Have you ever wondered about the unique Christmas traditions around the world? You’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of holiday traditions from around the world that are sure to inspire you.
It’s that wonderful time of the year when the sun goes down earlier in the day, and the roads are twinkling with lights of all colors. The aromas of cinnamon and orange surround us and the treats — oh the treats — are too good not to partake of. You might have your own tried-and-tested holiday traditions, but if you’ve ever wondered what people around the globe do for the holidays, we’ve drawn up a list of very interesting and unique traditions.
Italy - Belfana the Witch
On Epiphany Eve, the night of January 5, folklore says that an old woman named Belfana visits the children of Italy and fills their stockings with candy and presents. Belfana enters through the chimney and children await her by leaving a treat for her, typically wine and some food.
Japan - Kentucky Fried Christmas
Japan doesn’t tend to celebrate Christmas, at least not how we celebrate here in the Western Hemisphere. However, a marketing campaign led to a new tradition for those who live on the island: a Christmas Day dinner, courtesy of the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken. On Christmas, people in Japan can enjoy a full Christmas meal from the fast-food chain.
Germany - Saint Nicholas Day
Saint Nicholas Day typically falls on the night of December 5th. It’s when Saint Nikolaus travels in the middle of the night to leave treats for well-behaving children (like coins, chocolate, oranges and toys). He is not the same as Santa Claus (or Father Christmas), but rather his more religious counterpart. Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated throughout Europe.
Mexico - Dia de Reyes
After Christmas Day, Mexico and many Latin American countries celebrate Dia de Reyes (Three Kings’ Day). Children receive gifts to symbolize the gifts that the Three Wise Men gave Jesus upon his birth. Families also share a Rosca de Reyes, which is a sweet bread baked in the shape of a wreath. Whoever finds the hidden baby Jesus figurine inside the bread is expected to host the Dia de la Candelaria party in February.
Iceland - Book Exchange
On Christmas Eve, families in Iceland have this tradition of exchanging books and gits of chocolate. Then, for the rest of the evening, they sit around their living room and read, enjoying peace, quiet and delicious treats.
Ukraine - 12 Course Christmas Dinner
On Christmas Eve, dinner doesn’t start until the first star appears in the sky, symbolizing the birth of Jesus. Once dinner does start, a whopping 12 course meal is served to represent each one of Jesus’ apostles. The abundance of dishes is called a Bohata Vecherya, or rich dinner.
Sweden - St. Lucia Day
On December 13th, Sweden and other Scandinavian countries celebrate St. Lucia Day. On this day, families choose a person, typically the eldest daughter, to dress in a white gown and wear a crown made of a wreath and nine candles. They serve coffee and baked goods to the family and any visitors.
Your Holiday Traditions
Now we want to hear from you! What are your favorite or unique holiday traditions? Let us know on Instagram by tagging @naturalbalancebrand for a chance to be featured on our stories!
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the holiday hoopla, don’t forget to take a breather. Need extra help? L-Tryptophan by Natural Balance offers 500mg of healthy support for normal serotonin production to help you handle occasional stress, like the type that resurfaces during the holidays.