Christmas Around the World with Viva Travel
We’ve teamed up with Viva Travel Club to tell you how people all around the world celebrate Christmas!
Austria: A beast-like demon creature that roams city streets frightening kids and punishing the bad ones may be mistake for the ghouls that wander streets during Halloween, but is actually St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice, Krampus.
Japan: Christmas has never been a big deal in Japan. Aside from a few small, secular traditions such as gift-giving and light displays, Christmas remains largely a novelty in the country. However, a new, quirky ‘tradition’ has emerged in recent years - a Christmas Day feast of the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Sweden: Since 1966, a 13 meter tall Yule Goat has been built in the centre of Gavle’s Castle Square for the Advent, but this Swedish Christmas tradition has led to another ‘tradition’ of sorts - people trying to burn it down. Since 1966, the Goat has been successfully burnt down 29 times!
Venezula: Every Christmas Eve the city’s residents head to church in the early morning. So far, so normal right? But for reasons only known to them, they do this on rollerskates.
Canada: The Canadian province of Nova Scotia leads the world in exporting three things: lobster, wild blueberries, and Christmas trees.
Colombia: Little Candle’s Day (Dia de las Velitas) marks the start of the Christmas season across Colombia, which falls on December 7.
Norway: Perhaps one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions can be found in Norway, where people hide their brooms. Long ago, Norwegians believed that witches and evil spirits came out from hiding on Christmas Eve, and would steal their brooms for riding. Good luck cleaning up after Christmas Eve dinner in Norway!
Mexico: “The Night of the Radishes” is one of the annual Christmas customs in Oaxaca, Mexico. On December 23rd, competitors carve nativity scenes into large radishes, which are proudly displayed at the Christmas market. Oaxaca has land dedicated to cultivating special vegetables just for this event.
Brazil: Children in Brazil often receive gifts from the Magi on Three Kings Day, or Epiphany, as well as from Papai Noel on Christmas Eve. With no use for chimneys in the tropical climate, they believe Papai Noel enters via the front door, and travels via helicopter rather than a reindeer-drawn sleigh.
If you’ve ever found yourself abroad during the holidays, what have you noticed to be different to your own traditions around this special time of year??