It’s that time of the year when everybody is in a joyous mood and combating with the winter blues. You know it's Christmas when people across the globe are busy decorating the Christmas tree, baking Christmas cookies, opening of gifts, plum cake etc. You must be aware of some cliche Christmas rituals that take place in the world. But there are some Christmas traditions that would definitely surprise you. You will be surprised to know that at some places, Christmas is not observed on December 25. Read this blog to know the interesting Christmas trivia that takes place around the world.
Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines
The Giant Lantern Festival also known by the name of Ligligan Parul Sampernandu is held annually on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. It takes place in the city of San Fernando (Christmas Capital of the Philippines). In this, lanterns are created of various materials like Japanese origami paper and are illuminated with electric bulbs. During this time, thousands of people visit the city from across the globe to see the spinning light that illuminates the night sky.
Gavle Goat, Sweden
Yule Goat is believed to be a Swedish Christmas symbol that dates back to ancient Pagan festivals. In this tradition, a giant straw goat also referred by the name of Gävle Goat around 42 feet high, 23 feet wide and weighing 3.6 tons is built in Sweden. Spectators can even watch its Livestream from the time when it goes up on December 01 until the New Year.
Yule Lads, Iceland
Similar to the United States, Iceland celebrates 13 days of Christmas, in which children across the country place their best shoes at the window and Yule Lads visits each home and leaves presents like candies, chocolates for kids and rotten potatoes for the naughty ones. Children eagerly wait for this day as they are keen to know whether they come under good (candies and gifts) or bad category (stale potatoes).
Saint Nicholas’ Day, Germany
Saint Nicholas is a man recognized by the children with a long white beard, red cape, and red miter. During Christmas time, Nicholas leaves small treats such as gingerbread men, coins, chocolate, oranges, letters, toys in the shoes of the children all over Germany. St. Nicholas also brings along Knecht Ruprecht (Farmhand Rupert) who is a devil-like character that carries a whip in hand and punishes the child who misbehaves.
Christmas celebration in Norway takes place in a very unique way in which people hide their brooms in Norway. This tradition dates back since ancient times when people used to believe that witches and evil spirits used to come out on Christmas Eve in search of brooms to ride. So even now every year, people hide their brooms in homes in order to stop them from being stolen.
Christmas season in Norway starts from December 03 known as julebord in which all the restaurants and streets are illuminated with bright lights. Families in Norway also celebrate "Little Christmas" on December 23 in their own way like decorating a tree, making gingerbread, eating hot rice pudding, etc.
Venezuela - Roller skating to Church
Visit Caracas this year during Christmas and head to church on the morning on roller skates. Yes, you heard that right! On this day, roads across the city get closed so that people can go on skates to church safely. A traditional dish is also made for Christmas known as tamales, a wrap made of cornmeal dough stuffed with meat and further steamed.
Day of little candles, Colombia
The Christmas season in Colombia begins with a Little Candles’ Day. People throughout the country place candles and paper lanterns in windows to give honour to the Virgin Mary. The tradition of the candle lighting has evolved from ancient times and now the whole town and country celebrate this auspicious day in an extensive way. One of the best candle arrangements can be seen in Quimbaya, Colombia where people compete and see who can create the most impressive candle arrangements.
Lighting of National Hanukkah, USA
Christmas celebration in the United States takes place with a lot of fanfare. Since 1979, a giant nine-metre Menorah is built on the White House grounds for eight days of Hanukkah. Celebration in Washington, D.C. begins with speeches, music, activities for kids and lighting of the Menorah. Anybody can attend this event as it is free of cost but one must book tickets for the same in advance.
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