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Only a few days until Santa arrives – so we’re taking a look at some fantastic Christmas traditions around the world.
Christmas celebrations come in all shapes and sizes. There’s plenty of food and plenty of fun to go alongside the beautiful story of that first Christmas.
We’ve picked out five Christmas traditions around the world to give you some ideas to brighten up your holidays. So read on … and Merry Christmas from all of us at Barracudas Activity Day Camps!
Who needs Father Christmas when you’ve got Tió de Nadal? “Who?” I hear you ask. Why, the log that poops presents. (Yep, you read that correctly: poops.)
Catalan Christmas celebrations begins on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.
A hollow log is brought into the house and each night the children of the house feed it and cover it with blankets.
On Christmas Eve, it’s taken to the fireplace covered with a blanket and the children leave the room to warm up the sticks they will use to beat the log (again, you read that correctly: beat the log).
When they return, the log gets a thorough battering, the blanket is removed and presents – candies, nuts and small toys – have been pooped out. As we said Christmas traditions around the world can be a bit baffling to outsiders.
The Three Wise Men bring bigger presents later …
Christmas Eve’s a big event in Bulgaria, with a vegetarian feast at the centre of the celebration. (So turkey and pigs in blankets are definitely off the menu.)
The Orthodox Church encourages fasting in the 40 days before Christmas, so there's no meat served at the feast. But that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of food.
Traditionally, seven, nine or eleven different dishes are served and shared. There’ll be stuffed vine leaves and stuffed red peppers, bean stew, fruit and nuts.
The centrepiece is a round pitta bread, which has one coin baked inside it. The oldest person at the table spins the bread three times and each of the diners takes the piece nearest them. The superstition is that whoever gets the coin will be the richest in the following year…
You’re reading this, so there’s every chance you’ll love Iceland’s brilliant and beautiful celebration on Christmas Eve.
Jolabokaflód – literally “Yule Book Flood” – sees the whole country exchanging books to read the night before Christmas.
The Swedes might have Hygge, but how cosy does it sound to hunker down amidst the snow and stick your nose in a new novel before Santa arrives?
All that literature rubs off on Icelanders – one in 10 of them will publish a book in their lifetime.
One Christmas celebration worth adopting, I’d say.
Christmas isn’t a big thing in Japan – it isn’t a Christian country, after all. But one wacky Christmas celebration has emerged there in recent years.
In a secular celebration, many Japanese families tuck into a KFC Christmas Dinner on December 25.
The Colonel offers a special festive menu, complete with a Happy Christmas message on the packaging.
Hmmm – think we’ll leave them to this one!
Got to say, Brazil does Christmas right – if even just for having the one Christmas tradition around the world that we’d all be glad to celebrate.
You see, there’s a mandatory Christmas bonus. Known as the “13th salary” it’s the law that every company pays out the cash in December, boosting the local economy and making for a very merry Christmas! Feliz Natal.
We'll be looking forward to our own Christmas traditions this year. Do you have any unique family traditions? Share them in the comments below: