7 unique holiday traditions around the world
The holidays are a time for traditions. Cultures around the world bring their own unique twist to the holiday season. Below are seven interesting holiday traditions from around the world.
1. Caracas, Venezuela – Roller skating to Mass
Citizen of the Venezuelan capital have a unique way to get to Mass on Christmas morning—they roller skate! This is so popular that vehicle access in many parts of the city are blocked until 8 am to allow people to roller-skate in the streets.
2. Austria – Krampus
Considered Santa’s “dark” counterpart, legend has it that throughout the Christmas season, misbehaved kids are beaten with birch branches or can disappear, stuffed into Krampus’ sack and hauled off to his lair.
3. Gävle, Sweden – Yule Goat
People of this Swedish town have erected a giant version of the Yule Goat since 1966. The first Gävle Yule Goat was burnt down on New Year's Eve 1966 and ever since it's been the target for vandals. In its 50 year history it's only survived throughout the Christmas and New Year period about 12 times!
4. Catalonia, Spain – Pooping Logs
Known as the “Tio de Nadal” (“Christmas log”) or “Caga Tio” (“crapping log”), hollowed-out logs are given a face and blanket and “fed” nuts, candies and small toys starting Dec 8. Children then beat the log with sticks until it “poops” all the goodies.
5. Japan – Kentucky Fried Chicken
Since a successful “Kentucky for Christmas!” marketing campaign in 1974, families in Japan enjoy buckets of “Christmas Chicken” from KFC at Christmas.
6. Australia – Holidays on the Beach
In Australia, Christmas falls right in the middle of some of the hottest weather of the year. To beat the heat, Australians flock to the beaches and enjoy ice cream and barbecues.
7. Canada – Santa’s Address
Canada Post has an officially recognized address for Santa. Canadian children can write to Kris Kringle without paid postage. All letters are opened and receive a reply:
NORTH POLE H0H 0H0
Audiences across the United States and Europe annually enjoy one of classical music’s great traditions—Christmastime presentations of Handel’s Messiah.
Don’t miss the NJSO and Montclair State University Singers perform the holiday classic, Handel’s Messiah, Dec 15 at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton and Dec 17 at NJPAC in Newark.