What are you looking forward to most about Christmas? Decorating a Christmas tree? Go shopping? Have a dinner party? or a Christmas present?

Every country has their special Christmas celebrations which incorporates local culture and traditions. Let’s learn how other countries celebrate this festival!

  1. Iceland

Christmas in Iceland is a combination of religious and local folklore. Instead of Santa Claus, Icelanders believe there will be 13 Yule Lads delivering presents on Christmas Day. They will place their shoes near the windows 13 days before Christmas. The Yule Lads will take turns delivering presents every night. Nice kids will get candy, and naughty kids will get rotten potatoes.

2. Austria

Austria believes in Krampus! On Christmas Day, Krampus will come together with Santa, who delivers gifts to good children, and Krampus punishes naughty ones. Therefore, in addition to dress up as Santa Claus, some people will dress up as Krampus just to make fun.

3. Japan

It’s common to eat Turkey on Christmas day, but you’ve certainly never heard of KFC’s fried chicken! With KFC’s very successful advertising slogan “Christmas is about KFC”, KFC in Japan has made history by celebrating Christmas by eating fried chicken.

4. Portugal

Many Catholic Portuguese fast for a week before Christmas. The Consoada festival begins after midnight mass. To signal the beginning of Christmas, usually they took meat, pudding and some traditional sweets as their supper, and reserve a place for loved ones who have passed away.

5. Sweden

We usually date or gather on Christmas Eve, and count down for Christmas. In Sweden, Swedes celebrate Christmas by watching cartoons. Traditionally, Swedes watch “Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas” on Christmas Eve.

Since 1959, when swedes first had television and only one channel, they have cherished American cartoons only on Christmas Eve. Gradually, watching Donald Duck cartoons on Christmas Eve became their custom. According to “The Local Sweden”, about 3.8 million viewers, or 40% of the country’s population, tuned in to ” Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas ” in 2017.

6. New Zealand

Have you ever seen the Christmas Tree (Pohutukawa) in New Zealand? It is different from the Christmas tree we generally know; it is also a unique of New Zealand.

December is the time of summer in New Zealand also the bloom season for the Christmas trees. The bright red flowers are particularly dazzling! In addition, the Māori also believe that souls of the dead will travel to the afterlife through the New Zealand Christmas tree.

7. Czech Republic

In the Czech Republic, throwing shoes on Christmas day is a test of marriage! Traditionally, unmarried women would turn their backs to the door and throw a shoe behind them. If the toe points to the door, the woman is about to get married, and if the heel points to the door, the woman will remain single for another year.

The different cultures and customs of Christmas around the world are really eye-opening!

How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year? Let’s decorate your Christmas tree and enjoy a wonderful dinner with your family! Make more space for your home, so that you and your family can spend the Christmas season in a relax happy mood!

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