out for Santa. In her rage, she killed him, and he is said to haunt homes during Christmas.

Christmas traditions are very special to some families. It’s interesting to see some of the Christmas traditions other religions and other places have and different things they do.

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