Weird and Wonderful Festive Traditions Around the World!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the world takes on a magical glow, people seem merrier and the sun shines brighter.

We all have our own personal traditions whether it’s leaving a cookie out for Santa or holidaying at Kirra Palms (a great tradition I must say!), it’s the one time of year to celebrate with our loved ones and eat our body weight in delicious food. And while we bask in glorious sunshine on the Southern Gold Coast, we can’t help but wonder “What about the rest of the world?”. So in the spirit of Christmas, here are some wonderful (and weird!) Festive traditions from around the world!

Day of the Little Candles, Colombia

Celebrated on December 7, 2018, Little Candle Day (Día de las Velitas) marks the start of the Festive Season in Colombia.

In honour of the Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception, candles and paper lanterns are placed on windowsills, balconies, streets, sidewalks, rivers and parks.

The tradition grown so much that entire cities and towns light up with elaborate displays.

 

Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan

Now this is certainly a Christmas Tradition I could get behind!

Although Christmas isn’t much of a big deal in Japan, with most people acknowledging the day with small gift-giving and light displays, gathering the family around for a day of Christmas Feasting on delicious Kentucky Fried Chicken certainly is!

Millions of Japanese families treat themselves to fried chicken in the nationwide tradition, but you better get in quick! The KFC Christmas Special needs to be ordered weeks in advanced!

 

Krampus, Austria

A beast-like creature walks the street, frightening children and punishing the naughty ones – this isn’t Halloween, it’s Saint Nick’s evil twin; Krampus.

In Austrian tradition, Saint Nicholas rewards good boys and girls with toys and gifts while Krampus gives coal to the naughty children before stealing them away in his sack.

The first week of December sees young men dress as the hideous creature, scaring children with clattering chains and bells. I sure hope I’m not on the naughty list!

 

Skating to Mass, Venezuela

What could be more fun than Christmas-themed roller skating?!

Just when you thought Christmas couldn’t get any merrier, Venezuela had to go and up the ante that makes building snowmen (or sandmen!) look a bit dull.

For locals in the capital of Caracas, it is customary to strap on your roller skates and glide to Christmas Mass. The tradition has become so popular, the government took to closing the streets so that families can skate together safely.

 

Hiding of Brooms, Norway

Probably one of the strangest of Christmas Eve traditions, which sees the people of Norway hiding their brooms.

It’s a tradition that dates back centuries where people believed witches and evil spirits come out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on.

Still, people will hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen.

 

Giant Lantern Festival, Philipines 

The Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul Sampernandu) is an annual fesitval and competition held mid-December in the city of San Fernando.

The festival sees thousands of spectators flock to the “Christmas Capital of the Philipines” from around the globe to see the kaleidoscope of colours and elaborate lanterns.

 

 

While all these countries sure have their pleasant (and scary) traditions, they just don’t seem to beat the good ol’ Aussie tradition of a backyard BBQ, kids splashing in the water and mum and dad enjoying an ice cold beverage on a hot summer’s day.

So whatever your family tradition, stay safe and have a very Merry Christmas.

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