Beyond the Bauble: The Enchanting Christmas Traditions of Different Cultures
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Beyond the Bauble: Christmas Traditions Around The World

If you're hosting family this Christmas, impress your loved ones with some stories about how the big day is celebrated around the world. Kids and adults alike will be surprised!

As the festive season approaches and homes, villages, towns and cities transform into a wonderland of twinkling lights, heart warming melodies and the tantalising aroma of gingerbread and Christmas spices. Grab a festive themed drink, and embark on a journey with us, as we unveil the enchanting customs that make Christmas truly a global celebration.

1In Japan, Christmas lunch is take-away fried chicken. And just like us, they order ahead of time and can spend hours on Christmas Day queuing to collect their order.

Christmas in Japan

2Santa has his own schedule in Germany and Holland. He delivers gifts on December 5th, not Christmas Eve.

Christmas in Germany and Holland

3Move over, Rudolf! In Sweden, they have a giant 42-foot high straw goat as their festive animal of honour.

Christmas in Sweden

4Many countries celebrate on December 24th, with gift opening and festivities after sunset. Christmas Day is for peaceful reflection.

Unwrapping Christmas

5In Finland, their version of Christmas pudding is a secret almond hidden in a breakfast porridge. Find it, and you're the lucky one!

Christmas in Finland

6Boxing Day (December 26th) is only a special day in Commonwealth countries. Most places don’t consider it to be a holiday. It’s called that because it’s the day when the alms boxes were opened and the funds distributed to the poor.

Boxing Day UK

7Fish takes centre stage in many countries' Christmas meals. From salted fish in Mexico to carp soup in Hungary, it's a tasty tradition!

Christmas meal Hungary

8In Jamaica, they know how to throw a party. On December 24th, everyone gathers for 'Grand Market' - a street celebration with dancing, eating and having fun!

Christmas in Jamaica

9In Iceland, the mischievous 'Yule Lads' leave gifts in children's shoes, but watch out for a rotten potato if you've been naughty!

Yule Lads Christmas in Iceland

10Germany has Krampus, a half-goat, half-demon creature who wanders the streets to teach naughty children a lesson throughout December.

Christmas in Germany Krampus

11Spain extends the festive season with 'El Dia de los Reyes' on January 6th. Children receive gifts from the Three Kings, and towns hold grand parades.

Christmas in Spain El Dia de los Reyes

12Who knew that Christmas crackers are unique to the UK? We’re the only nation that loves a paper crown and a bad joke, apparently!

Christmas Crackers

13In the Netherlands, 'Sinterklaas' arrives from Spain and leaves gifts in children's shoes on December 5th.

Christmas in Netherlands - Sinterklaas

14Sweden celebrates 'St. Lucia Day' on December 13th, with girls dressed in white parading with candles to bring light in the dark winter.

Christmas in Sweden - St Lucia Day

15Most bizarre of all is the Catalonians, who have a bizarre tradition called the 'poop log' - a log with a face that gets "fed" treats until Christmas Eve, when kids beat it to get the treats out!

Christmas in Catalonia

Despite their distinctiveness and occasionally peculiar nature, these diverse Christmas traditions collectively enhance the joy and enchantment of the festive season. They embody various cultural beliefs and customs, accentuating the richness of diversity in our world, with a mix of pagan, Christian and local traditions. Ultimately, they serve as a reminder that regardless of where we live, Christmas is a time of unity and joy.