Christmas festivities worldwide

Christmas is the time of traditions and family rituals - and they are very different all over the world. We take a look over the local cookie plate rim into the Christmas living and dining rooms of distant countries.

Do you like to try something new more often? Sure, but please not at Christmas time. As much as we enjoy experimenting for the rest of the year, we love to cultivate family rituals and national customs during the Christmas season. It's also worth taking a look at other countries: Here you'll find many ideas for making Christmas a little different this year.

Delicacies around the world

Anyone who thinks that sausages with potato salad, goose with dumplings or raclette is too boring, should take a look at South Africa, where fried caterpillars are on the Christmas menu. In Denmark, dessert is the most important thing: there is rice pudding in which an almond is hidden. Whoever finds it gets a gift. And while we in Germany often spend a lot of time preparing an elaborate Christmas menu, the Japanese prefer to be catered for: In many Japanese families it has become a tradition to eat breaded chicken on Christmas holidays - in a fast food restaurant. Admittedly: Not the most romantic, but probably the least elaborate way to enjoy your Christmas meal.

Gifts over gifts!

Christmas without presents? Not to be imagined! But there are big differences: Who brings the presents and at what point of time does the big gifting battle take place. In the Catalan part of Spain, a tree trunk plays a very special role: From December 8th till Christmas Eve, the "Tió de Nadal" (a tree trunk with a painted face) is supplied with fruit and bread by the children. A blanket is to protect the tree trunk from cold. On Christmas Eve, the parents exchange the children's donations for presents.

In many Eastern European countries, the children have to wait a little longer: Here, gifts are only handed out at the beginning of January. In Russia these fathers bring frost. By the way, the Swedes celebrate Christmas the most extensively: Here the "Juulfest" begins with the Saint Lucy's Day at December 13th and lasts one month long.

Hidden brooms and Christmas under palm trees

While many of us are really cleaning up their homes before the festive season, people in Norway are locking up their brooms and mops for Christmas. After all, we want to prevent evil spirits from stealing the cleaning equipment and riding on it through the Christmas air. The list of bizarre Christmas customs is long: people in Venezuela's capital Caracas, for example, go to Christmas service on inline skates. In Australia, people traditionally party on the beach in swimming trunks - with plastic fir trees and Santa Clauses on water skis. And in Finland, the family goes to the sauna together for a little get together before exchanging presents and starting the feast - and there even the last Christmas grouch gets warm around the heart.

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