Friday, December 12, 2014

Holiday Traditions Abroad!

No matter where you are from, you'll find holiday traditions vary from country to country. Take a look at some traditions from around the world - and leave a comment about what is your favorite holiday tradition!

Tio de Nadal
Spain - Instead of just celebrating Christmas Day, people in Spain have their main celebration on Three Kings Day (Epiphany). In Catalonia, the Tio de Nadal, or Christmas Log, is fed by the children of the house in December and then presents appear under the log at Christmas!

Venezuela - The holidays are a time for a fresh start - with new clothes for Christmas, and a fresh coat of paint on the house in early December to make it ready for Christmas decorating! Also, people believe wearing yellow on New Year's Eve will provide good luck for the year ahead.

Greenland - The country is so far north in the Arctic Circle that trees have to be imported for decorating. Also, there are very interesting foods served during the holiday season, including "kiviak," the raw flesh of an arctic bird, which have been buried in sealskin for months, until they reach the right stage of decomposition! Sound unusual?  Maybe they think the same of our gingerbread house tradition…

Parol Festival
Philippines - Instead of a Christmas tree, the most common decoration in the Philippines is the "parol," a bamboo pole with a lighted star on top, representing the star that guided the Wise Men.

China - Only a small percent of the population is Christian, so Christmas isn't ubiquitously celebrated. One tradition though is giving wrapped apples on Christmas Eve.  And, interestingly, even though many people don't celebrate Christmas, China produces most of the world's plastic christmas trees and ornaments!

India - Similar to China, only a small percent of the population celebrates Christmas.  But, for those who do, instead of decorating a traditional fir tree, a banana or mango tree is decorated. People also put oil burning lamps on their flat roofs to show that Jesus was the "light of the world."

Germany - Christmas Markets are a well known German tradition. They sell all sorts of Christmas foods and decorations.  Hand blown glass ornaments are popular!

Beautiful German Christmas Market
No matter where you are from, or what your holiday traditions entail… Peace on Earth!

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