We’re all well-aware of our own tried and tested Christmas traditions:
Decorating a Christmas Tree, carolling, singing Christmas songs and scoffing more mince pies than we can count!
But it might be surprising to learn that countries around the world all celebrate Christmas a little differently, each with their own unique traditions and celebrations, based on the local culture and history.
Here are some Christmas celebrations in other countries you might not know about:
Giant Lantern Festival – Philippines
Christmas has always been a time of bright lights and the grandest of spectacles, but the people of the Philippines take this to a whole new level with their incredible lantern festival.
Held in San Fernando (also known as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines) every Saturday before Christmas Eve, the festival attracts visitors from around the country and the globe.
What began as a relatively small celebration has exploded into a humongous celebration of all-things fantastical and Christmassy. Years ago, the biggest lantern you might have seen would only have been a few feet in diameter. Now, some reach over six metres in height, made with a mixture of fabrics and colours.
Each village submits their own entry, and the victory is considered a great honour!
Krampus – Austria
While Christmas is supposed to be a great time of joy and celebration, Austria has opted to go for a slightly spookier approach when it comes to keeping their children in the Christmas spirits…
In most Christmas tellings, naughty children are punished by Santa with a simple lump of coal in their stockings instead of presents, right?
Well, in Austria, the evil horned-demon known as Krampus kidnaps the naughtiest of children, never to return.
This is especially more frightening when people actually dress up as the demon and frighten young boys and girls on the street.
That’s one way to keep the kids in line this Christmas!
Hiding of the Brooms – Norway
This is a bit of a weird one, but there’s a reason for everything!
A tradition dating back centuries, Norwegians used to firmly believe that Christmas Eve, while being the day before a day of celebration, was also the day that evil spirits emerged to haunt the living. Not unlike Halloween!
And it was also the belief that Witches would emerge on December 24th looking for brooms so that they could once again take flight and wreak havoc on unsuspecting locals!
Solution? Hide all of your brooms!
Many Norwegians still tuck their brooms away out of Witch hands on Christmas Eve, safe in the knowledge that evil shall not disrupt their Christmas Day celebrations!