Top ten famous international winter holiday traditions

MaKenna Moore, Reporter

Christmas is a big holiday that is celebrated world wide. Many people participate in a lot of  Christmas/winter activities that involve peace and joy for all. When it comes to Christmas, some countries are more involved than others.  Some countries worldwide go all out for Christmas and make it the most important holiday of the year. Some of the most famous places to visit are stated down below, along with the traditions/activities they do.

10. The Philippines- The Philippines hold a  giant lantern festival for the tourists and for the locals. This festival goes on for quite some time. From December 16-January 2 this huge festival is thrown. The festival holds many exciting events, but the main one is the competition of the giant lanterns, where many people come together and try to see who can build the most elaborate lantern.

9. Sweden- Sweden celebrates Christmas by erecting the Gavile Goat, a massive version of the Swedish yule goat. The locals come together, and set up around 2-3 giant goat statues made out of wood, lights, and ribbon. The people come together and spend time with each other creating and setting up the statue in the middle of their town square. The other tradition that comes along with the goat statues is people trying to burn down the goats. It has only happened 29 times. It’s a holiday tradition that has gone on for many years and will continue to go on for many more.

8. Australia-  This country celebrates Christmas by having what’s called “The Krampus Run.” It’s a tradition where people get chased through the streets by these Grinch Christmas demons. These young men get heavily dressed up into costumes and chase around the locals for their idea of Christmas fun. They do this because of the old folk tale of a demon coming and capturing the bad children taking them down into the underworld with him.

7. Japan- Japan never really celebrated Christmas that much, but this tradition is a big one to celebrate. On Christmas for each families meal they eat chicken. Its a huge thing over in Japan, and everyone participates in it. They throw a KFC party at Christmas time, and they have all the traditional home made KFC dishes. When KFC entered Japan the people decided to throw a party about it at Christmas time and celebrate the food that they had gotten. The KFC in Japan has a special Christmas menu for this holiday.

6. Iceland- Iceland celebrates the Yule Lad folktales. The Yule Lads are very famous creatures over in Iceland, and are believed to be real. People throw a festival with many different holiday foods, and activities regarding the Yule Lads. Children behave a lot better around the holidays, because they are afraid that the Yule Lads will come after them. Yule Lads are little elves/ monsters that come around Christmas time, and terrorize little children that have misbehaved. The Yule lads would also leave good presents for the good boys and girls, and potatoes for the bad boy and girls.

5. Germany- Germany is one of the most famous places to go at Christmas time, because they are the center of the Christmas meaning. They celebrate “Saint Nicholas Day” (Santa Claus) which is on December 5. On that night children clean and polish their boots and leave them outside before heading to bed. The next morning they find their shoes filled with nuts, candy, and small gifts from St. Nicholas (Santa Claus). St. Nicholas also leaves coins and small treats on the streets as he passes through the town with his donkey. St. Nicholas also makes visits to the children in their homes or at school presenting them with gifts.

4. Norway- Norway celebrates Christmas at a different time than most countries. Norway celebrates their Christmas on Christmas Eve instead of on Christmas day, and that day is known as “Julaften.”On this day the families get together and eat traditional foods, and that is followed by holding hands and dancing.

3. Washington D.C- Washington has what they call National Hanukkah Menorah. The Jewish holiday Hanukkah is cerebrated with fanfare across the united states. Raised on the White House grounds for the eight days of Hanukkah is a Menorah with eight candles. Music, activities, and of course lighting the Menorah is held on the last night of Hanukkah. One of the candles are lit each night, and with that comes events held for that special time.

2. Venezuela- In Venezuela a strange tradition is held for the locals. Every family goes to church early in the morning, and after church most of the people in Venezuela take a trip to the streets of the city and start to skate. The roads are blocked off so that the people can skate around to everywhere. Before heading home for a family dinner tamales are handed out to the skater,

1.Colombia- Colombians celebrate “Day of the Little Candles.” The little candles represent the start of Christmas in Colombia. In honor of the Virgin Mary people place candles and paper lanterns in their window, balconies, and front yards. The tradition if the candles has grown, and now entire towns and cities are participating in the celebration. The people of Colombia set up a scenery of candles, and lanterns to honor the Virgin Mary. The locals of the towns walk around the houses seeing the beautiful scenery’s that are set up.

All of these traditions are very special to all the locals of these countries and are held deep in their hearts. It was amazing to learn about all of these countries and their traditions. Many people tend to stick to the same traditions and not look at other cultures for new ideas or experiences. I believe that we should  see other cultures’ traditions and join in on them to, or at least learn about them.