How different cultures celebrate Christmas


We hope that everyone is having a good holiday season. While you’re at home relaxing and digesting all your holiday food – we thought this is the perfect time for you to get online and read our blog post! So, whether you’ve just celebrated a religious festival like Christmas or Hanukkah, or you simply enjoyed this beautiful and festive time of year, we’re certain you had your own traditions and customs that made this holiday season special.

Here is a list of unique Holiday traditions from around the world. Tell us your favorites in the comments below. Stay tuned for a New Years Eve post coming out in the new few days! 

1. Philippines

The City of San Fernando is known as the ‘Christmas Capital of the Philippines’.  Every year, on the Saturday before Christmas Eve it hosts the world famous ‘Giant Lantern Festival, otherwise known as the “Ligligan Parul Sampernandu”. The whole country gets together to build the most wonderful, creative and elaborate lantern. Once, only made of paper and bamboo, now the lanterns have evolved into engineering wonders – involving lights, pyrotechnics and more!

2. Columbia

Little Candles’ Day (Día de las Velitas) is a popular tradition that takes place in Columbia right before Christmas. It is celebrated each year on December 7th and it is considered an official holiday in Columbia. It is done in honor of the Virgin Mary and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is celebrated in many different ways depending on the region of Columbia, however, the most common way of commemorating this day is by placing lanterns and candles on windowsills, porches, balconies, streets, squares and more. These lanterns will be visible all around the city! Many events are held on this day, including concerts, festivals, and firework displays.

3. Norway

This tradition often gets people giggling! In Norway, it is a common practice and tradition to hide your brooms before Christmas. The tradition dates back from an old legend where people believe that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas eve looking for brooms to ride on. This is still a popular tradition as many people hide their brooms before Christmas eve! How interesting!

4. Iceland

Iceland has 13 troll-like characters ready to cause trouble before Christmas. In the 13 days leading up to Christmas, the Yule lads (jólasveinarnir or jólasveinar in Icelandic) visit children in Iceland and leave them a sneaky surprise. The children leave their shoes by the door, and the Yule lads either leave a nice gift – for those who have been good or a rotting potato from those who have been naughty. The Yule lads are known for having beards, hats, traditional Icelandic costumes and they are known to play pranks on the kids too.

5. Jamaica

In Jamaica, they celebrate a popular Christmas tradition called ‘Junkanoo’ or ‘John Canoe’. It is a tradition influenced by their African heritage and ancestors. It includes many festivals and events, like street parties with dancing, parades and more. Traditionally, Jamaicans wear colorful masquerade like costumes and dance around the streets. However, Western traditions like putting up a Christmas tree and other traditions have now influenced Jamaican culture. 

Pola Awdankiewicz