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Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions Around the World

LizDeslauriers
by Liz Deslauriers

November 16, 2022

2 minute read

When the holiday season comes around, we look forward to celebrating traditions old and new. At a time when many of us are home for the holidays, this is for the travellers at heart: Let’s explore some Christmas traditions from all over the world.

Germany

GermanyChristmasShoesGift

On Saint Nicholas Eve (December 5th), children across Germany leave a boot outside the door to be filled with sweets overnight. Naughty kids only get twigs in their shoes.

Great Britain

BritishPudding

Families gather to help stir the Christmas pudding. Each one takes a turn stirring in a clockwise direction, making a wish as they go.

Greece

Boats with Christmas lights

Long before decorating trees, the Greeks decorated boats for the patron saint of sailors on Saint Nicholas Day. Today, boats rigged up in string lights create a dazzling Christmas display.

Iceland

SweatersChristmas

In Iceland, if you don’t receive new clothes before Christmas you will be stalked and eaten up by the mythical and beastly Yule Cat.

Italy

ItalyChristmasBefana

Instead of Santa, Befana is a friendly witch who brings toys and sweets to children on January 5th.

New Zealand

NewZealandChristmasTree

Instead of decorating a conifer, Kiwis decorate a Pōhutukawa tree, which blooms with bright red flowers in December.

Ukraine

UkraineChristmasTree

The tale of a spider spinning elabourate webs upon a family’s undecorated tree to bring them joy on Christmas day inspires a tradition of web and spider ornaments.

Sweden

Yule Goat

The Yule goat is a symbol of Christmas throughout Scandinavia rooted in ancient pagan festivals. A giant version of this straw goat goes up in Sweden each year, but an ornament-sized one is perfect for the tree.

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