Christmas is a wonderful time of year, involving family, huge meals, and gifts, but it’s not celebrated the same in all parts of the globe. Here are some different Christmas traditions from around the world.
Sweden – St. Lucia Day
Celebrated on December 13, St. Lucia Day marks the beginning of the Christmas season and traditionally involves the oldest daughter of the family waking family members early while dressed in a white gown, red sash, and a crown of twigs with nine candles. In the modern day, most cities appoint an official St. Lucia each year and hold a procession.
Greece – Kallikantzaros
In Greek folklore, it’s said that creatures known as kallikantzaros visit the earth in the 12 days of winter solstice, generally lasting from Christmas day to January 6. Prone to violence and general mischief, these goblins are kept away by a constantly burning a log in the fireplace for the 12 days of solstice.
Spain – Loteria de Navidad
Christmas in Spain is unofficially marked by Loteria de Navidad, or Spanish Lottery, held on December 22 every year. Children from San Ildefonso School go on the radio and announce numbers and prizes.
Ukraine – Sviata Vecherya
The sviata vecherya is a twelve-course, meatless meal served on Christmas Eve that symbolizes the 12 months of the year. The meal starts when the first star appears in the sky, marking a ritual of cleaning, prayer, and anointing.
Mexico – Las Posadas
For nine days, starting December 16 to Christmas Eve, Mexican families hold processions recreating the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph. Each night, families visit certain homes designated as “inns,” where the residents sing a song inviting the families into their homes for prayer around a scene of the Nativity.
Germany – Christmas Trees
Decorating evergreens for Christmas originally started in Strasbourg in the beginning of the 17th century.
Thankfully, the tradition spread worldwide. To celebrate Christmas with your own tree, visit www.artificialplantsandtrees.com
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About Philip Travers