Awesome Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Awesome Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Most folks in America have their holiday traditions down to a fine art. It starts with the traditional mob frenzy of Black Friday. If you don't find a bargain on that weekend either in a store or online you're just not trying. After that, the decorations start rolling out. Lights go up. Trees go in and presents start getting wrapped. Christmas Eve is a popular time for open house parties.

Christmas morning brings another frenzy. This one involving the tearing of paper off of those presents you spent hours wrapping. By 10:47 Christmas morning, it is pretty much all over except for the trying on of sweaters and the breaking of toys. Overall, not a bad way to spend a couple of chilly weeks in December. However, there is always room for more. Maybe this is the year you start a new tradition by traveling for Christmas. If so, then you might run across some of these awesome traditions:

Finland: Sweating In The Christmas Cheer

Along with all the other festivities, many Finns try to cram in two special visits on Christmas. One to the cemetery and the other to a sauna. Paying a visit to honor the dearly departed isn't that unusual. However, Christmas Eve is the time for a relaxing sauna. Be sure to book your time early if you want to get in a good sweat before Midnight mass.

Sweden: Breakfast in Bed

For Swedes, the official start of the Christmas season comes on December 13. This is St. Lucia Day, also known as Little Yule. Tradition has it that the eldest daughter must wake early, dress in a white gown with a red sash, put some twigs in her hair and make everyone breakfast. At night there is a torchlight parade ending in a big bonfire. Apparently, the families with only boys don't get any breakfast, but everybody can go to the bonfire.

Ukraine: 12 Courses

The traditional Ukrainian Christmas dinner consists of twelve separate courses; each one in honor of the 12 apostles. Before dinner can start, the youngest child in the house has to spot the evening star. No star, no soup for you.

Holland: Hay Is For Horses

The Dutch kick off their Christmas season on December 6, which is St. Nicholas Day. This is when Sinterklass (sound familiar?) arrives by boat on his trusty white horse and helpful sidekick, Black Pete. If the kiddies fill their stockings with hay for Sinterklass' horse, then they get treats left behind.

Japan: Finger Licking Good

In Japan, the traditional Christmas dinner for many is a trip to Kentucky Fried Chicken. This has become such a big deal, that just like the Norwegians have to reserve a sauna, Japanese have to reserve a table at their local KFC.

What are your family's favorite holiday traditions? Let us know!