Wild and wonderful Christmas traditions from around the world

Wild and wonderful Christmas traditions from around the world

We call it the most wonderful time of the year for a reason. Love and laughter is shared among friends and family, we exchange gifts and conversation, remember the good times the year has delivered, and look forward to the new ones that are coming our way. The festive season has celebrations gripping many different parts of the world in many unique ways. With religious celebrations like Hanukkah or Christmas, a country is sure to have its own traditions and rituals. It’s not all turkey dinner and keeping your fingers crossed for snow! So, find a comfortable spot on the sofa and settle down with a warm beverage as we take you on a little Christmas journey exploring some of the wild and wonderful traditions around the world.

The Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines

Giant Lantern Festival











San Fernando City in Pampanga is affectionally known as the Christmas capital of the Philippines, and every December, on the Saturday before Christmas Eve, the city hosts the impressive Giant Lantern Festival (Ligligan Parol). The colourful festival attracts people from not only across the Philippines, but across the world, as thousands of globetrotters descend on the city to witness the festivities. Competition to build the most elaborate lantern is fierce among the local villages, and everyone plays their part in trying to create the most impressive display!

The Krampus tradition in Austria

Krampus masks in Austria

No, this isn’t Halloween part 2! This is Krampus, and possibly the most chilling of Christmas traditions! In Austrian tradition, St. Nicholas rewards the well-behaved children, while Krampus is a demon who roams the streets capturing the naughty children and carrying them away in a sack. During the first week of December, men dress up as Krampus and frighten the naughty children with masks, chains and bells. Quite a creative way of scaring children into the festive spirit!

KFC in Japan

KFC Logo

Christmas has never been hugely celebrated in Japan, with many couples treating it romantically in a similar way to Valentine’s Day, with dinner in upscale restaurants, and families often acknowledging the season but not celebrating in any particular way. Well, apart from the growing tradition of sitting down at the family dining table to enjoy a Merry KFC Christmas. It all started in 1974 with some clever advertising from the fast-food chain. Skip ahead a few decades, and millions of Japanese families are still feasting on Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets for Christmas lunch!

Hanukkah celebrations across the United States

Hanukkah candles

Hanukkah, often referred to as the Jewish Festival of Lights, is a well-known Jewish holiday and it’s celebrated with much fanfare across the United States of America, and within Jewish communities across the world. One of the most elaborate Hanukkah events takes place on the national stage in Washington, D.C. where, since 1979, a nine-metre Menorah has been raised on the grounds of the White House during the eight days and nights of celebration. The holiday is marked with the lighting of the Menorah, as well as the enjoyment of traditional foods, games and gifts.

Broom hiding in Norway

Broom and wooden logs

Despite failing to take the world by storm, hiding the broom is still perhaps one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions, and it’s one that takes place in Norway. The peculiar broom hiding tradition dates back centuries to when people held the belief that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve in search of brooms to ride on. To this very day, many Norwegians still hide their brooms in the safest place possible in fear of them being stolen. With all the cleaning that’s required following a Christmas get together, we can see why!

Roller skating in Venezuela

Roller skating down a pathway

Christmas in Venezuela is one of the most colourful in all of Latin America, and quite possibly the whole world. It’s also one of the most active! If spending the week leading up to Christmas on a set of wheels is your thing, then Caracas in Venezuela is likely to be right up your street. This unique tradition is so popular among locals that roads throughout the city are closed so that people can roller skate their way to church every morning in a safe manner, before making their way home for a Christmas dinner of “tamales”, which is a steamed wrap stuffed with meat. Happy skating!

If there are any unique traditions that you and your family share around the Christmas season, be sure to share them with us on Facebook and Twitter! Also, be sure to stop by our showroom at 3 Liffords Place in Barnes, London, where we’re stocked up with plenty of gift ideas and Christmas decorations, while our Chiswick showroom is still showcasing our wide range of designer garden furniture and accessories.

Oh, and one last thing, if you haven’t entered your cute pooch into our Christmas dog contest yet, make sure you do!


15th December 2017

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