‘Tis the season to be jolly, and as the Christmas spirit sweeps across the world, diverse cultures illuminate the holiday season with their unique Christmas traditions.
In this enchanting journey, we’ll explore five festive traditions that showcase the global tapestry of Christmas celebrations and offer a glimpse into the rich diversity that makes this time of year truly magical. Whether you’re looking at sending a personalised santa letter in the UK or beachside Christmas in Australia.
Sweden: St. Lucia’s Day – A Festival of Light:
In Sweden, the celebration of St. Lucia’s Day on December 13th marks the beginning of the Christmas season.
Named after the patron saint of light, St. Lucia, this tradition sees young girls dressed in white robes and crowns of candles, bringing warmth and light to the darkness of winter. The procession is a beautiful spectacle, symbolising hope and the triumph of light over darkness.
Mexico: Las Posadas – A Journey to Bethlehem:
In Mexico, the nine nights leading up to Christmas, known as Las Posadas, reenact the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.
Families and friends come together for processions, knocking on doors and seeking shelter, only to be joyously welcomed into homes. This tradition not only reflects the spirit of hospitality but also reinforces the importance of community and sharing during the holiday season.
Japan: KFC Christmas Feast – A Finger-Lickin’ Tradition:
In Japan, Christmas isn’t complete without a bucket of crispy fried chicken from KFC. This unexpected tradition originated in the late ’70s when an advertising campaign featuring a festive “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) caught on.
Today, ordering KFC for Christmas dinner has become a beloved and quirky tradition embraced by many Japanese families.
Iceland: The Yule Lads – Mischievous Santas:
In Iceland, the Yule Lads, mischievous but ultimately good-hearted trolls, take centre stage during the Christmas season.
These 13 brothers, each with their distinct personalities, visit children on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas, leaving small gifts or potatoes, depending on the child’s behaviour. This centuries-old tradition adds a touch of whimsy to Icelandic Christmas celebrations.
Australia: Beachside Christmas – Down Under Style:
Down under, where Christmas falls during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, Aussies celebrate with a unique twist. Many Australians opt for beachside barbecues, picnics, and outdoor activities.
Santa might even arrive on a surfboard! Embracing the sunny weather, Australians create a Christmas atmosphere that perfectly blends the festive spirit with the joys of summer.
Whether it’s the luminous processions in Sweden, the heartwarming hospitality in Mexico, the unexpected joy of KFC in Japan, the playful Yule Lads in Iceland, or the sun-soaked celebrations in Australia, each tradition adds its unique flavour to the global mosaic of Christmas festivities.