10 Christmas traditions from around the world

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It's the season of Christmas trees, pudding and leaving sherry and mince pie out for Father Christmas (at least those are some of the British traditions).

There are millions of people across the world who celebrate Christmas for lots of different reasons - as a religious imperative, cultural tradition or as an excuse to treat their loved ones.

Whatever the reason, here are a few countries that do Christmas their own way:

1. Catalonia

Tió de Nadal, 'Christmas Log' .

Beginning December 8 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the family begins to ‘feed’ a log fashioned with wood a little every night. Tradition dictates that children must take care of the log, feeding it and keeping it warm so that on Christmas day it defecates presents.

On Christmas Day (or sometimes Christmas Eve) the family puts the log into the fire and orders it to defecate, beating it with a stick in order for it to do so.

2. Hungary


A type of sweet, made of fondant and covered in chocolate, szaloncukor is traditionally associated with Christmas.

It is often hung on Christmas trees as decoration, and given to children.

3. Philippines

Giant Lantern Festival.

The annual Giant Lantern Festival is held in December, the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando and features a competition to find the best giant lantern.

4. Sweden

Gävle Goat.

In the Swedish city of Gävle, residents erect a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat made of straw at Slottstorget (Castle Square).

5. Austria

Krampus Run (Krampuslauf Wiener Neustadt).

In many Austrian towns, men dress up as Krampus, a horned beast who punishes naughty children during Christmas, and parade around the streets.

6. Norway

Hiding your broom.

According to the Telegraph, Norwegian tradition dictates that Christmas Eve coincides with the arrival of evil spirits, and to counteract that, households must hide their brooms.

7. Colombia

Day of the Little Candles.

On 7 December, Colombians celebrate the Day of the Little Candles, or Día de las Velitas.

To mark the start of Christmas and to honour the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception, people put candles in their windows and front yards.

8. Japan

Christmas KFC.

An estimated 3.6 million Japanese families will treat themselves to KFC during the Christmas season.

According to the BBC, shortly after the first restaurant opened in 1970, manager Takeshi Okawara decided to sell ‘party barrels’ during Christmas time.

Getting a KFC for Christmas soon became a tradition.

Picture:Picture: Getty

9. Germany

Leaving your shoes out.

Children will leave shoes filled with carrots and hay outside the front door, to feed St Nicholas’ horse as he rides by.

In the morning, if the children were good, they’ll find their shoes filled with sweets.

10. Ireland

Mince Pie and a pint of Guinness.

Children in Ireland will leave out a mince pie and a pint of Guinness for Santa Claus.

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