Some Different Christmas Traditions Around The World

Thalia Blodgett, Journalist

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   Why do the same traditions every year? Learn about some more and give those a chance. People all around the world celebrate Christmas in many different ways, with many different traditions. You ready?


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A few of the giant lanterns in San Fernando at the festival.  (Photo Credit:

Citizens gather in the city of San Fernando, also known as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines,” to attend the Giant Lantern festival. Eleven villages take part in this festival and compete to build the most elaborate lantern. Originally, the lanterns were a lot smaller and lit by a small candle, but they are now bigger and are lit by light bulbs.



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The giant straw Gavel Goat before being burned down. (Photo Credit:

In Sweden, the Gavel Goat is a tradition that has been around since 1966. The 13-meter-tall, straw Yule Goat was originally created in the center of Gavels Castle Square for the Advent. Since the beginning of this tradition, it has led into a start of a new tradition. People now try to burn down the Goat. So far this 3.6 ton goat has been burnt down 29 times. The last time it was burnt down was in 2016. The goat goes up on December 1st and you can watch it in person or watch a live stream of it.


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Krampus wondering the streets to give gifts to the good children. (Photo Credit:

In Austria, one of their traditions is Krampus, a demon-like beast wondering the streets at night to scare chidren and punish the bad ones. Some say it’s like Halloween, but according to Austria, it’s known as St. Nicholas’ evil accomplice. St. Nicholas rewards the good, while Krampus takes away the naughty kids in his sack. Krampus takes place the first week of December when young men dress up as Krampus and head to the streets with chains and bells to scare the children.


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What is on the table for Christmas dinner in Japan. (Photo Credit:

Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas dinner? Yes, in Japan they eat KFC for dinner. In Japan, Christmas was never a big deal. Although they still have a few small traditions beside the fried chicken, such as giving gifts and light displays.



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A few of the Yule Lads sitting in the snow. (Photo Credit:

The Yule Lads take place in Iceland, a tradition begins in the 13 days leading up to Christmas. Thirteen troll-like characters visit children in those 13 nights and look for the children’s best shoes to leave the good kids gifts, and the bad children get rotten potatoes. They do this tradition to take place of the Santa Clause tradition. 


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St.Nicholas waving while riding around. (Picture Credit:

In Germany, St. Nicholas’ Day takes place on December 6th in the middle of the night. Father Christmas travels by donkey and leaves little treats like coins, chocolate, oranges and toys in the shoes of good children all over Germany. Although the naughty children don’t get all the goodies for being bad, that’s where Knecht Ruprecht comes in. Knecht Ruprecht carries a small whip or stick in hand to punish any misbehaving children.




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A broom such as the ones they would hide (Photo Credit:

In Norway, On Christmas Eve, people in Norway hide their brooms. This tradition has been around for centuries back to when they believed that evil spirits and witches came to ride on their brooms. Many people, to this day, still hide their brooms to be sure evil spirits and witches don’t steal them. 



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The Menorah fully lit up. (Photo Credit:

In Washington D.C, the tradition is the Lighting of National Hanukkah Menorah. Since 1979, a giant nine-meter Menorah, is raised on the White House grounds. This takes place for the eight days of Hanukkah. The ceremony contains speeches, music, activities for kids, and lastly the lighting of the Menorah. The first lighting of the Menorah takes place at 4 PM and the other lights on proceeding days. You must have tickets before the event but the event is free.



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The entertainment of the day, roller-skating to Church. (Photo Credit:

In Venezuela, every Christmas Eve, the roller-skating tradition takes place. The city residents all go to church early in the morning but not how they usually do. They ride down the roads on roller skates down to church. They leave church and later for dinner they eat the traditional Christmas dinner, tamales. They choose to roller- skate because it’s less dull.




There are tons of different traditions around the world. Maybe instead of celebrating Christmas the same way every year, try one of these.