Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Blogmas 2020,  Travel

5 More International Christmas Traditions that will surprise you

As promised, here are another 5 international Christmas traditions that I think are worth reading about. One day it would be amazing to experience some of these traditions for myself, and witness the excitement.

1) Gävle Goat in Sweden

The tradition of the Yule Goat in Sweden dates back all the way to ancient pagan times. But in 1966 the tradition was reinvented when someone suggested building a giant goat from straw, known as the Gavle Goat. The name ‘Gavle Goat’ is based on the location of the display, which the city of Gavle. These figures are reportedly over 42 feet high, weigh 3.6 tonnes, and take 2 days to construct.

2) Krampus in Austria

Some of the Alpine countries in Europe believe in the legend of Krampus, a devil-like being. The story goes that Krampus joins Saint Nicholas on his visit to the children on December 6th. The children make a list of the good and bad deeds they have done that year. Those who have been good children are rewarded with gifts such as sweets, fruit, and nuts. However, bad children worry about what Krampus might deliver to them on Christmas morning. I think this tradition actually sounds quite creepy, much more so than just being threatened with a lump of coal. Then the pictures were just horrifying! 😂

3) Kutya in the Ukraine

Much of the Ukraine’s population is made up of Orthodox Christians. Therefore, they celebrate Christmas Day on the 7th January by singing carols through town dresses in traditional outfits. A certain dish called kutya in particular is made to mark the occasion. Kutya is made of cooked wheat combined with seeds, nuts, and honey; and it’s really popular as a Christmas Eve treat. Some households choose to throw a spoonful of kutya at the ceiling, then if it sticks, it signifies a good harvest will be coming in the new year.

4) Tall Red Candles in Ireland

Ireland have quite a sweet little Christmas tradition. It’s quite simple but seems really cosy and festive. They leave a tall red candle in one of the windows at the front of their house. The candle represents warmth and hospitality; as it’s intention is to light the way for Mary and Joseph and guide them to the stable. Traditional Christmas foods in Ireland usually include potatoes, cranberries, and homemade roast goose.

5) Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines

The Philippines go all-out when it comes to decorating for Christmas. Each year, The holiday is celebrated with a Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parul); whereby people bring along lanterns they have created and they’re all put together to form a marvellous display. The lanterns symbolise the Star of Bethlehem, hence why they are the focal point of the festival. Each lantern has thousands of spinning lights, making for a really bright and colourful masterpiece.

Over time, these lanterns have evolved from just two feet in diameter to about fifteen feet nowadays! San Fernando hosts the festival, which has inspired the city to be nicknamed the ‘Christmas Capital of the Philippines’.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about these international Christmas traditions. I’ll be back again tomorrow with another post, and only 3 more days to go!

For part 1, click here:

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