Christmas is a celebration of hope, a time when family and friends gather together and celebrate their beliefs and exchange gifts. But Christmas is not the same for everybody in the world. Each country has one or more specific Christmas traditions which can seem peculiar for foreigners, but make a lot of sense for the local population. Here are some of the most interesting Christmas traditions around the world.
# 1 Christmas Tradition in Russia
Christmas is celebrated in Russia on 7th of January and not on 25th of December, like in the most parts of the world. This odd Christmas tradition is due to the old calendar used by the Russian Orthodox Church, called “Julian” calendar. 39 days before the Christmas Eve, people say special prayers and only eat dishes without meat or dairy. On Christmas day Russians usually enjoy a twelve course supper in honor of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
# 2 Christmas Tradition in Czech Republic
Single women from Czech Republic perform a quite unusual Christmas ritual. The Christmas tradition is believed to show to the single ladies whom and when they’ll get married. The ritual is also quite amusing and we could also perform it, just for fun, as a game. The single woman positions herself with the back towards the house’s entrance door and throws one of her shoes over her shoulder. If the shoe lands with the heel towards the door it means she will stay single for another year. If, on the contrary, the front of the shoe points towards the door, it means she will leave her parents’ home and she can already start her wedding preparations.
# 3 Christmas Tradition in Slovakia
Another funny Christmas tradition can be found in Slovakia. At the beginning of the Christmas Eve traditional dinner, the head of the family, usually the father takes a spoon of loksa and throws it up, towards the ceiling. Loksa is a traditional Christmas dish made out of bread, seed filling and water. If the mixture remains glued to the ceiling, it means that the New Year will be prosper and rich. The more mixture glued to the ceiling, the better.
# 4 Common Christmas Tradition in Spain, Portugal and Italy
A common Christmas tradition in Spain, Portugal and Italy is to set up a small Christmas scene, a model of ancient Bethlehem. From what we’ve observed this Christmas tradition was also imported in USA, where in some parts of the country, they build a similar scene near the churches.
# 5 Christmas Tradition in Norway
In Norway, Christmas isn’t only a cheerful celebration of Jesus’ birth, but also a time when wild and malefic witches can do a lot of harm. It is an ancient belief that during Christmas, evil spirits and witches emerge from their creepy graves and steal brooms to ride the skies. On Christmas Eve, Norwegians hide all the brooms or similar cleaning products. The Christmas tradition is firing the guns outside the house in order to scare all those evil spirits and witches away.
What about your own Christmas traditions? What is really specific for Christmas in your home country?
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