Five Interesting Christmas Traditions Around The World
Ugly sweaters, mistletoe, and candy canes – all the lovely things we come to know and love about Christmas. Yet, if your getting jaded by these Western traditions – check out how the rest of the world celebrate the holiday.
The Philippines – The Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul Sampernandu)
This annual festival is held on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando – the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.” Spectators from all over the country and across the globe come to the fierce competition between 11 barangays (villages) in the festival. everyone pitches in trying to build the most elaborate lantern.
Sweden – The Gävle Goat
13 meter goat made of straw is built in the center of Gävle’s Castle Square for the Advent. The tradition has inspired another holiday ritual- people trying to be burn down the Gavle Goat. Since 1966, the Goat has been successfully burned down 37 times – the most recent destruction was in 2016. The Gävle Goat only has about a half chance of surviving December.
Austria – Dressing up Demons to scare children
St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice, Krampus, roams the city streets frightening kids and punishing the bad ones. In Austrian tradition, St. Nicholas rewards nice little boys and girls, while Krampus is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack. In the first week of December, young men dress up as the Krampus (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) frightening children with clattering chains and bells.
Ghana – Banana Christmas trees
In the shanty regions, they decorate plantain, mango, or banana trees instead of the usually evergreen trees such as spruce, pine, or fir. The tree is placed outside the house usually decorated with balloons. In other regions, they do use the traditional Christmas tree.
Colombia – Day of the Little Candles
Little Candles’ Day (Día de las Velitas) marks the start of the Christmas season across Colombia. It is celebrated on December 7, on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, which is a public holiday. People place candles and paper lanterns in their windows, balconies and front yards.The tradition of candles has grown, and now entire towns and cities across the country are lit up with elaborate displays.