Whether your holiday season includes caroling from house to house or sitting by the fire in matching pajamas, you’re usually spending this time with your friends and family. Whether it’s listening to catchy holiday songs or eating delicious meals with your family, you probably have fond memories of the holiday traditions from when you grew up. Although people around the world celebrate some of the same holidays this time of year, traditions differ from place to place! Here are some unique and fun ways people will be celebrating during the holiday season.
1. United States traditions
Let’s recap some of the ways we like to enjoy Christmas time here in the states. From leaving out cookies and milk for Santa to the phenomenon about an elf that sits on a shelf, here are some different traditions we enjoy!
– Family traditions
o With all your extended family under one roof, you’ve got a full house filled with good people, good food and the opportunity to make fun memories. Among typical families in the United States, we celebrate in a ton of different ways, such as having a large family dinner, exchanging gifts, and watching Christmas movies. One of our team members grew up having Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at her granny’s house and celebrating with her extended family!
o For the kiddos, parents or grandparents can read them a holiday bedtime story to get them excited for Christmas day.
– Food traditions
o What’s Christmas without family and friends gathering together for a meal? Families have many different festive dishes – but you can’t forget about the egg nog or apple cider. To make it even better, pair the drinks with some decadent gingerbread cookies. Check out this delicious gingerbread recipe that’s to die for.
o Do you have that one aunt who cooks the BEST apple pie during the holidays? Yeah, we can imagine how good it tastes. What’s great about the holiday season is that you finally have your all-time favorite foods and desserts under one roof. So, enjoy that pie while it lasts since you may not get it again until next year!
– Music traditions
o The ultimate holiday music debate question still stands – when is it the right time to start playing festive music? Around Thanksgiving or not until December 1st? We might never agree, but one thing we do know is that holiday music always puts us in a good mood and helps get us into the holiday spirit. Speaking of music, check out this awesome festive playlist!
2. Cultural Traditions
Just as we’re celebrating the holidays, families across the world are too! Here are some interesting and quirky ways other countries celebrate:
When it comes to food during the Christmas holiday, the Japanese are very fond of eating something that may surprise you – fried chicken! This unique tradition developed years ago when turkey was hard to come by, so they substituted the closest thing – chicken. And it’s a complete hit!
Fun fact – people literally book their fried chicken orders about two months in advance! This is serious business.
As in the United States, Austrian kids might get a visit from St. Nicholas (or Santa) who rewards them with presents. However, St. Nick also has an evil counterpart named Krampus, a horned creature meant to punish the naughty children. Just a quick reminder – no, this isn’t Halloween and yes, this sounds scary.
c. Latin America
Latinos celebrate the day before Christmas more than the holiday itself. Christmas Eve is called ‘Nochebuena’, which means “good night”. It typically includes a big feast with a ‘lechon’, a roasted pig that feeds everyone there. After the meal, they talk, play games and enjoy time together. At midnight, everyone wishes each other ‘Feliz Navidad!’ and then opens all their gifts.
What are some holiday traditions that you have with your family?