Christmas Traditions from around the world!

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December 14, 2016 by Joseph Krohn

  1. In Russia Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January and not on the 25th of christmas-around-the-worldDecember. The reason for the difference is because the Orthodox Churches used the old “Julian” calendar for religious celebration days.  In the traditional Russia Christmas, special prayers are said and people fast, sometimes for 39 days, until January 6th (Christmas Eve), when the first evening star appears in the sky.  Then begins a twelve course supper in honour of each of the twelve apostles.
  2. In Ireland, it’s traditional to leave mince pies out for a snack for Santa.
  3. In the Czech Republic, single women perform a very unusual ritual on Christmas Eve Day, to find out if they will marry in the following year. With their backs to the house door, they throw one of their shoes over their shoulders.  If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door, she will definitely stay single for another year, while if the front of the shoe points towards the door, it means she will move out of her parent’s house and she should start making wedding preparations
  4. In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela on Christmas Eve morning the roads of the city are closed to cars, so people can roller skate to Church.
  5. In Germany, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day. On the eve of that day, children leave out a shoe or boot outside their door, and the next morning candies and small toys appear in them for those who have been good.  If you’re bad you get a stick so your parents can give you a spanking.
  6. For many people in Japan, traditional Christmas dinner is Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is so popular and well marketed you have to make a reservation to eat at a KFC on Christmas Day.
  7. In Greenland, rather than the more traditional Christmas foods like turkey, ham, cranberry sauce. Christmas pudding which consists of raw flesh of an auk wrapped in seal skin and placed under a rock for several months, until it is well into decomposition.  It’s a treat that most Greenlanders consider delicious.
  8. In Slovakia, at the beginning of the Christmas dinner, the head of the family takes a spoon of Loksa (bread, poppy seed and water) and throws it up at the ceiling. The more mixture that remains glued on the ceiling the richer his crops will be the following year.
  9. In Australia, December 25 falls during summer vacation, so many of the country’s Christmas festivities take place outdoors. The most popular event of the Christmas season is called Carols by Candlelight. People come together at night to light candles and sing Christmas carols outside. The stars shining above add to the sights and sounds of this wonderful outdoor concert.
  10. Poland: Christmas dinner is called, Wigilia, and is held on Christmas Eve, It’s tradition to leave one seat open in case anyone without a home, family or warm meal wants to join the table.
  11. Denmark: The people of Denmark have their Christmas dinner at midnight on Christmas Eve. Their dessert is a special rice pudding with one almond in it. Whoever gets the almond wins a prize.
  12. In Greece, children go from house to house singing Christmas carols for candy and dried fruit. The traditional Christmas Feast is highly anticipated because it proceeds a 40 day fast.
  13. The Philippines begin celebrating Christmas in September, with Christmas lights and going all out in decorating – making it the longest Christmas celebration in the world.
  14. There is an old tradition where a pickle ornament is hidden on the Christmas tree. The first person to find the pickle among all the other ornament is said to receive an extra present on Christmas. The tradition has stories originating from Spain to Germany.

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