9 Christmas Traditions Around the World

Merry Christmas! You're going to want to check out these 9 Christmas traditions from around the world! They won't disappoint.


1) Poland: Christmas dinner is called, Wigilia, and is held on Christmas Eve, It's tradition to leave one seat open in case anyone without a home, family or warm meal wants to join the table.

2) South Africa: Since December is a summer month here, people often hold their celebrations at the beach or in a park.

3) Australia: On Christmas Eve, a massive audience attends the Carols by Candlelight concert, an annual performance that attracts more than 10,000 people. This year over 9,000 carolers attended the dress rehearsal. All ticket proceeds will be donated this year to helping children who can't see.

4) Brazil: Papa Noel is the gift giver. Shoes are left outside doors so he can fill them with treats and presents. Their version of Secret Santa is called "amigo secreto," where you choose a name of a friend out of a hat, like Americans do, but it lasts much longer. Throughout the month of December, you give your amigo secreto, signing them with the fake name, or apelidos. On the 25th, everyone reveals who their secret friend is and each pair swaps a special last gift.

5) Denmark: The people of Denmark have their Christmas dinner at midnight on Christmas Eve. Their dessert is a special rice pudding with one almond in it. Whoever gets the almond wins a prize.

6) France: On Christmas Eve, French children put their shoes (sabots) in front of the fireplace. They hope Pere Noel (Father Christmas) will fill them with presents. His partner Le Pere Fouettard (Whipping Father or Father Spanker) would "reward" bad children with a spanking. Somehow I'm not surprised.

7) Germany: Germany also has a cheerful Santa partner called, Krampus, also known as Krampuskarten. Demonic in appearance and cranky in nature, he punishes bad children by frightening them with rusted chains and bells and/or stuffing them in a sack and carrying them away to his lair. It is as terrifying as it sounds.

8) Greece: In a sort of Halloween-y fashion, Greek children go from house to house singing Christmas carols for candy and dried fruit. The traditional Christmas Feast is highly anticipated because it proceeds a 40 day fast.

9) Hong Kong: Residents of Hong Kong celebrate a festival of peace and renewal called Ta Chiu. People make offerings to their patron saints. Festivities close with the reading of the names of every person who lives in the area. The names are then listed, attached to a paper horse, and burned in hopes that they will rise to heaven.

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