Friday, December 23, 2016

5 Christmas Traditions/Customs from Around the World

One of the best aspects of Christmas for me is the traditions that take place during the lead up and on the day itself. For me, these traditions consist of mass on the Eve and lunch at my grandparents' house on Christmas day proper, which I'd say is pretty stock standard but I love it all the same.

Below are 5 Christmas Traditions/Customs from Around the World that I found to be particularly interesting. I find it fascinating how a somewhat universal holiday can have such variation when it comes to the traditions it has inspired. It's so sweet to think that even the littlest things can help to shape a Christmas story that is indicative to a given culture. Around the world, people will be celebrating this special day, but none will be quite the same.

1. Pepparkakor (Sweden) Swedish custom says that these gingerbread/spiced biscuits should be placed in the palm of the hand, after which a wish should be made. Then, using an index finger or thumb from the other hand, the biscuit should be tapped in the middle. If it breaks into three pieces, the wish will come true. (And if not, one would still be left with a delicious biscuit. It's a win-win situation!)

2. Christmas roller-skating (Caracas, Venuzuela) In the capital city of Venezuela, roads are closed between 16 and 24 December to allow people to roller-skate to the morning Christmas mass.

3. Loksa throwing (Slovakia) On Christmas Eve, the senior man of the household takes a spoonful of loksa pudding and throws it at the ceiling. The more mixture that sticks means the richer that man’s crops will be for the following year.

4.Christmas with the Colonel (Japan) Ever since an ad campaign stating 'Kentucky for Christmas' came out in Japan in 1974, it has been tradition to feast on KFC the night before Christmas.

5. La Befana (Italy) Originating from Southern Italian folklore, La Befana (an old woman) was visited by the Three Kings, who asked for directions on their way to visit baby Jesus. In exchange for her hospitality, the Three Kings invited her to come along on their journey, but La Befana declined. Regretting her decision after their departure, La Befana decided to join them but could never find the Three Kings nor baby Jesus. Legend goes that La Befana now flies her broom around on the night before the Jan. 6 Feast of Epiphany, which commemorates the Three Kings' meeting with baby Jesus, leaving candies and toys in good children's shoes and coal in bad children's stockings along the way.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Image Source: Made by Mary

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