It’s the most wonderful time of the of the year again! While you or your family are busy prepping for Christmas eve’s noche buena, it’s also interesting to know how people from different countries celebrate Christmas. Here are unique Christmas traditions around the world:
1. Meet and greet blue “Grandpa Santa.” – South Korea
Unlike our typical idea of Santa Claus as an old man wearing a red suit with a bag full of presents, Korean Santa wears blue. He’s also known as 산타 클로스 (santa kullosu) or 산타 할아버지 (santa hal-abeoji) meaning Santa Grandfather.
2. Swim and surf by the beach on Christmas day. – Australia
You’re probably dreaming of spending the holidays on a winter wonderland by now. But did you know that Christmas day in Australia may mean greeting your loved ones “Happy Christmas” not on the cold snow but at the hot beach? That’s because in the land down under, Christmas falls during the summer season!
3. Join the Santa Claus Parade. – Canada
The annual Santa Claus Parade held at Toronto, Ontario, Canada is one of the largest Christmas events in the world. The parade is attended by more than half a million people from different countries to witness fantastic floats and numerous Santas to share the holiday spirit.
4. Receive some treats for shined shoes. – France
Have you ever tried hanging socks in your Christmas tree or windows during Christmas, hoping that Santa will fill them with sweets? Well, children in France tend to leave not socks but their shoes, hoping Père Nöel will fill them to the brim with little presents!
5. Exchange apples as gifts. – China
In China, nothing says Merry Christmas” like an apple does. While most people in other countries are busy buying different gifts, people in China exchange apples. Why? Christmas Eve in Chinese is 平安夜, ping’an ye, meaning a safe and peaceful night. Apple has a very similar translation, 苹果, píngguŏ, making it “the fruit of being safe” making the fruit a popular holiday present.
6. Go for some shopping spree. – Singapore
If you love to eat and shop, then you might want to spend the yuletide season in Singapore. Christmas in Singapore is a big celebration. The famous shopping belt on Orchard Road is lit up spectacularly every December matching to the festive mood —and serves as a hint for people to hit the malls.
7. Have a merry Kentucky Christmas. – Japan
Our typical picture of a Pinoy noche buena with the family is feasting on a juicy hamon and keso de bola at the table. But did you know that in Japan, families enjoy a hearty KFC chicken meal on Christmas Eve? Thanks to the successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) campaign KFC has become a Christmas tradition in Japan.
8. Light some fireworks. – Malaysia
Every year, when the clock strikes 12 on a Christmas eve, Malaysians everywhere welcome the special day by lighting up fireworks in the sky —just like New Year’s Eve! This is because Malaysians light up fireworks on almost every occasion. Be it on a birthday, thanksgiving, celebrating a new job or independence day, there’s always a firework to join the celebration.
9. Have a winter wonderland at a cemetery. – Finland
During Christmas, visiting the local cemetery is very much a part of many Finnish families’ holiday traditions. Aside from attending Christmas Eve church services and sharing meals, most people in Finland enjoy the serenity brought by the sea of candle lights glowing throughout the cemetery, celebrating the season with their lost loved ones.
Ready to welcome the holidays? Visit our Edukasyon.ph blog page to find more tips and guides on how to deal with the holidays and welcome 2019 smoothly.