Christmas Traditions Around the World
Get into the holiday spirit with inspiration from around the globe
There’s probably no other season that offers such a variety of traditions worldwide than Christmas. Each country has its own special and sometimes odd (to outsiders) traditions – if you’ve ever heard of the Catalonian “Tió de Nadal” (meaning “Christmas Log”), you know what we’re talking about. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular traditions.
From special Christmas dishes to traditions that you look forward to all year long—what are your favorite Christmas traditions? Share them in the comments for all to enjoy!
Let’s get baking
There’s probably no tradition as widespread as Christmas baking, whether it’s a festive cake, crispy cookies, or simple homemade decorated cut-out-cookies. The Christmas bakery is the perfect moment when friends and family get together in the kitchen, listen to some Christmas songs, and happily bake a massive amount of cookies.
(By the way, have you checked out our 24 Days of Christmas Baking?)
A stroll on the Christmas market
In Germany, one of the most widespread traditions
is to visit Christmas markets. The first markets open four to six weeks before
Christmas and turn regular places into brightly lit winter wonderlands. There you’ll
find countless small stalls where you can buy Christmas gifts and German handcrafts,
like nutcrackers or Christmas pyramids.
Of course, those markets also provide
sustenance. Besides hot drinks such as mulled wine and savory specialties,
there are plenty of delicious sweets to get into the Christmas spirit—from cotton
candy and chocolate apples to candied almonds.
Want to bring the Christmas market spirit
into your own kitchen? Here’s how to make homemade candied almonds:
Writing Christmas cards
The tradition of the Christmas greeting
card started in England in 1843 and set foot in America 30 years later.
Nowadays, there are over one billion Christmas cards sent in England only
during the weeks in Advent. In many families, writing Christmas cards while
eating Christmas cookies and drinking a hot chocolate is a serious tradition.
A cup of eggnog
consumed in America almost only at Christmas—so it’s a must-have this time of
year! Depending on the recipe, the creamy punch is seasoned with all sorts of warm
spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Christmas songs around the world
Singing Christmas carols has a long
tradition in countless countries. In Greece, children walk from door to door on
Christmas morning to sing the so-called “Kalanda,” accompanied by drums, bells,
and triangles. In Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, the pre-Christmas “Lucia
Festival” has a great importance. White robes, wreaths of light, and
traditional singing are supposed to lighten the dark Swedish winter.
Cookies for Santa
Another popular American tradition is
giving cookies and milk to Santa. Therefore, a plate of home-baked cookies and
a glass of milk is placed on the window sill on the evening of December 24 in
order to be picked up by Santa before he heads back up the chimney. Sometimes you
can even find some carrots for his reindeers.
Save the best for last: Christmas food
For many people worldwide, Christmas is not just a
celebration of love and traditions, but also of food, flavors, and indulgence.
While Germans eat a traditional Christmas goose or duck, a Christmas carp is
eaten in Poland.
France celebrates with turkey and
chestnuts, or the infamous foie gras (goose liver). Greeks also serve turkey, but
not before December 25th because, according to the Greek tradition, you should
fast on the 24th of December.
In England and the U.S.A., the Christmas
turkey is often served with Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. Whoever can still
eat afterwards can enjoy some mince pie. In Luxembourg, Christmas dinner is
more down-to-earth and simple with black pudding. mashed potatoes, and apple
Published on December 12, 2017