Wherever you are, Christmas is a time for family and friends to come together. But have you ever wondered how countries around the world celebrate the festive season?
From hiding your broom to eating fried chicken on Christmas Day, here’s 10 of our favourite Christmas traditions:
- Czech Republic: Want to know if you’ll be married soon? Throw a shoe over your shoulder on Christmas Day – if the toe points towards the door, then you may be getting wed (according to superstition).
- Philippines: A popular Christmas decoration is the paról – typically a bamboo pole or frame built with a star lantern on the top. Designed to represent the star that guided the Wise Men, it’s usually made from bamboo or paper.
- Nigeria: Why have just turkey for Christmas when you can have pounded yam, fried rice, jollof and more? In Nigeria, a traditional meal can also be mutton, ram or even goat.
- Norway: Make sure you hide your broom somewhere safe, as an old Norwegian tradition says that witches come out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on.
- Venezuela: Why walk to church when you can skate? With the streets of Caracas closed off until 8am to traffic, this means people’s only mode of transport is roller skating.
- Montenegro: People tend to eat a special kind of round-shaped bread known as cesnica, with each member of the family getting a piece. Whoever finds the coin hidden in the middle is supposed to have luck over the coming year!
- Ghana: While it’s a common Christmas tradition to trim a tree inside the family home, Ghanaians will also decorate ones outside – with many found in church grounds and courtyards.
- Japan: Although Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, it doesn’t stop the Japanese from celebrating it with some fried chicken. KFC ran the first Christmas campaign in Japan back in 1974, and since then, it has become something of a Christmas tradition.
- Ukraine: You’re not allowed to tuck into your Christmas meal in Kiev until the first star is seen in the sky (with the star representing the Wise Men on their journey to find baby Jesus).
- Australia: It may be a white Christmas for the rest of the world but in Australia, December falls in the middle of summer, with barbecues on the beach popular on Boxing Day.
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