It’s two sleeps before Christmas Day and we’re all gearing up for the festivities to come. Hopefully, last minute shopping is done, meals have been planned, homes are being prepared, and we’re almost there.
For the last blog post in our Christmas series, we take a look at some Christmas traditions outside the UK. Most cultures have similar traditions but we noticed quite a few differences too. If you’re like us at Moody Monday, you’ll appreciate beauty in diversity. Here they are.
Christmas starts early with the awaited arrival of Santa Claus, Nikolaus and his assistant Knecht Ruprecht on the night of the 5th of December. Excited children eagerly expect to be surprised with gifts if they’ve been good or bundles of twigs if otherwise.
Although not adhered to by all families, the Christmas tree, German Tannenbaum is traditionally decorated on Christmas Eve. They also hide a pickle in the Christmas tree on that day. The first child to find it on Christmas morning gets a small gift.
The traditional German Christmas meal usually has goose, or duck, rabbit or perhaps a roast with side dishes like apple and sausage stuffing, red cabbage, and potato dumplings.
Like most countries, food plays a vital role in Christmas celebrations. The common meals you’ll find round the dinner table include pork, potatoes, blood sausage, sauerkraut and beer. A popular dessert is gingerbread which is usually made together by the family.
Another Christmas tradition is for the President of Estonia to declare Christmas Peace on Christmas Eve and take part in a ceremonial service. Families prepare their homes for the festivities and then head to the sauna for a bath together before leaving for Mass. This is probably one of the most well-known customs.
It has become tradition for the roads to be shut to cars in the capital city, Caracas to allow people to roller skate to Morning Mass from the 16th to 24th of December.
Christmas trees are popular but traditionally, nativity scenes are more common. Firework shows are also quite popular at this time of year.
The main Christmas celebration takes place on Christmas Eve when families come together to celebrate with food and music. The traditional Venezuelan Christmas meal consists of delicious dishes like Hallacas (made of flour, beef, or chicken), cornmeal dumplings stuffed with meat.
Santa Claus doesn’t come bearing gifts according to Venezuelan tradition, the child Jesus does.
For more interesting facts, have a look at this detailed infographic by HuffingtonPost
Image source: Joidraper