With school finally finishing up, students are counting down the days until they either graduate or get to go home for Christmas and New Year’s.
Our traditions in America are pretty simple: put up a tree, head to Christmas Eve mass and try to out-decorate your neighbors. Around the world however, there are plenty of unique holiday traditions:
In Germany, Advent calendars are an every year thing, some families have multiple ones, each with a different theme. On these calendars, there are 24 doors or boxes and every day of December, the members of the household get to open the door or box and get the thing inside of it. It can either be candy or a present.
Over in Italy, it is very common that people do not eat meat or even dairy on Christmas Eve. Citizens usually partake in a light seafood meal and then head over to Midnight Mass.
If you are from Greece or have visited there in the holiday season, it would not be uncommon to see children go out on the streets and sing carols on Christmas Eve. Along with the singing, they would also play drums and triangles for people. These kids will sometimes be given money or things to eat, such as dried figs or candy.
Up north in Canada, there is a mix of several holiday traditions because many people with different cultural backgrounds live there. One of the most popular traditions is when the province Nova Scotia sends Boston their biggest and best fir tree in honor of their assistance given many years ago. And if you think having relatives who constantly ask you “do you have a boyfriend?” and “why not?! You’re so pretty!” just imagine having your aunt or grandmother tell you on Christmas you will be going to a ‘Taffy Pull’ party. These parties are in honor of Saint Catherine and it is for single women to meet eligible, single men.
In Australia, the Christmas holidays come in the summer, so they have barbeques on the beach to celebrate. On Boxing Day, for them, there is also a huge yacht race that happens from Sydney to Hobart, Tasmania.
There are many more holiday traditions that would take ages to write and more than one issue of Island Waves to fit. But whatever your holiday traditions are, here is hoping you have a fantastic break, whether it is being spent with friends or family and we at Island Waves, will see you next year.