December is the time when we take a little break from our studies and spend some quality time with family and friends. How we celebrate the holidays varies considerably depending on where in the world we come from, so we’ve put together a few of the interesting traditions that are found across the world.
Germany is a very traditional country when it comes to Christmas festivities. The German Christmas markets are have become famous across the globe, and they now pop up in countries worldwide.
Interesting fact: The concept of a jolly white bearded man visiting children to drop off presents originated from Germany’s St Nicolas Day along with the Christmas tree.
It is fair to say that one particular holiday tradition in Japan falls into the quirky category – a visit to KFC! It all came about thanks to the wildly successful ‘Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!’ (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974. The story goes like this: a group of foreign visitors in Japan who were unable to find a turkey for Christmas, opted to have a KFC dinner instead. To this day, KFC records its highest sales of the year on Christmas Eve.
China – As Christmas is not typically celebrated in China, holiday celebrations are focused around the winter solstice which is a family day. People in the southern parts of China like to eat Tangyuan, a sticky rice ball with a sweet filling, while in northern China they prefer to eat dumplings.
Interesting fact: You’ll even find dumplings shaped like little ears, which are said to prevent your ears from falling off as the temperatures plummet.
USA – The USA is diverse in both it’s people and temperatures across the country. During the holidays there tends to be a blend of traditions from all over the world celebrated during this time, along with local ones. Some of the delicious Christmas traditions include whiskey cake in the southern states, lumberjack pie (a mashed potato crust, filled with meat, onion and cinnamon) in New England and in Virginia you’ll find oyster and ham pie. No matter which American state you happen to be in, you’ll be celebrating Christmas in a unique style, yet the common thread of eating well and celebrating together pervades throughout.
Australia – With the holiday season falling in the middle of our summer, Australians tend to shy away from heavy meat and roast vegetable dinners. A few common Christmas dishes include seafood-based feasts of prawns, salmon, scallops and oysters. Most Aussies love the beach, so it comes as no surprise that Christmas morning is a popular time to go for a dip in the ocean before firing up the BBQ and enjoying all those seafood delicacies.
Wherever you happen to find yourselves this holiday season, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy the local festive spirit.
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