5 Festive Ways People Celebrate Christmas Around the World
Over 2 billion people across more than 160 countries celebrate Christmas each year. However, the way that each country celebrates the holiday differs.
There are many unique ways that people across the world celebrate this beloved holiday. Discover five ways that people celebrate Christmas around the world.
1. Gävle Goat in Sweden
Each Christmas season, a 13-meter-tall (43 foot) Yule Goat has been an iconic decoration in Gävle’s Castle Square. The Yule Goat is a popular Scandinavian symbol, similar to Santa Claus.
The Christmas decoration in Castle Square is made of straw and adorned with red ribbon.
Unfortunately, the Yule Goat is also quite flammable. Arsonists have repeatedly burned the Goat down each year. The Yule Goat has only survived 16 times in its more than fifty-year history.
2. KFC for Christmas in Japan
KFC may not be what most people envision when they picture a Christmas dinner, but it's a tradition gaining popularity in Japan.
Christmas has never been a huge holiday in Japan, aside from some holiday lights and gift-giving. More and more Japanese people order KFC or dine-in for Christmas dinner.
This new tradition of eating Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas has even prompted an ad on the KFC Japan website.
3. Christmas Boats in Greece
Decorating the Christmas tree is a popular tradition in many countries, but in Greece, they also light up boats next to the tree. You might see festive Christmas boat decorations and lights alongside Christmas trees and other popular ornaments.
Christmas boats symbolize sailing toward a new life following Christ. Also, since Greece has always been connected to the sea, decorating ships became symbolic of showing gratitude to the sailors. Decorating the boats was a way of telling them "welcome home."
4. Festive Markets in Germany
Christmas shopping is a huge part of the season. It's a time to show your love and appreciation for those that matter to you and is one of the most common Christmas traditions around the world.
In Germany, there are festive outdoor markets packed with artisans selling unique gifts. You can do your shopping with a mug of mulled wine as you pick up gifts for everyone on your list.
As the holiday season approaches, you're probably looking for gifts for your friends and loved ones. If you can't make it to Germany, take a look at this article for some tips on finding the perfect Christmas jewelry.
5. Giant Lantern Festival in the Philippines
Each Saturday before Christmas Eve, San Fernando has Ligligan Parul Sampernandu or the Giant Lantern Festival. People from all over the world come together to watch the impressive lanterns come to life.
Eleven villages compete to try and build the most elaborate design. Today, these lanterns can reach an impressive six meters (20 feet) in size.
Celebrate Christmas Around the World
Now that you know more about some of the many traditions, are you ready to celebrate Christmas around the world? Maybe it's time to book a flight and celebrate the winter season in new and fascinating ways!
Check out some of our Travel articles for more inspirational posts like this one.