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Diverse Christmas Celebrations: Unveiling Unique Family Traditions Worldwide

Dec 18, 2023 11:48AM ● By Desi Phillips

The holiday season is a time of joy, togetherness, and the celebration of distinctive family traditions. While each of us holds dear our own customs, it's intriguing to explore the myriad ways in which Christmas is celebrated across the globe. Join us on a journey to uncover the heartwarming and diverse traditions that families embrace in different cultures and countries.

Germany - Advent Calendars and Christmas Markets: In Germany, the festive countdown to Christmas commences with Advent calendars. Families eagerly open a door each day, revealing a small gift or treat. Another enchanting tradition is the Christkindlmarkts, Christmas markets filled with handmade crafts, delightful treats, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.


Italy - La Befana: In Italy, Christmas extends beyond December 25th with the arrival of La Befana, a benevolent witch. On the night of January 5th, La Befana delivers gifts to children throughout the country. Families leave out stockings, waking up to find them filled with sweets and small presents the next morning.


Sweden - Saint Lucia's Day: In Sweden, Saint Lucia's Day on December 13th marks the beginning of the Christmas season. A chosen young girl embodies Saint Lucia, wearing a crown of candles symbolizing light in the winter darkness. This festival beautifully symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and fosters a sense of community and tradition.


Mexico - Las Posadas: In Mexico, the nine-night celebration of Las Posadas precedes Christmas Eve. Families reenact the journey of Mary and Joseph, seeking shelter door-to-door. The festivities include singing, breaking piñatas, and enjoying traditional foods. Christmas Eve culminates in a joyous gathering with feasting and merriment.


Japan - KFC Christmas Dinner: In Japan, while Christmas isn't a national holiday, it's widely celebrated with a unique tradition—enjoying a Christmas feast from Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Pre-ordering KFC buckets weeks in advance has become a popular and unexpected twist on the traditional Christmas dinner.


South Africa - Braai Day: In South Africa, where Christmas falls during the summer, outdoor celebrations take center stage. Many families celebrate with a "braai," a South African barbecue. The day is filled with delicious grilled meats, refreshing salads, and festive desserts, creating a distinctive and memorable Christmas experience.