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Posted by Vicky Rotunno on December 4, 2020 | Last Updated: January 7, 2021 Uncategorized

Wondrous and Weird Christmas Traditions Across the Globe

The magic of the holiday season is remarkable because, for a few weeks in December each year, the world celebrates and there is a moment of happiness and wonderment to behold for kids and adults alike. Though the holidays and particular celebrations vary from culture to culture, there are some common threads that involve feasting, singing, parties, and presents. Here in the states, we have Santa Claus and his elves who make gifts for kids in his workshop and delivers them with help from flying reindeers each year on Christmas Eve. Christmas day is when presents are opened, time is spent with family, and a delicious feast is enjoyed. Below are some traditions other cultures celebrate which are just as wonderful.

Day of the Little Candles

Columbia – Day of the Little Candles

Dia de las Velitas (Little Candles Day) signals the start of the Christmas season in Columbia. As a tribute to the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception, Columbians place pretty paper lanterns and candles in their windows, balconies, and yard. This tradition has grown in popularity over the years with entire towns lit up with elaborate displays and impressive arrangements.

Pair of rollerblades on someones feet

Venezuela – Rollerblading

Every year on Christmas Eve, the residents of Caracas, Venezuela, head to church in the morning on roller skates. It’s not exactly clear how this tradition originated, but it’s become so popular the city closes down roads so people can skate to church in safety. Afterward, they head home for a non-traditional Christmas dinner of tamales.

Feast of the 7 Fishes

Italy – Feast of the 7 Fishes

One of the oldest Christmas traditions in Italy is kids wearing shepherd hats and sandals singing carols and playing songs. On Christmas Eve, people enjoy a dinner of only seafood and then go out to a Midnight Mass service. Once they’ve returned home, they have some “Panettone,” an Italian Christmas cake. On Christmas Day, the food consists of “the feast of the seven fishes,” with seafood delicacies such as calamari, baccala, eel, sardines, and clams.

3 girls in white gowns holding candles

Sweden – St. Lucia Day

In Sweden, the Christmas tradition begins on December 13th, Saint Lucia Day, a day that honors a 3rd-century martyr who brought food to Christians hiding in the catacombs. St. Lucia would use a candle-lit wreath to light her way in the darkness to get food to them. In honor of this, a popular Christmas tradition in Sweden has the oldest girl in the family dressing up in a white robe and wearing a crown of candles to portray St. Lucia. While in this role, she serves her family cookies, coffee, buns, and wine.

Christmas Cracker on plate

England – Christmas Cracker

On Christmas Day in England, when all guests and family are gathered for a midday feast, there is a colorfully decorated Christmas cracker beside each plate. The cracker is made up of a paper tube with tabs on each end that when pulled apart makes a loud cracking or popping sound. Inside are trinkets such as a small toy, candy, and paper along with a motto, joke, or riddle that everyone must read aloud while wearing the paper hats.

Something that goes with every holiday in every country of the world is beautiful seasonal flowers. Spruce up your home this holiday season or send the perfect gift to someone with flowers from Al’s Florist.