Global Christmas traditions spice up holidays

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JULIA MAURER 
Contributing Writer

Christmas is celebrated all over, and each culture celebrates Christmas a bit differently.

Here are some of Christmas traditions countries participate in around the world.

San Fernando is considered the Christmas capital of the Philippines and on the Saturday before Christmas Eve, they hold the Giant Lantern Festival. Eleven villages compete to create the most beautiful and elaborate lantern, and they are huge.

There are some spooky Christmas traditions that are flat out terrifying. Germany is where the tale of Krampus originated. Krampus is the anti-St. Nicholas. He is half goat and looks like a demon. On Dec. 6 he supposedly comes into towns and swats naughty children with sticks and then takes them to his lair.

Because of that tale, it has become tradition in Austria, Hungary, Germany and Czech Republic for men to dress up as Krampus and roam the streets. Those men usually happen to be drunk at the time.

In Norway, people hide their brooms on Christmas Eve. This is done to prevent witches from thieving the brooms during the witches most active season.

The polish tradition of hanging an inverted Christmas tree from the ceiling is shown in the photo to the left. The tree is called a podlazniczka. The tradition has a rich history and the space saving tradition has hung in the small apartments of many eastern Europeans during Christmas time for centuries.

In Japan, people treat Christmas Eve like Valentine’s Day in the U.S. Couples come together and exchange gifts. It is actually considered a romantic holiday.

Another tradition in Japan is to eat fried chicken on Christmas Day. Families will order food from places like KFC and spend time with their families.

In America, there are so many Christmas traditions. When Americans prepare for Christmas, many hang up Christmas lights, put up a tree, hang stockings above the fireplace, and don’t forget the mistletoe.

From big cities to small towns, there is always Christmas light displayed during the Christmas holidays. And who could forget a big Christmas feast? There’s ham, turkey and cranberry sauce, it’s almost like a second Thanksgiving.

 

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