A Look At Christmas Traditions Around The World

Since today is Christmas, we’re taking a pseudo break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you some lighthearted Christmas cheer. In keeping with the idea that we are a blog that focuses on education, we thought that it would be appropriate to learn a bit about Christmas today.

Christmas is celebrated all over the world – albeit in different ways. The handy infogaphic below takes a look at different ways that Christmas is celebrated around the globe and a look back at the etymology of each tradition. So while you’re relaxing after too much eating, present opening, and cavorting with your family and friends, you can teach them a little something about Christmas, too.

12 Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Russia and Ukraine – Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, and prayers and fasting lead up to a 12 course dinner in honor of the apostles.

Ireland – Leaving Guinness and mince pies for Santa

Spain, Portugal and Italy – A figure of a man pooping with his pants around his ankles is a traditional part of the manger scene.

Czech Republic – Single women throw shoes at the front door to see if they will marry during the following year

Sweden – A giant goat made of straw is erected and then burned down

Venezuela – People roller skate to mass on Christmas Eve

Norway – All household brooms are hidden so the witches can’t steal them to ride around

Netherlands – Boys and girls fill their shoes with hay and sugar for the horse of Sinterklaas. Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 6th

Germany – Also celebrated on Dec 6th, kids put boots outside their door and it is filled with candy, and a birch stick for spanking if they have been naughty

Japan – A traditional Christmas eve meal is at KFC. It is so popular and well marketed that you need to make a reservation to eat there.

Greenland – A traditional Christmas treat is old fermented shark

Slovakia – Christmas pudding is thrown at the ceiling – the more that sticks, the better the harvest will be the following year



1 Comment

  1. rita

    December 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Been Portuguese all my life never heard that tradition. That’s Spanish, and not all over Spain. And no, Portugal is not a burrough from Spain… in case you are wondering.