There are many holidays celebrated in December, and with those different holidays come many different traditions. To get ready for this year’s festivities, we’ve decided to explore some of those traditions from across the world!
In Australia, people often spend at least part of the day celebrating with their family at the beach, which is very different from our snowy experience here in Utah. They also have a different opinion on who exactly pulls Santa’s sleigh. In one popular holiday song, it’s said that six kangaroos accomplish the task that we most often associate with Rudolph.
Every year on December 23 in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, a three-day festival begins where competitors carve complex scenes out of radishes. The displays often feature scenes from the Christmas nativity as well as Mexican folklore.
In Ukraine, it’s tradition to decorate your Christmas tree with spider’s webs. This comes from an old Ukrainian story in which a poor widow’s children decided that they wanted to have a beautiful evergreen tree growing outside of their home as their Christmas tree. Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything to decorate the tree with. When the woman realized this she wept all night long. However, the household spiders, realizing her despair, spun their webs around the tree, and in the morning the widow woke up to find the tree decorated in beautiful silver and gold webs. After this, the widow never wanted for anything ever again.
In Norway, it’s tradition to hide all of the brooms in the house. Sometimes, people will even fire warning shots into the air with their rifles. This is because it’s thought that evil spirits and witches come out on Christmas Eve each year, and everyone knows that brooms are a witch’s favorite ride!
To celebrate Hanukkah, families gather together to light the menorah, which holds nine candles. Delicious latkes (a sort of potato pancake), jelly doughnuts, and other fried treats are also a common tradition. Many families will gather together to sing songs and play games as a way of celebrating the holiday.
What are some traditions that your family practices around the holidays? Let us know about them in the comments below!