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And have tons of fun!

Christmas Traditions Around the World Overview | HowStuffWorks

Party, party, party, island hopping, party! Start early in the afternoon to warm up with an ouzo and then continue the way you like it — wine, rakia, or just water! Although we struggle to decide if this place is more Kenyan than Italian, you can always have a decent pizza and ditch the fireworks in order to have a good night sleep before going to the beach the next day! If you like big parties and fancy DJs playing top hits, then hit the Westminster bridge or any other public space in central London and enjoy dancing closely with everyone around you and those fireworks!

Meet the New Year on a clear head as well! Inside a lake, changing colors and shapes to tell you few stories. The most fascinating fairy tale for free. As a karioka or a guest you can admire it as long as you want to. We did follow the locals in their indulging with fresh sea food. And other delicious food — tapas, olives and wine. Sangria is a food group, right?

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We found our new family in the faces of our hosts, their friends and total strangers. Everyone had prepared a meal or two and we ate, and ate, and ate. Accompanied by cool NZ wines, of course. After some fun games we all had to cleanup and do the dishes together. Many Finns visit the sauna on Christmas Eve. It is customary to visit the gravesites of departed family members. Norway is the birthplace of the Yule log. The ancient Norse used the Yule log in their celebration of the return of the sun at winter solstice. The Norse believed that the sun was a great wheel of fire that rolled towards and then away from the earth.

Ever wonder why the family fireplace is such a central part of the typical Christmas scene? This tradition dates back to the Norse Yule log. It is probably also responsible for the popularity of log-shaped cheese, cakes, and desserts during the holidays. Decorating evergreen trees had always been a part of the German winter solstice tradition. After , Christmas trees began showing up in other parts of Germany, and even more so after , when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited Strasbourg and promptly included a Christmas tree is his novel, The Suffering of Young Werther.

In the s, the first German immigrants decorated Christmas trees in Pennsylvania. In , the first American newspaper carried a picture of a Christmas tree and the custom spread to nearly every home in just a few years. In , the American minister to Mexico , Joel R. Poinsett, brought a red-and-green plant from Mexico to America.

As its coloring seemed perfect for the new holiday, the plants, which were called poinsettias after Poinsett, began appearing in greenhouses as early as In , New York stores began to sell them at Christmas. By , they were a universal symbol of the holiday. In Mexico, paper mache sculptures called pinatas are filled with candy and coins and hung from the ceiling.

Children then take turns hitting the pinata until it breaks, sending a shower of treats to the floor. Children race to gather as much of of the loot as they can.

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An Englishman named John Calcott Horsley helped to popularize the tradition of sending Christmas greeting cards when he began producing small cards featuring festive scenes and a pre-written holiday greeting in the late s. Newly efficient post offices in England and the United States made the cards nearly overnight sensations.

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At about the same time, similar cards were being made by R. Celtic and Teutonic peoples had long considered mistletoe to have magic powers.

Top 10 Weirdest Christmas Traditions In The World

It was said to have the ability to heal wounds and increase fertility. Celts hung mistletoe in their homes in order to bring themselves good luck and ward off evil spirits.

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During holidays in the Victorian era, the English would hang sprigs of mistletoe from ceilings and in doorways. If someone was found standing under the mistletoe, they would be kissed by someone else in the room, behavior not usually demonstrated in Victorian society. Plum pudding is an English dish dating back to the Middle Ages.

It is then unwrapped, sliced like cake, and topped with cream. Caroling also began in England. Wandering musicians would travel from town to town visiting castles and homes of the rich. In return for their performance, the musicians hoped to receive a hot meal or money. In the United States and England, children hang stockings on their bedpost or near a fireplace on Christmas Eve, hoping that it will be filled with treats while they sleep.

In Scandinavia, similar-minded children leave their shoes on the hearth. This tradition can be traced to legends about Saint Nicholas. One legend tells of three poor sisters who could not marry because they had no money for a dowry. To save them from being sold by their father, St. Nick left each of the three sisters gifts of gold coins. One went down the chimney and landed in a pair of shoes that had been left on the hearth. Another went into a window and into a pair of stockings left hanging by the fire to dry. In France, Christmas is called Noel. During the warm and sunny Australian Christmas season, beach time and outdoor barbecues are common.

Traditional Christmas day celebrations include family gatherings, exchanging gifts and either a hot meal with ham, turkey, pork or seafood or barbeques. Ukrainians prepare a traditional twelve-course meal.

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Most Canadian Christmas traditions are very similar to those practiced in the United States. In the far north of the country, the Eskimos celebrate a winter festival called sinck tuck, which features parties with dancing and the exchanging of gifts. In Greece, many people believe in kallikantzeri , goblins that appear to cause mischief during the 12 days of Christmas. Gifts are usually exchanged on January 1, St. A manger scene is the primary decoration in most southern European, Central American, and South American nations.

Francis of Assisi created the first living nativity in to help explain the birth of Jesus to his followers. According to reports by Captain John Smith , the first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in his Jamestown settlement.