Updated December 17th, 2023 at 11:44 IST

Unique Christmas traditions from around the world you didn't know existed

Christmas traditions around the world are unique. From Japanese love for fried chicken to Iceland's Yule cat, the festival is celebrated differently everywhere.

Reported by: Republic Lifestyle Desk
Unique Christmas traditions
Unique Christmas traditions | Image:Unsplash

Christmas is a revered and cherished festival, celebrated around the globe. Different cultures have different ways to make the celebrations special - some through different activities while some with unique foods. Here are some Christmas traditions which make the festival super fun and interesting.

Japan - KFC Christmas feast

In Japan, a peculiar yet beloved tradition involves enjoying a Christmas feast from Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Ordering KFC buckets has become a popular and festive way to celebrate Christmas, with some even placing orders months in advance due to the festive rush.

KFC buckets are eaten in Japan | Image: Unsplash

Iceland - Yule Lads and the Yule Cat

In Icelandic folklore, mischievous characters known as Yule Lads visit homes in the 13 nights leading up to Christmas. Children place shoes on windowsills, and each night, a Yule Lad leaves gifts or potatoes, depending on the child's behaviour. Additionally, the Yule Cat is said to roam, and new clothes are often given as gifts to avoid its wrath.

Australia - Surfing Santa

Down under, Australians celebrate the holiday season in the summer. Bondi Beach in Sydney hosts the annual "Surfing Santa" event, where beachgoers dress as Santa Claus and catch waves. It is a thrilling event and the perfect blend of the Aussie beach lifestyle with Christmas festivities.

Ukraine - Decorated spider webs

Ukrainian Christmas trees may feature an unusual decoration – spider webs. Legend has it that a poor widow's tree miraculously sparkled with spider webs, symbolising good fortune. Now, some Ukrainians add spider web-inspired decorations for luck and prosperity.

Decorated spider webs | Image: Unsplash

Sweden - Gavle goat

In Gavle, Sweden, a giant goat made with straw is erected annually in the town's square. However, this tradition is coupled with another - attempts to burn down the goat. As of last year, 38 out of the 57 straw goats have been burnt or destroyed. The Gavle goat has become a symbol of Christmas with its fiery fate attracting global attention.

Ethiopia - The game of Ganna

In Ethiopia, Christmas is celebrated with a special game called Ganna or Genna, a traditional sport that involves a curved stick and a small wooden ball. Families and friends come together to participate in this joyful Christmas tradition.


Published December 17th, 2023 at 11:44 IST

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