Christmas traditions across the globe

In just a few weeks’ time we will be sitting down with our closest family and friends and enjoying a nice Christmas lunch after we have all gathered around our Real Christmas Trees Leicester bought, perhaps from Welford Christmas Trees

Throughout the world many countries have their own traditions for this festive time of year and here are a few of them for you to have a look at:

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Sweden – Gavle Goat

From 1966 through to the present day a giant depiction of a goat, around 13 feet tall, has been created and displayed in Gavel’s Castle Square for the advent period. Hundreds of people travel to the site each year to catch a glimpse of the giant goat and many families see this as the start of their festive holidays.

Austria – the Krampus

You could be forgiven for thinking that people in Austria have got the timing of Halloween wrong when some young men dress up as a horned demon to frighten people. But this is in fact the Krampus! In Austria not only do they celebrate all things St Nicolas but also take the time to depict his evil accomplice. The story goes that the Krampus works to capture the naughtiest children and takes them away in his sack. He is very much the anti-santa.

Philippines – Giant Lanterns

In the city of San Fernando on the Saturday before Christmas Eve each year the giant lantern festival takes place. People travel not only from all over the Philippines but all over the world to see these beautiful lanterns. In total around eleven different villages take part in the tradition with each one aiming to create the most spectacular lantern. The lights are lit by electric light bulbs and are made from a variety of different materials and in the past have reached up to six metres high.

Norway – hiding your broom

It has long been a tradition in Norway to take any brooms that you have in the house and hide them away on Christmas Eve. This is because there is a superstitious belief that evil spirits and witches are around on Christmas Eve and they are looking for brooms to steal that they can then fly off on.

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Iceland – A different kind of gift giver

In Iceland in the run up to Christmas (the 13 days before Christmas day) 13 men dress up as Yule Lads, which are fun loving troll like characters. On each of the 13 evenings children take their best shoes and leave them by the window outside. The Yule Lads then visit these houses and place a little gift in the shoes of the good children and a potato in the shoe of the naughty ones.


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