All over the world, people are celebrating Christmas. Now, each country has a culture all its own. And with that said, you can expect that every household celebrates this holiday differently from yours. They may also have different beliefs, which are interesting in their right. Read to find out more.
Different Beliefs and Customs
Not everyone follows the old tale of Saint Nick and his elves preparing gifts for kids. Some believe that bad children will get beaten by a stick, and others are afraid of witches stealing their brooms. Check out some of these Christmas beliefs and customs around the world.
According to Austrian folklore, Krampus was the polar opposite of Santa Claus. Santa is a jolly old man who came out on Christmas to reward children with gifts for their good behaviour throughout the year. Krampus, on the other hand, is a half-goat, half-demon creature who uses a branch to hit naughty children. They are mostly the bogeyman to Austrian children and parents use him to keep their kids in line.
Witch Brooms [Norway]
What do we know about witches? That they wear hats, fly with brooms and have an evil laugh that easily sounds like nails on a chalkboard. In Norway, residents have a unique way of keeping these evildoers from doing any damage by taking away their mode of transport: a broom. Norwegians typically hide all the brooms in their house on Christmas Eve to prevent witches and evil spirits from acquiring them and using it to wreak havoc on their city. Just make sure you finish cleaning up before you put the sweeper away.
KFC Dinner [Japan]
In Japan, not everyone celebrates Christmas. It is acknowledged, but in a country where less than 5% of the population is Christian, it is not necessarily a holiday that is celebrated. However, Takeshi Okawara was able to change that. Back in the 70s, KFC Japan launched Kurisaumasu ni wa Kentakkii (Kentucky for Christmas) where they promoted their Christmas special chicken bucket meal. That proved to be a hit, and since then, the Japanese have associated KFC for a traditional Christmas dinner for the family.
Skating to Church [Venezuela]
Unlike Japan, Venezuelans are mostly Catholics. And so, they celebrate Christmas with Jesus in their hearts. On the 16th of December, Misas de Aguinaldo starts. It is a series of early morning mass celebrated until December 24. And as tradition, residents of Caracas City ride their roller skates to the church. It is so popular that the government even closes roads until 8:00 AM to ensure that churchgoers will be safe on the road. After mass, it is another popular tradition to eat tostados with coffee as an early breakfast.
Yule Cat [Iceland]
Europeans like scaring their children. In Iceland, a folklore exists that tells the tale of a giant cat that roams the streets and eats who don’t receive new winter clothing. To appease the beast, it is customary to gift everyone new winter coats to ensure they are warm and to ward off Yule Cat. There’s even a poem dedicated to him.
Would you like to visit any of these places and experience their unique Christmas customs? If so, then why not book a flight and an airport parking space for your car. Make your next vacation a memorable one today!