Christmas traditions are different for everyone. Whilst some go to church and celebrate the Christian meaning behind the festive period, others stick to the magic of Santa Claus, reindeers and hanging up stockings .
But what are Christmas traditions like for those who don’t live in an American culture? Today we get into the festive spirit and delve in various Christmas traditions around the world.
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We may be used to hanging our stockings out for Santa to fill with goodies, but Germans have a whole different way of getting their gifts! As a matter of fact, German children receive goodies far before Christmas eve!
On the eve of December the 6th, Children leave their boots outside to be filled with nuts, fruits and candies. Much like in American culture, it is St Nikolaus who delivers the gifts. However, he is often accompanied by Knecht Rupprecht, a scary villain who takes away naughty children in potato sacks and fills their boots with twigs. Ah… so that’s why German children are so well behaved!
Swedish families celebrate St Lucia’s day on December the 13th, which celebrates the patron Saint of light. The eldest daughter dresses as St Lucia and wears a long white dress and a leaf crown. She wakes up before dawn and greets the rest of the family in bed with food and drinks whilst singing ‘St Lucia’.
Recreate St Lucia’s day by waking your family with breakfast served on our perfectly white hand embroidered table placemat.
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Christmas eve is far more than just family time in the Czech Republic, its the day if you find out if you will get married the following year. In a bizarre ritual, the women stand with their backs to the front door and throw one shoe over their shoulder. If the heel is facing the door, she will stay single.
Like many countries in the world, it is a traditional to indulge in a large meal on Christmas Eve. However, this meal can only begin when the youngest member of the family sees an evening star in the sky.
Rather than waiting for a star to appear and your food to go cold, embrace traditional Ukranian folk florals at your Christmas dinner table.
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In traditional Greek culture, St Nicholas is seen as the Patron Saint of Sailors. As a matter of fact, the majority of Greek ships have some sort of St.Nicholas icon on board.
Although Christmas trees are not commonly used in Greece, traditionally, Greek households wrap a piece of basil around a cross and place it in a bowl of water. The mother will use the cross to sprinkle basil water in each room of the home daily. This was believed to keep away goblins and evil spirits. Gifts are exchanged on January the first, which is St. Basil’s day.
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In the Philippines, households hang a star shaped lantern in remember the star of Bethlehem. The lantern is made out of bamboo and paper.
Remember the Bethlehem star in your home this Christmas with our modern two accent pillow cover.
For Venezuelan children, January the 6th is a time of excitement. Children leave straw next to their beds. In the morning, there are presents in place of the straw, to let them know that the Magi and their camels have visited. There is also a black smudge on their cheek, which symbolizes that Balthazar, King of Ethiopians, has kissed them.
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Whilst we all sit down for a lovingly-prepared, home cooked meal, the majority of Japan are tucking into KFC! Kentucky fried chicken has become a modern Christmas tradition since the popularity of a 1970s advertising campaign.
What are your Christmas traditions?