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Fun Facts About Christmas Tradition Around the World

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Christmas traditions are different everywhere. Read on for fun facts about Christmas around the world!

Image: christoph_w

The tradition of hanging stockings by the chimney came from England, where the story was told that Father Christmas dropped some gold coins from his pockets and they were caught in socks that were hanging by the fire to dry. Most countries of Europe traditionally leave out shoes for Santa, rather than socks.

Christmas trees have only been popular in Britain and America since the 1800s when Queen Victoria brought the tradition over from Germany.

The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square in London is always from Norway: a gift in commemoration of British support of Norway in World War II.

In Japan a popular fast food fried chicken chain successfully launched a campaign to convince the Japanese public that fried chicken was the most traditional Christmas food. Now reservations must be made months in advance to get fried chicken on Christmas in Japan.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in the song does not refer to the twelve days leading up to Christmas, but rather Christmas day and eleven days after, which is also, when you include Christmas Eve, the traditional Northern European Jul festival.

Every Christmas nativity scene in Catalonia includes a figure called the Caganer, who is always shown squatting and defecating. Traditional Caganers are depicted as a Catalonian man, but more modern ones can be in the form of politicians or celebrities.

American kids leave cookies for Santa Claus, while British kids leave mince pies for Father Christmas, and Danish kids leave rice pudding for Tomte.

Many cultures have an evil sidekick that follows Santa Claus to punish children who misbehave, like Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands, Knecht Ruprecht in Germany, Krampus in Austria and Le Père Fouettard in France.

In the city of Caracas, Venezuela it has become tradition for everyone to roller skate to church for the Christmas mass. Some roads are even closed to cars in order to accommodate the crowds of roller skaters.

Mistletoe was considered an important plant in druid traditions pre-dating Christianity. In Scandinavia it was associated with the goddess of love, Frigga, which may be the reason for kissing under the mistletoe.

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2 responses to “Fun Facts About Christmas Tradition Around the World”

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  1. Katy Kearl says:
    November 21st, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I am an artist and I want to draw the different traditions when celebrating Christmas, this sums on what I need and I finally got a picture in my head. thank you :)

  2. Jim Bizily says:
    November 27th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Although Christmas is celebrated in various ways around the world because of different traditions and ways of life. Nonetheless, Christmas is a celebration of joy-as a believer, the celebration is brought about by the fact that a transcendent being had a chance to be one with humans. As a non-believer, the whole point and message of the celebration should be consider other than any other factors.


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