There are many different ways to celebrate Christmas, so let’s take a look at some of the traditions around the world!
Let’s start right here in Britain!
Britain are known for their Light Switch On’s – these take place in most cities as well as some smaller towns across the country. They are usually events that include some form of entertainment and refreshment stalls, leading up to a big light switch on. The crowd will engage in a loud, cheery countdown and when they get to zero, the town/city is lit up with beautiful festive lights! The very first light switch on is believed to have took place in 1954 on Regent Street in London – They wanted to show that London was not a dull and ugly place after the war. As the years passed, these became more and more popular with festive light switch ons spreading across the country!
Britain are also home to the Christmas Crackers.
That’s right, they were invented in London back in the mid 1800’s by a sweet maker known as Tom Smith.
They were originally sweets wrapped in paper with a hidden saying or riddle inside the wrapping… but when these did not sell as well as Smith had hoped; he added in a ‘bang!’ creating the Christmas Cracker!
These have of course evolved over the years, now containing small toys and puzzles along with a joke and a Christmas Hat!
The very first Christmas Market was in Dresden, Germany! It is believed to date back to 1434! This market is a huge tourist attraction each and every year, being the oldest and the largest Christmas Market in the world!
We were lucky enough to visit Berlin this year and experience some traditional German markets – they truly are beautiful!
Now, Christmas Markets are a much loved part of the holidays and can be found all over the world.
Birmigham, UK is home to the largest Christmas Market outside of Germany and is a very popular market to visit too!
The Philippines have a yearly Lantern Festival, which is held on the Saturday before Christmas Eve. This festival was established in 1931, during which, 11 villagers compete to build the most elaborate Christmas Lantern that they can come up with!
Traditionally, these lanterns were approximately half a meter in size and made from Japanese origami paper… but today they are approximately 6 meters in size and are made up of various materials including electric light bulbs rather that candles, with people travelling from all over the world to see them.
Have you ever heard of Krampus?
This is something that I have only known about for the last few of years (thanks to the horror movie that came out in 2015!)
In Austria, Krampus is believed to be Santa’s evil accomplice who kidnaps the naughty children and takes them to Hell!
Each year during the fist week of December, many young men will dress as Krampus and roam the streets, scaring little boys and girls with bells and chains! – A spooky Christmas tradition indeed!
This one sounds fantastic…
In recent years, Japan have started a new Christmas Tradition… to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) on Christmas Day, rather than a family roast.
The restaurant even bring out a special Christmas menu for the occasion, which no other country seems to have!
Many years ago in Norway, the locals believed that evil spirits and witches roamed the Earth on Christmas Eve, searching for broomsticks to fly upon as well as causing mischief!
As a result of this belief, it was very common for people to hide their broomsticks during the holidays to stop them from being stolen by a witch!
Many families in the country still enjoy taking part in this tradition and sharing the old stories and myths with their loved ones.
Which tradition is your favourite?
Do you know of any other traditions from around the globe that you would like to share?
Maybe you and your family have your own strange yet wonderful traditions that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments!