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Christmas Traditions Around the World
Despite being the most iconic and celebrated holiday across much of the world, Christmas as we’ve come to know it was invented as recently as the 1860s. At least, in terms of the various traditions we now accept as the all-time classics.
Interestingly though, Christmas traditions differ significantly from one country to the next. Even in countries where Christmas is celebrated with equal joy and excitement, things don’t happen quite the same way they do here!
FINLAND: ‘HYVÄÄ JOULUA!’
For example, one of the most classic Finnish Christmas traditions is to head to the sauna for a steam on Christmas Eve. Families also get together to visit the graves of deceased family members at Christmas.
SWEDEN: ‘GOD JUL!’
Over in Sweden, the tradition of honouring St. Lucia started many generations ago and continues to this day. So popular is the tradition in fact that it had also become a staple in Denmark by the mid-19th century.
GERMANY: ‘FROEHLICHE WEIHNACHTEN!’
The folks in Germany have always taken the decorating of Christmas trees extremely seriously. In fact, it was Germany that introduced the tradition of Christmas trees to England, which happened at the time Prince Albert of Germany married Queen Victoria. After the picture of a Christmas tree was published in an American newspaper for the first time in 1848, the tradition quickly spread worldwide.
GREECE: ‘KALA CHRISTOUYENNA!’
On a rather more sinister slant, people in Greece believe that goblins known as kallikantzeri pop out of nowhere to get up to mischief throughout the 12 days of Christmas. Interestingly, gifts are not given on Christmas day, but rather on New Year’s Day.
MEXICO: ‘FELIZ NAVIDAD!’
One of the most enjoyable festive activities for kids in Mexico is battering paper piñatas to get to the goodies inside. Mexico also takes credit for introducing the poinsettia as an official symbol of Christmas worldwide, first brought in to the United States by one Joel R. Poinsett in 1828.
ENGLAND: ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS!’
As for the UK, Brits can at least stake claim to sparking a global tradition of sending and receiving Christmas cards. A chap by the name of John Calcott went into business producing handmade Christmas cards in the 1830s, which quickly gained popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. And for the record, the UK also introduced the global Christmas classic caroling.
Last but not least, if you ever wondered where the classic Christmas eggnog came from, it’s all the way back to the year 1607. History has record of one Captain John Smith as being the first to ever whip up a batch of eggnog in Jamestown, Virginia.
Educating your Children in their developing years is so important - here's an idea! Children listen to Santa Claus, so why not have him deliver the message through a video recording. After all, who said learning couldn't be fun?