However you choose to celebrate, we hope your days are filled with love, laughter, and generosity this holiday season.
In the days of the Soviet Union, Christmas was not celebrated very much. New Years became the more significant holiday. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, people were free to celebrate Christmas again. But it remained a quieter and smaller holiday in comparison to the larger New Yea'r’s celebrations.
New Year is when 'Grandfather Frost' (known in Russian as 'Ded Moroz' or Дед Мороз) carries his magic staff and delivers gifts to all of the well behaved children, much like his red suited counterpart, Santa Claus.
In Austria and across the German-speaking Alpine region, the Krampus is a crucial part of the holiday season. He’s a devilish figure, with long horns and known for punishing badly behaved children by leaving them bundles of sticks — or even using the sticks to beat them. He’s even been known to snatch naughty kids away in his sack.
Dozens of Krampus Festivals occur across Austria. The central event is always the Krampus Parade, a spectacular nocturnal procession of terrifyingly clad Krampus figures.
In Caracas, there is a fun tradition of people rollerskating to the early morning church services from 16th to 24th December. It isn’t precisely clear how the tradition began but today the roads are even closed to keep people safe while they skate.
God Jul och Gott Nytt År
The Gävle Goat is a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget in central Gävle, Sweden. It is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure (a goat charged with helping Santa deliver gifts) made of straw.
Every year, the giant goat is assembled and then, the people wait—and sometimes even bet—on whether the goat will make it to Christmas. Because the town of Gävle [say: yeah-vleh] has another, very different, Christmas tradition: every year someone tries to burn down the goat. In the past 50 some years, the goat has been destroyed approximately 35 times.
“Six White Boomers”, a Christmas song, tells the story of how six white boomers (kangaroos) take over whenever Santa’s reindeer need a rest from the outback heat and lead Santa’s sleigh throughout Australia.
Christmas and other holiday celebrations take on many forms in Canada, but the joy of winter is (mostly) consistent across the country. There is no one way of celebrating the holiday season, but regardless of religion or preference, there is no denying that December can be magical in Canada.
Republic of Columbia
In Colombia, Christmas celebrations and preparations start on the evening of the 7th December which is known as 'Día de las Velitas' or 'Day of the little Candles'. Houses and streets are decorated with candles, lanterns and lots of lights. This day is celebrated by Catholics around the world as The Feast of the Immaculate Conception but is especially popular in Colombia.
Kurisumasu ni wa Kentakkii, or Kentucky for Christmas, started as marketing and became a national tradition.
KFC's Christmas promotion was the brainchild of Takeshi Okawara, who managed the first KFC restaurant in Japan.
According to the BBC, an estimated 3.6 million Japanese families now eat KFC during the Christmas season. Millions of people weather long lines to order fried chicken weeks in advance to carry on the tradition.
The Giant Lantern Festival is an annual festival held in mid-December in the City of San Fernando in the Philippines. The festival features a competition of giant lanterns. Because of the popularity of the festival, the city has been nicknamed the "Christmas Capital of the Philippines". It has made the city famous all throughout the country and around the world.
Hanukkah, or Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and fried foods.
The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication,” and is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.
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