9 Notable Christmas Traditions Throughout the World
During the holiday season, many different cultures take part in the festivities. Some celebrate Christmas due to religious beliefs; others celebrate because they see it as a day to simply get together with friends and family. Other countries don't celebrate Christmas, for other holidays that are in similar spirits to this wonderful one. Here are just 9 of the most notable Christmas traditions around the world.
1. Spain, Portugal, and Italy
A common tradition throughout these three countries is to build a model of Bethlehem, where Jesus Christ was born. The model is never complete without Jesus, Mary, and Joseph all residing in the little model village.
2. Russia and the Ukraine
In these two countries, they celebrate the holiday on January seventh. That is because the churches of these countries use the Julian calendar to help track the holidays. When the time comes, the people fast for 39 days until the first star comes out on Christmas eve. Then families eat a splendid 12 course meal, which is meant to represent 12 apostles.
3. Czech Republic
An interesting tradition involving single women and shoes take place every year in this country. A woman stands with her back towards the door and throws the shoe over her shoulder. If the shoe lands with the heel pointing to the door, she will stay single for another year. However if the shoe lands with the toe pointed towards the door, this is a sign that she should move out of her parents home and prepare for marriage.
In the capital city of Caracas on Christmas eve, the roads are closed to cars so that the people can roller skate through the streets to mass.
According to their ancient beliefs, it is stated that on Christmas Eve witches will steal your brooms and fly away with them through the night sky. So every year families will hide the brooms and the men in the home will step outside and shoot bullets into the air. To scare away the witches.
In the city of Gavle every year they create a giant goat made entirely out of straw to burn on Christmas day to ring out the new year. However vandals will do whatever it takes to burn down the monument, some even dress up as Santa Clause and elves just to get past the guards so that they can burn down the monument themselves.
In Germany, children leave their shoes outside their door. If they have been good, they will find the shoes filled with candies and small toys. If they had been bad, however, the children would find nothing more than a golden birch, a widely known symbol for a spanking.
Instead of leaving milk and cookies the Irish leave mince meat pies, and a bottle of Guinness for Santa Claus.
The traditional Christmas dinner for Japanese people is Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is so popular that restaurants have you put in reservations just to be able to eat at their restaurant on Christmas Eve.
Some traditions are worth taking up!