Tis the season to be jolly.
Whether you like it or not, it’s here – Christmas. For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and others, it’s a source of endless stress and anxiety. Either way, here in America, we all find ourselves navigating the barrage of commercials and advertisements letting us know about it.
Certain traditions have become mainstays in American society. No matter your race, creed, or religion you’ve participated – or at the very least heard of – them. Mistletoe, The Grinch, Christmas tree, eggnog, etc., etc. The list continues. These holiday traditions are ubiquitous. So much so, it’s easy to think Americans have the monopoly on the celebration of Christmas– boy, would you be wrong.
Here are 5 Christmas traditions from around the world that you will not believe. Read on to have your mind boggled!
So in some places, Christmas is more like Halloween. While we have accustomed to a jolly old Saint Nick, certain eastern European countries have a Krampus, a ghoulish figure that, while Santa is leaving presents for the good kiddies, is snatching and beating the misbehaving ones. Apparently, this tradition started in Eastern Europe and most recently a Krampus parade was seen in New Orleans. Keep your head on a swivel if you’ve been misbehaving. KRAMPUS DON’T PLAY!
2.Kentucky Fried Chicken
Unsurprisingly, if you live in Japan, Christmas isn’t a widespread holiday. But if you find yourself there, don’t count on turkey being your Christmas dinner. Celebrating Christmas in Japan means a trip to KFC! This is a testament to America and its consumer culture. According to CNN, in the 70s, KFC invested in a campaign called “Kentucky for Christmas” and the rest is literally history.
While many of us in America are dreaming of a white wintery Christmas, some people are celebrating in the middle of summer. Take New Zealand for example. Their Christmas is spent grilling on the beach and, depending on your culture, there may even be a hangi – which is food steamed in an underground oven. One of the most striking differences is their tree of the season. The Pohutukawa blooms red during this time and becomes their Christmas tree.
These are just a few of the ways different cultures celebrate Christmas. Let us know in the comments any other unique ways of celebrating Christmas that we may have missed. Happy Holidays!