Christmas traditions – funny things, aren’t they? What comes first in your house, presents or the Christmas dinner? Do you have stockings or sacks? And hands up if your whole family wear matching Christmas pyjamas on Christmas Day? Oh – that last one’s just us then…
But seriously, Christmas traditions not only differ from household to household, but they vastly differ across cultures, too.
Below are a handful of Christmas traditions from around the world – we’re looking at adopting some of these for ourselves!
Talking pets in Poland
For the Polish, Christmas Eve is the big day! Known as ‘Wigilia’ – which means to ‘wait’ – the day is spent preparing a twelve course feast (yes, twelve courses!). At the start of supper, a thin type of wafer – called an ‘oplatek’ – is shared by the whole family, starting with the head of the household. Even the pets get a nibble, as legend has it that the wafer’s magical powers allow the animals to speak in human tongues!
Festive fact: Wigilia feasting can’t begin until the first star appears in the night sky!
Sweet-treat deliveries in India
Instead of giving presents on the big day, Indians hand-deliver sweet treats! Traditionally called ‘kuswar’, these tasty culinary creations include fruitcakes, cookies and sweet dumplings that are given to friends, family and neighbours on Christmas Day, along with some Christmas cheer. Think Deliveroo – but with delicious Indian Christmas food!
Festive fact: Snow is a little hard to come by in India so children use cotton wool to create the illusion of winter!
Fill your boots in Romania
Christmas comes early to little ones in Romania, where they celebrate St Nicholas (‘Sfantul Nicolae’) on the 6th December. The night before, Romanian kids clean their boots, place them at the door or window and wait for St Nicholas to fill them up – which of course, depends on whether you’ve been naughty or nice!
Festive fact: Romanian Christmas carols are more than just a simple festive tune, they’re an entire theatrical performance, including special festive dress!
Have a Kentucky Fried Christmas in Japan
As IF we needed any more convincing to visit Japan… A relatively new tradition – where Christmas isn’t that widely celebrated – Christmas Day involves gathering around the table with your nearest and dearest and diving into a share-sized bucket of deep-fried chicken.
Festive fact: KFC Japan even produce their very own festive menu especially for the Christmas period – yum!
Sweep up in Norway
Norwegian Harry Potter fans hoping for a game of Quidditch at Christmas will be rather disappointed – as the whole nation hides their brooms! It’s a centuries-old tradition that dates back to when people believed that evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve and would steal people’s brooms to ride on.
Festive fact: Every year, Norway gifts a huge Christmas tree to the people of the UK. You can see it every year in Trafalgar Square in London!
Christmas is a time for catching up with friends and family, near and far. That’s why the elves here at Lebara have been working on a special gift for all you lovely customers, free calls on Christmas Day! Read more, here: https://mobile.lebara.com/gb/en/christmas