5 unique Christmas traditions from around the world will blow your mind. Read on to get fascinated by what goes around in the world when you have the same old, regular Christmas celebration. It's the most beautiful period of the year. For a couple of weeks annually, the world wears on a magical glow, people seem merrier, and even winter somehow feels cozy.
Whether you're celebrating a religious festivity, like Hanukkah or Christmas, or a more secular festival, you're sure to have your selection of rituals or customs that make the holiday season so unique. Our cherished Christmas traditions around the world are lovely, proud, and guarantee oodles of festive fun.
1. Giant Lantern Festival, Philippines
This aesthetic tradition emerged in Bacoor, and then they transferred it to San Fernando in the twentieth century. When it was in Bacoor, the height of the lanterns was only 3 feet long. They celebrated it the first time to pay respects to the Philippines' first president, Manuel L. Quezon. They did it because he opened the famous Mount Arayat National Park that brought about much tourism and income. The Giant Lantern Festival, which they call Ligligan Parul Sampernandu, is celebrated every year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in San Fernando's city – the "Christmas Capital." They celebrate it on the Saturday before Christmas. Making of lanterns was also a religious ritual called Lubenas or Novena.
The festival is well known for attracting spectators from all over the country and across the globe. Eleven barangays (villages) participate in the festival, and competition is fierce as everyone pitches to build the most elaborate lantern. Initially, the lanterns were simple creations around half a meter in diameter, made from 'papel de hapon' (Japanese origami paper) and lit by a candle.
Today, the lanterns are made from various materials and have grown to around six meters in size. Electric bulbs illuminate them that sparkle in a kaleidoscope of patterns. There are so many lights as it is the symbol of hope that does not flicker. The lanterns also have a rotor to be moved in the best possible way to show off the beautiful lightings. Every year they are making it larger and larger to break the record of the previous year.
2. Krampus, Austria
This Christmas tradition for kids has come from pre-Christian times in which there are many superstitions related to the forests and living beings like satyrs. A beastly demon creature that roams city streets, scaring kids and punishing the bad ones – nope, this isn't Halloween, but St. Nicholas' evil accomplice, Krampus. It looks very alarming and shocking as he is covered with animal skins and wears carved wooden masks. He has long sticks along with him and bells so that people can know that he is coming even in the darkness.
In Austrian tradition, St. Nicholas gifts nice little boys and girls, while Krampus is said to capture the naughtiest children and whisk them away in his sack. They drew the link between Krampus and St. Nicholas in the middle age period. In the very first week of December, young men wear the Krampus dress (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day), frightening children with clattering chains and bells. They also believe that he gave carrots to good children and stick to spoiled children.
There are many superstitions in Norway but do you want to know the hilarious one? We all might have observed the witches riding on brooms in movies, but they believe it. Perhaps one can find one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions in Norway, where people hide their brooms. It's a practice that dates back centuries to when people had the belief that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. Even today, many individuals still hide their brooms in the most secure place in the house to stop them from being stolen.
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I love Christmas, but I think a spot of roller-blading could improve it? If the outcome is yes, visit Caracas, Venezuela, this year. Every Christmas Eve, the city's residents go to church in the early morning – so far, so typical – but they do it on the roller skates for reasons known only to them. This weird tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so that people can skate to church in safety before heading home for the less-than-traditional Christmas dinner of 'tamales' (a wrap made out of cornmeal dough and stuffed with meat, then steamed).
The government also supports this tradition by closing the car traffic and removing away the food stalls during the same time for the safety of roller skaters. After skating, they come out on the streets to share food, play some music, and dance merrily. Doesn't this sound more exciting than other ways to celebrate Christmas? Take your partner along to Caracas to spend time on Christmas traditions for couples.
5. Day of the Little Candles, Colombia
Little Candles' Day, also known as Día de las Velitas marks the Christmas season's start across Colombia. To pay respects to the Virgin Mary and the Immaculate Conception, individuals place candles and paper lanterns in their windows, balconies, and front yards. The candles' tradition has grown, and now entire towns and cities across the country are lit up with elaborate displays. Some of the best are in Quimbaya, where neighborhoods compete to create the most impressive arrangement. These will be the best Christmas Eve tradition ideas for couples.
Hence, these are 5 unique Christmas traditions from around the world. You can go to these places to celebrate these beautiful traditions. If your partner loves a particular area or practice very much, you can give that place as a gift to your beloved.