Christmas will be upon us very soon and for many, it’s the best celebration of the year. Here is how some countries celebrate this traditional day.
The Czech Republic
On Christmas Eve, there is a tradition in the Czech Republic when a woman positions her back on her house door and throws a shoe over her shoulders. If when the shoe hits the floor the heel is pointing at the door then she may as well give up her Tinder sub and buy a cat for company. However, if the shoe’s toe points at the door, she will kiss her parents, say goodbye and start to plan her wedding.
In Norway, a broom and any similar cleaning item is hidden away, meanwhile, a man will fire his gun on Christmas Eve into the night. An ancient belief says that this is primetime for evil spirits and witches to reveal themselves.
Christmas in Australia is in summer time, so the BBQ is commonplace. Santa doesn’t use reindeer, but 6 white boomers (kangaroos) and might even ride through Christmas Eve on a surfboard.
Some Armenians may fast in the week preceding Christmas when Christmas Eve arrives they share a small meal called khetum. This is made up of fish, rice, chickpeas, dried nuts, yogurt soup and grape jelly for dessert. Armenians will not gain much weight on that diet.
Some South Africans celebrate Christmas with a meal of large, fuzzy caterpillars fried in oil.
Ukrainians use false spider webs as a cover for their trees.
The reason for this according to a legend is because a poor widower did not have any money to buy decorations for the family tree. Stricken by grief when a few friendly spiders spotted the widow crying with her children, so when night came and all were asleep, they came and decorated the family tree with gold and silver.
From that time onwards the family prospered so now a spider web covering a tree symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the year to come.
Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, closes all its streets on Christmas Eve so that everybody can go to church.
In the Spanish region called Catalonia, there is a character named Caga Tio, which when translated means a pooping log. Spanish children feed this log hoping that it will grow in size. On Christmas Day, the family will sing songs to the log to help it to defecate presents!
Christians in India only make up about 2.3% of its population. In total numbers that is 25 million. They use mango trees and banana plants as Christmas trees.
No-one will ever see a stocking hanging on a chimney in the Philippines. What children will do is polish and shine their shoes which they leave on the window sill, so the Three Kings when they are strolling past at night will leave presents for the children.
Ireland doesn’t offer cookies and milk to Santa, but instead, there is Christmas pudding lashed with Irish Whisky or Guinness. This tradition sometimes takes place over the water in the UK.
Merry Christmas in Ten Languages
- In Swedish it is God Jul
- In Spanish it is Feliz Navidad
- In Romanian it is Crăciun fericit
- In Portuguese it is Feliz Natal
- In Polish it is Wesołych świąt Bożego Narodzenia
- In Italian it is Buon Natale
- In German it is Frohe Weinachten
- In French it is Joyeux Noël
- In Dutch it is Vrolijk kerstfeest
- In Czech it is Veselé Vánoce