Christmas Traditions Around the World that Might Surprise You

Christmas is celebrated differently around the world. Here are some of the weird yet unique Christmas traditions that might leave you awestruck

Christmas is undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you spend the holidays being a couch potato and watching rom coms or you want to party the night away, this festival surely brings the utmost joy and warmth as we slowly approach the end of the year.

Traditionally, this is a holiday observed by Christians. However, Christmas is widely celebrated by people around the world regardless of their religion. Therefore, it is pretty obvious that different countries celebrate this festival differently with a hint of their own traditions.

Here are some Christmas traditions around the world that might surprise you :

1.Gävle Goat, Sweden

We all have seen huge Christmas trees with decorations in the middle of the city. But have you ever heard of a giant goat as a Christmas display? Just like the famous Rockefeller Center

Christmas tree in New York, Sweden has their giant Yule Goat. This tradition began back in 1966 when a 43ft tall Yule Goat made of straw was first erected in Gävle’s Castle Square. Since then, every year at the beginning of Advent, the Gävle Goat is set up. However, the most surprising fact is that this Swedish tradition has led to another “tradition” of burning down the goat. Although it is illegal, the goat has been burnt down 37 times since 1966 despite taking security measures.

2.Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines

Christmas is a festival of gleaming lights and each year the people in the Philippines take it to another level. On the last Saturday before Christmas Eve, the Giant Lantern Festival is held in the City of San Fernando. The festival features a competition of lanterns created by people from eleven barangays. The lanterns are generally around six meters in size and are made of various materials and illuminated with sparkling lights. The festival, therefore, has accomplished in attracting spectators around the world. Hence, the city earned the nickname “Christmas Capital of the Philippines”.

.3.Krampus, Austria

Unlike Santa, Krampus is an alarming-looking creature who roams around the streets in Austria, punishing misbehaved kids. According to Alpine Folklore, Krampus is St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice, and together the pair visit children during Advent. On the eve of St Nicholas Day, young men around Austria dress up as Krampus and frighten naughty children with clattering chains.

4.The Yule Lads, Iceland

During the 13 days leading up to Christmas, 13 mischievous pranksters come out to play with the children across Iceland. These troll-looking characters visit children during the 13 nights before Christmas. Each night the kids place their best shoes by the window and a different Yule Lad leaves gifts for decent kids whereas places rotten potatoes for the naughty ones.

        –     Mohor Bhattacharjee

Mohor Bhattacharjee is from Kolkata, currently pursuing Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. She has a passion for writing and in her leisure time, she likes to read Classic English Novels.

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