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Christmas traditions around the world by Sagittarius ,  Dec 12, 2014

Tahiti being one of the popular French Polynesian islands is located in the Pacific between South America and Australia. This Pacific bound island was once a French colony. Tahiti has imbibed a lot of French traditions while Australian and South American traditions have been fused in the existing traditional pattern. In France Christmas is a family holiday. The Christmas Eve is indeed the time for jubilations. The traditional supper in different parts of France plays a vital role in the Christmas jubilations. Children leave out their shoes on Christmas so that Pere Noel or the Baby Jesus would come and fill it up with gifts.


Finland: Families visit cemeteries on Christmas Eve and lace candles on the graves of loved ones
India: People put small clay lamps on the roofs of their homes to show Jesus is the Light of the World



Ireland
: Families place candles in the windows of their homes to show that they would have welcomed Mary and Joseph




Australia
: Many people go to the beach and sing Christmas carols
Argentina: Families light diamond-shaped paper balloons called globos on Christmas Eve and release them into the night sky
Venezuela: Children roller-skate in the streets early on Christmas morning
United States: People decorate evergreen trees with small lights, tinsel, and ornaments
Philippines: Families decorate with parols, which are star shapes made out of bamboo and tissue paper and lit with tiny lights
Holland: Families celebrate on Christmas Eve by drinking hot chocolate and eating banketletter, a cake that looks like the first letter of the family's last name
Norway: Children eat rice pudding. The child who finds the hidden nut wins a candy pig or a piece of chocolate
Mexico: Families cut designs in paper bags to make lanterns, or farolitos. Candles are placed inside the farolitos, which line the sidewalks, windows, and rooftops
Spain: Children are given toys, sweets, or small instruments as they go from house to house reciting versus or singing carols
England: Children receive a paper-covered tube, called a Christmas cracker, at Christmas dinner. The tube cracks loudly when pulled apart. A paper hat, poem, or small toy is inside
New Zealand: Many cities have celebrations in parks. People listen to well-known singers sing Christmas carols
Tonga: Families get up early to make and deliver breakfast to their neighbors. Children are excited to deliver these breakfasts and see what the neighbors bringParaguay: People decorate their homes with coco flowersLebanon: Chickpeas, wheat, beans, and lentils are planted two weeks before Christmas. The sprouts are used to surround the nativity scene in the home
Ghana: Families stay up all evening playing games. Just before midnight, the family counts down the seconds until Christmas Day
Tahiti being one of the popular French Polynesian islands is located in the Pacific between South America and Australia. This Pacific bound island was once a French colony. Tahiti has imbibed a lot of French traditions while Australian and South American traditions have been fused in the existing traditional pattern. In France Christmas is a family holiday. The Christmas Eve is indeed the time for jubilations. The traditional supper in different parts of France plays a vital role in the Christmas jubilations. Children leave out their shoes on Christmas so that Pere Noel or the Baby Jesus would come and fill it up with gifts.
Christmas in Panama is quite lively and several great events are held, specially in the capital Panama City. Festivities kick off the 2nd weekend of December with a big Christmas Parade. Gorgeous floats pass by and women dress in very bright, traditional dresses called polleras. Also, at night, an amazing boat parade showcase a light show that is truly spectacular!
Norwegian legend has it that when Christmas Eve comes, it brings with it all manner of evil spirits and witches. As such, it’s customary for households in Norway to hide all their brooms before bedtime lest any hags get their gnarled hands on them. Meanwhile, the gallant men in the family will bravely venture outside to fire a shotgun into the air to ward off the spirits.

Yet another coprophilic Catalan Christmas custom for you, this time involving the Caga Tió, also known as the ‘pooping log’ . In simple terms, Caga Tió is a yule log with a happy face and a red hat with an unusual propensity to ‘poop’ sweets on Christmas Eve.

The Caga Tió makes his first appearance in a Catalan household just over two weeks before Christmas, and from thereon in he is ‘fed’ every day with a variety of festive treats – such as sweets and nuts – before being covered with a blanket to keep warm. On Christmas Eve, children will hit him with sticks while loudly singing a traditional (yet threatening) song demanding that he ‘poops’ some delicious gifts for them.

After the beating is complete, the blanket is removed to reveal the state of the log’s digestion and, if all has gone to plan, Caga Tió should have magically deposited what he has been fed over the previous fortnight, which is then communally shared by the children. The end of the log’s ‘bowel movement’ is signified when he lets out something decidedly less tasty than sweets, usually an onion or a salt herring.

No, this scary beast isn’t an extra from Lord of The Rings. He’s called the Krampus, and in Austria he’s the unlikely evil sidekick of that relentlessly generous bringer of Christmas cheer, Santa Claus. While Santa rewards good children by delivering gifts to them, the nightmarish Krampus threatens and punishes the bad ones, and is often depicted carrying unruly kiddies away in his basket ready to dump them into the fiery depths of hell.
In Ukraine, Christmas trees are decorated with all the standard ornaments you’d expect, along with one unusual addition. A traditional folk tale says that a poor widow who was unable to afford decorations for her family awoke to find a spider had beautified her Christmas tree with its web, which helped make for a happy and prosperous Christmas. As such, amid all the baubles and lights, Ukrainian trees have an artificial spider and web hidden on them, bringing good luck to whoever is fortunate enough to find them.
On Christmas Eve, single Czech women take part in a traditional fortune-telling practice that supposedly helps predict their marital status for the coming year. They remove a shoe, stand with their back to a door and throw it over their shoulder. If the shoe lands with its toe facing the door, then the thrower is said to be destined to marry in the coming year. Those whose shoe lands with its heal to the door will have to wait at least another 12 months before they get a wedding ring on their finger.

While most nations have a Santa Claus figure delivering presents at Christmas time, folklore in Italy states that it is a kindly old witch called La Befana who dispatches children’s gifts during the festive season.

Christian legend states that the three wise men approached La Befana for directions on the way to visiting Christ. She was unable to help them, but was so hospitable that they invited her on their journey. She declined, claiming she had too much housework to do. However, she was later said to have regretted her decision and has since wandered the planet in search of the wise men and the baby Jesus, leaving gifts in the houses she passes on her way

If you’re in a traditional British household and you want your Christmas dreams to come true, why not carry out the custom of making a wish while stirring the pudding mix before it’s cooked? For those unfamiliar with the dish, a Christmas pudding is made with a heavy mix of dried fruit, nuts and suet before being doused in alcohol and dramatically flambéed in a darkened room. Sometimes, small silver coins are baked into it and can be kept for luck by whoever’s serving contains one.
Sometimes, tradition is very much at odds with modern political correctness. The Dutch Santa Claus (known as Sinterklaas), for example, has a helper who is seen by some as an unfortunate throwback to the nation’s colonial past. Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) is Sintaklaas’ slave assistant. Children are told that, if they don’t behave, Zwarte Piet will come and take them back to Spain – where the Dutch Santa has traditionally lived – in his sack.
Germany: Children leave their shoes or boots by the fireplace or outside their front doors. The next morning, the shoes are filled with candy
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