Totally different Christmas? Why not! – a blog post by Ala Gibki

Eating ‘pierogi’, a Christmas tree and some hay under a table cover is something that every Polish person thinks of when it comes to Christmas traditions. Everyone seems more friendly and even all these cold days don’t really buffet us then. But have you ever wondered about other countries’ customs, the things they do during this special time of the year? No? Then let me tell you about some of them!

Japan is known for huge screens advertising many companies. In December they light up showing everyone that it’s Christmas – as if it wasn’t obvious. One of the strange traditions Japanese people have is going to KFC to have a Christmas dinner. It’s so popular nowadays, that you have to book the table to be able to order something, as all of these restaurants are so overcrowded.

Norway also has its extraordinary custom – women hide their brooms in the safest places of their houses. It’s believed that there’re witches that steal brooms to fly on them.

One of the coolest traditions I’ve ever heard of comes from Venezuela. Almost everyone I know loves rollerblading. It’s good for health and keeps you in shape. And what about coupling a sport with going to church? Sounds great, huh? People in the capital of Venezuela, for some unknown reasons, rollerblade to church in the morning and then go back home to have a Christmas dinner. It has gained a lot of popularity, so the police stop the motor traffic so all of these people can get to their destinations safe and sound.

A custom I find really adorable originally comes from Catalonia. For the Catalan kids the most important thing during Christmas time is a wooden creature called Caga Tio. Parents get a piece of wood, draw a smiling face on it and put a red cape on it. Then their kids give some sweets to it (all of the sweets mysteriously disappear during the night) and then they get small gifts. ‘Why small?’ you all might ask. Well, let me explain you. Santa Claus is believed to travel around the world and make kids happy on the 6th day of December. Catalan kids do believe in Santa Claus, but he visits them on the 6th of January, so a month later!

Do you know any extraordinary Christmas traditions? Let me know, I’m looking forward to your answers!

3 Responses to Totally different Christmas? Why not! – a blog post by Ala Gibki

  1. When Polish children are waiting for Santa Claus, Austrian children tremble in fear of Krampus.
    A demonic beast who wanders the city streets frightening children and punishing those who were
    naughty – no, it’s not Halloween, but the evil partner of Santa Claus, Krampus.
    According to Austrian tradition, Santa Claus rewards polite girls and boys, and Krampus kidnaps those
    naughty and takes them in his bag. Young men dress up as Krampus in the first week of December
    (especially in the evening before Nicholas) and frighten children with chains and bells.

  2. It’s very interesting thing. All around the world people have another habits. Some of them are similar. In Spain for Christmas instead of communion wafer they eat halvah. It’s astonishing how unusual Christmas habits can be.

  3. In Ukraine, Christmas is celebrated from December 24 to January 6. The whole holiday begins with “diduha” (which includes: oats, rye, wheat, flax. This is all wrapped in colorful ribbons) – symbolizing the spirit of the guardian of the household, this is one of the oldest cults of the Ukrainian Christmas rite. Next comes Holy Evening, On this day housewives usually cook twelve different dishes, the main of which is kutya. The next is Christmas. On Christmas, people go to a church festive service. Usually the liturgy begins at night. Then, “Caroling”, children and teenagers dressed in different clothes go out onto the street, they always carry a big star on a stick. When they enter the courtyard, the carols asked for permission and, when the host announced, they began the performance with congratulatory carols and comic scenes. For this they usually get money or candy.

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